Members of the Lines family


Dr Connie Wan has completed her collaborative PhD between the RBSA and the University of Birmingham, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (graduated 2012).

Her thesis is entitled ‘Samuel Lines and Sons: Rediscovering Birmingham’s Artistic Dynasty 1794-1898 through Works on Paper at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists’.  This thesis is the first academic study of nineteenth-century artist and drawing master Samuel Lines (1778-1863) and his five sons: Henry Harris Lines (1800-1889), William Rostill Lines (1802-1846), Samuel Rostill Lines (1804-1833), Edward Ashcrof Lines (1807-1875) and Frederick Thomas Lines (1809-1898). The thesis, with its catalogue, was the result of a collaborative study focusing on a collection of works on paper by the sons of Samuel Lines, from the Permanent Collection of the RBSA. Both the thesis and the catalogue aim to reinstate the family’s position as one of Birmingham’s most prominent and distinguished artistic dynasties.

The thesis includes a complete and comprehensive catalogue of 56 works on paper by the Lines family. The first chapter explores the family’s role in the establishment of the Birmingham Society of Art (later the RBSA). It also explores the influence of art institutions and industry on the production of the fine and manufactured arts in Birmingham during the nineteenth century. The second chapter discuses the Lines family’s landscape imagery in relation to prevailing landscape aesthetics and the physically changing landscape of the Midlands. Henry Harris Lines is the main focus of the last chapter which reveals the extent of his skills as archaeologist, antiquarian and artist.

In April 2009, Connie curated an exhibition at the RBSA Gallery entitled Rediscovering the Lines Family: Drawings of Birmingham and Beyond in the Nineteenth Century. This was accompanied by a three-year education project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To read Connie's thesis in full, please go to the University of Birmingham's eTheses repository.

To be directed to the University of Birmingham's Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies, please click here.


Key Dates

  • AHRC funded PhD

    Connie Wan has completed an AHRC-funded PhD at the RBSA in collaboration with the University of Birmingham.