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Portrait of first female Oxbridge professor unveiled




A new portrait of Dorothy Garrod by artist Sara Lavelle has been officially unveiled at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge.

Dorothy Garrod portrait by artist Sara Lavelle
Dorothy Garrod portrait by artist Sara Lavelle

Dorothy Garrod was elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in 1939, nine years before women at Cambridge were admitted to degrees or able to become full members of the University.

Commissioned earlier this year by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, a new portrait of pioneering archaeologist, Professor Dorothy Garrod, was unveiled at a reception yesterday (Wednesday, November 13).

Dorothy Garrod (1892-1968) was a British archaeologist specialising in the Palaeolithic period and is renowned for her excavations in Gibraltar, Bulgaria and across the Middle East in what were then Palestine and southern Kurdistan.

Garrod was elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in 1939, becoming the first woman at either Cambridge or Oxford to hold a professorial chair.

Garrod was elected to the Disney Professorship at a time when women weren’t able to be full members of the University.

Although 2019 marks 150 years of female students at the University of Cambridge, it was not until 1948 that they were awarded degrees.

Dr James H. Barrett, deputy director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, said, “It is incredibly important for archaeology at Cambridge to celebrate the achievements of Dorothy Garrod, and that an archaeologist was the first female professor in any subject at Cambridge University.

"We hope the portrait will contribute to her iconic status as a role model for our community, prominently displayed in one of our main spaces for discussion and learning.

“The 80th anniversary of her election as the first female professor provided the catalyst for the Institute's managing committee to commission the portrait.

"From a short list of impressive artists, the committee selected Sara Lavelle and we are all extremely pleased with the result."

Lavelle was a finalist for the 2019 Sky Portrait Artist of the Year Award and the 2018 ACS Studio Prize.



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