Tobah Aukland-Peck


Research Interests

  • Art and extraction, ecocriticism, labor, abstraction, materiality, the British Empire and its decolonization, industrial infrastructure, Marxist historiography, sculpture, drawing


  • B.A., The College of Letters, Wesleyan University

Tobah Aukland-Peck is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her dissertation, Mineral Landscapes: The Mine and British Modernism, argues that resource extraction, and its attendant issues of pollution, materiality, and labor, provided a rich subject matter for post-war British artists who were interested in integrating the nation’s changing landscapes and workplaces into an increasingly abstract practice. She has presented her work, including papers about extraction and the industrial provenance of artistic materials, at the Frick Symposium, the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, the College Art Association, and the Courtauld. Her essays have been published in the edited volume Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times (Courtauld Books, 2021), react/review: a responsive journal for art and architecture, and Sequitur. She was a 2021-2022 Junior Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art and is a recipient of the 2022-23 Art + Science Connect Dissertation Fellowship at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Tobah's dissertation focuses on images of extraction in interwar Britain. She looks at a broad range of artists (including Edward Wadsworth, Bill Brandt, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Josef Herman, Graham Sutherland, and the Ashington Group) to demonstrate the way in which twentieth century artists used the mine to grapple with Britain’s nineteenth century industrial heritage, engage with international debates over art’s role in the labor movement, and approach Britain's industrial decline. She also writes about landscapes of disaster and war and has essays on these topics published or in progress from Courtauld Books Online, Sequitur, and react/review: a responsive journal for art & architecture.