Dr Oonagh Murphy

Staff details

Position Lecturer in Arts Management
Email o.murphy (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Oonagh Murphy

Dr Oonagh Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at Goldsmiths, University of London. As an arts manager, writer and lecturer her research has taken her around the world to explore international best practice on the scalability of emerging technologies for cultural organisations.

Oonagh is Principal Investigator and co-founder of the Museums + AI Network, which is funded through an AHRC Network Grant. The Network was established in 2019 with Pratt Institute (New York), National Gallery (London) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

She is a regular contributor to museum sector forums on digital culture, innovation and management, and has been invited to speak at leading cultural centres in the UK, Europe and US, including The Barbican Centre, V&A, National Theatre, the Belevedere, New Museum.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Museum Studies, University of Ulster 2014
  • Masters of Research, University of Ulster 2010
  • BA (Hons) Arts Management, De Montfort University 2008

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

Digital culture, Innovation practices, Museum studies, Critical heritage studies, Audience development, Fundraising and development, Art market

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Murphy, Oonagh and Villaespesa, Elena. 2021. Innovation, data and social responsibility. In: Haitham Eid and Melissa Forstrom, eds. Museum Innovation: Building More Equitable, Relevant and Impactful Museums. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780367481407

Murphy, Oonagh. 2019. The changing shape of museums in an increasingly digital world. In: Mark O'Neill and Glenn Hooper, eds. Connecting Museums. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138490024

Murphy, Oonagh. 2019. With Not For: Engagement Strategies in a Digital Age. In: William Byrnes, J and Aleksandar Brkić, eds. The Routledge Companion to Arts Management. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138492226

Murphy, Oonagh. 2016. Rethinking participatory practice in a Web 2.0 world. In: Kayte McSweeney and Jen Kavanagh, eds. Museum Participation: New Directions for Audience Collaboration. Edinburgh: Museums Etc. ISBN 1910144789


Villaespesa, Elena and Murphy, Oonagh. 2021. This is not an apple! Benefits and challenges of applying computer vision to museum collections. Museum Management and Curatorship, 36(4), pp. 362-383. ISSN 0964-7775

Murphy, Oonagh. 2020. CultureLab – Don’t Believe the Stereotype, Ulster Museum, Belfast. Museums Journal, pp. 40-43. ISSN 0027-416X

Murphy, Oonagh and Aguiar, Laura. 2019. When a 1981 Diary Meets Twitter: Reclaiming a teenage girl’s ordinary experience of the Northern Irish Troubles. British Journal for Military History, 5(1), pp. 49-70. ISSN 2057-0422

Murphy, Oonagh. 2018. Coworking Spaces, Accelerators and Incubators: Emerging Forms of Museum Practice in an Increasingly Digital World. Museum International, 70(1-2), pp. 62-75. ISSN 1350-0775

Murphy, Oonagh. 2018. Museum Studies as Critical Praxis: Developing an Active Approach to Research, Teaching and Practice. Tate Papers, 29(1), ISSN 1753-9854

Professional Activity

Musgrave, George; Dinardi, Cecilia; Franklin, Michael; Murphy, Oonagh and Prime, Sian. 2022. Submission of evidence to the UK Parliament House of Lords ‘A Creative Future’ Inquiry.


Murphy, Oonagh; Villaespesa, Elena; Bernhardt, Johannes; Golgath, Tabea and Sonja, Thiel. 2022. Künstliche Intelligenz und Museen – Ein Toolkit. Discussion Paper. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Murphy, Oonagh and Villaespesa, Elena. 2022. La Red de Museos + Inteligencia Artificial: Guía para la aplicación de IA en museos. Discussion Paper. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Murphy, Oonagh and Villaespesa, Elena. 2020. AI: A Museum Planning Toolkit. Discussion Paper. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Further profile content

Professional projects

My research interests sit in the place between academia and practice, and I regularly work directly with arts organisations, in both a collaborative capacity, and as a consultant. Through my consultancy work I provide an international perspective, an external set of eyes and facilitation skills to help arts organisations ask difficult questions of themselves, shape new business models + long term strategic plans.

I’ve worked with more than 20 arts organisations over the last 10 years, managing programmes, providing development and research services. From working as assistant to the Fair Manager at the Frieze Art Fair where I managed key international commercial gallery clients and artists, to developing a Crowdfunding mentoring programme for Arts and Business NI, or evaluating the first socially focused tech seed funding stream in Northern Ireland my focus is always on capacity building.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Royal Society of Arts, and a Churchill Fellow.

Grants and awards

2019: The Museums + AI Network
AHRC Research Networking Grant: UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions

2020: Uncharted, Capturing and Fostering the Societal Value of Culture
EU Horizon 2020