Mengtian Bai is an international graduate student from China in art history at Bryn Mawr College. She previously received her BA in Art History and Latin Language and Literature from Oberlin College in 2018. Her undergraduate honor thesis in art history investigated cultural exchange that occurred between medieval Italy and medieval China, centering on two Christian tombstones with Latin inscriptions of an Italian merchant family discovered in Yangzhou,China. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural artistic communication in the Middle Ages.
Nina is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art. She received her B.A. in History and Art History from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 2012 and earned her M.A. at Bryn Mawr in 2018 with a thesis focusing on the use of Japanese decorative arts in middle-class American homes. Nina has held graduate internships in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in Bryn Mawr College's Special Collections. Prior to attending Bryn Mawr College, Nina worked at the National Library of New Zealand’s Alexander Turnbull Library and held teaching positions in Japan. Her research interests include nineteenth-century architecture and design history, the material culture of the home, and global cultures of consumption in the decorative arts.
Kat is pursuing her MA in the History of Art. She earned her BA in Art History with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of Vermont in 2015 as an Honors College Scholar. For her undergraduate thesis, Kat analyzed Andy Warhol's Screen Tests in terms of gender, sexuality, and queer aesthetics. In 2014, Kat worked as an editorial intern at ARTnews Magazine. Her research interests include postwar American art history and how it overlaps with queer history and theory, specifically in film and photography.
Elena is currently pursuing her MA in History of Art. She received her B.A. in Art History & Archaeology, with a second major in History from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, and her M.A. in Art History from Southern Methodist University in 2015. Prior to attending Bryn Mawr College, Elena worked in outreach education at the White House Historical Association and has completed internships at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Met Cloisters. She has spent the last three summers as part of the excavation team at the early Byzantine synagogue site of Huqoq, Israel, and now serves as a square supervisor. Her research interests center on postcolonial readings of Late Antique and Early Byzantine visual culture, specifically synagogue mosaic floors.
Tessa Bachi Haas
Tessa is a Ph.D. student in History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. Her research focuses on digital media as artistic process and critique, particularly as it pertains to archival practices in contemporary art. She has assisted with exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Cooper Gallery at Harvard University, Woodmere Art Museum, American Philosophical Society Museum, and Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Tessa completed her M.A. thesis, “Currency, Ritual, and Craft: Cowrie Shells in the Work of Rina Banerjee,” with Professor Sylvia Houghteling in 2019. She received her A.B. in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College in 2018. Tessa is currently a member of the Philadelphia-based curatorial group AUTOMAT.
Meg Hankel is a graduate student in art history with a focus on inter-war Germany and the history of photography. She received a BA in art history from Columbia College Chicago in 2009, and an MA in art history from the University of Georgia in 2017. Before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Georgia, Meg worked as a freelance photographer and archivist in the city of Chicago for several years. Her current research interest includes photographic books and essays of the late Weimar Republic.
Taylor is currently working toward his Ph.D. in the History of Art. His interests target the intersection of contemporary art and film, in particular installations that use projection to expand the cinematic experience into physical space. He received his B.A. in Art History and English from Georgetown University in 2008 and his M.A. in Art History at The University of Georgia. In addition to his experience in the film and television industry, he has worked in several museums, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and has held teaching positions at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Elliot is an MA in the History of Art. He received a BFA in Photographic Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 and an MA in the History of Art from Williams College in 2014. His research interests revolve around photography’s effect on different mediums in contemporary art, and its unique relationship to memory and mourning.
Italian Renaissance portraiture
Justinne is a PhD student studying Renaissance and Baroque portraiture with Professor David Cast. She previously received her BA in History from James Madison University and an MA in Art History from Queens College. Her research interests include Italian Renaissance and Baroque portraiture, with a particular focus on images of saints within the context of Tridentine reforms. She has worked as a Museum Educator at the New-York Historical Society and held a graduate internship at the Robert Lehman Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Emily Leifer is a graduate student in art history at Bryn Mawr College studying modern and contemporary art. She received her MA from Williams College and her BA from Brandeis University. Emily has held internships at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, David Zwirner Gallery and The Judd Foundation. Her research focuses on the art and visual culture of the 1960s and 1970s. She is particularly interested in the intersections between art and ecology during this period.
Laurel McLaughlin is a PhD student in the History of Art working with Professor Homay King. Her dissertation examines how migration and its affects shape constructions of identity within contemporary performance art by women-identifying practitioners, 1970–2000s. She has presented such research at the University of California, Berkeley, the College Art Association, New York, Performance Studies International, Calgary, and the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, Hong Kong. Additionally, Laurel has held curatorial fellowships and assistant positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Slought Foundation, Bryn Mawr College Special Collections, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the ICA Philadelphia. She received a BA from Wake Forest University in Art History and English as a Presidential Scholar in 2013, an MA with Distinction from The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2015, and an MA from Bryn Mawr College in 2017.
Anna Moblard Meier
Modern Viennese and Japanese Art
Anna is a PhD student working with Professor Christiane Hertel. She earned her BA in German Literature and Studio Art from Reed College in 2002 and her MFA in Printmaking from PAFA in 2010. She completed her MA thesis, a study of fin-de-siècle Vienna and the allegorical works of Gustav Klimt, at Bryn Mawr in 2014. Currently, her PhD research is focused on the artistic exchange between Europe and Japan in the late nineteenth century and the early International Exhibitions. Anna has presented papers at the University of Texas at Austin and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. In her time at Bryn Mawr, she has been a teaching assistant for the Growth and Structure of Cities Department and served as a Research Assistant in Special Collections. She has also curated and co-curated several exhibitions including “Bridges That Stand When All Else Falls Away: TriCo, Japan, and Melted Roof Tiles from Hiroshima 1945,” BMC (2012); “Beneath the Printed Pattern: Display and Disguise in Ukiyo-e Bijinga” BMC (2013), “Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan: Perspectives and Testimonies from the Tri-co Collection,” BMC (2013); and “A Sense of Place: Modern Japanese Prints,” University of Pennsylvania Ross Gallery (2015).
Northern European Baroque
Jamie is a Ph.D. candidate working with Professor Christiane Hertel. Her dissertation will examine Frans Francken the Younger's development of the seventeenth century Flemish "gallery painting" genre within the context of early modern curiosity culture. She graduated cum laude from Columbia University in 2008 with a B.A. in Art History and German Literature, and she received her M.A. in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College in 2012. She has presented papers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, American University, KULeuven, and the Frick Collection in New York. In 2014 she was the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania's Petronella Van Weezel Award for outstanding achievements in Dutch studies. Currently she is conducting dissertation research in Antwerp as the 2015-2016 Rubenianum Fellow, a position generously co-sponsored by the Belgian-American Educational Foundation and the Rubenianum Fund (managed by the King Baudouin Foundation).
Michelle Smiley is a PhD student working with Professor Homay King on nineteenth-century photography and cinema of the United States and Europe. Her dissertation, "Becoming Photography: The American Development of a Medium," examines the scientific and technological precursors of photography in early-nineteenth-century America and traces the role of movement and duration in the photographic image beginning with its chemical development in the scientific laboratory and ending with the birth of cinema. Michelle completed her masters, "Making Photography, or, The American (Re)Invention of a Medium," with Professor Lisa Saltzman in the spring of 2015. She received her A.B. in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College in 2012. Michelle has also held several curatorial fellowships and internships at the National Gallery of Art, the American Philosophical Society, and the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. Her additional research interests include theories of materialism, memory, and time; the history of science; mass media and print forms of the nineteenth century; the still and moving image, and portraiture. In between undergraduate and graduate education Michelle worked as an English teacher in Rouen, France.
Mariam is a visiting Fulbright scholar, working on her doctoral dissertation with Professor Lisa Saltzman, in the Department of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, and Professor Mokhtar Chaoui at Abdelmalek Essaadi University (Morocco). She studied at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouan, before continuing her French Literature and History of Art research at Mohamed V University in Rabat, Morocco, and then at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tetouan, Morocco, where she obtained a Masters degree in Comparative Literature after defending a thesis on Painting in Morocco as seen by the Moroccan writer Abdelkebir Khatibi. Currently, her dissertation investigates the salient phenomena of trauma, remembrance and representation as manifested in the OuLiPo and in contemporary art, with specific attention to the cases of Georges Perec and Sophie Calle. In addition to her studies, Mariam is an artist and her work has been shown in both solo and group exhibitions, both in Morocco and France, and will soon appear in exhibitions in Tunisia and Egypt.
Late Antique and Byzantine Art
Shannon is a PhD candidate working with Professor Alicia Walker. Her dissertation, “Byzantine Enamel and the Aesthetics of Technological Power, Ninth to Twelfth Centuries,” explores how the process of cloisonné enameling was understood as an alchemical technology that embodied the Byzantine Empire's knowledge of and control over the natural world. Her research focuses on the intersection of artistic production and Byzantine natural sciences, as well as the broader cultural significance of technique, making, and artistic skill. After receiving training in technical art history from the Conservation Center at the Institute for Fine Arts, NYU, she began studying with contemporary master goldsmiths and incorporates the reconstruction of historic techniques into her research methods. Shannon held an institutional fellowship from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (2015-2017) and a junior fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (2017-2018). She has also received support for her dissertation from the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture. Shannon earned her BA in Art History from Temple University and her MA at the University of Texas at Austin. She has presented her research in the United States, Canada, Germany, and Greece. Her publications include an essay in the exhibition catalog Byzantine Things in the World (2013) and a contribution to the forthcoming edited volume Medieval Texts on Byzantine Art and Aesthetics: From Alexios I Komnenos to the rise of Hesychasm (1081 – ca. 1330). She also has a secondary interest in the art and architecture of Byzantine Syria and participates actively in organized efforts to protect Syrian antiquities.
Nava is a PhD candidate, working with Professor Alicia Walker. She received a BA from the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, CUNY and an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art. She works on representations of body language in middle Byzantine manuscript illuminations. Beyond deciphering the meanings of individual gestures, she explores how the Byzantines used posture and gesture to order and interpret social systems. She worked for two years of as a Graduate Assistant at Bryn Mawr College’s Special Collections and Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections and has also interned at the Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting and served as a researcher at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has presented papers at the Frick Collection and at the Byzantine Studies Conference and has led a series of gallery talks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work has been supported by grants from the International Center for Medieval Art, the Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library, and the Delaware Valley Medieval Association, among other organizations.
Early Medieval and Byzantine Art
Kaylee Verkruisen is a Canadian graduate student of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. Kaylee graduated with her BA from Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 2015 with a double honours degree in English Literature and Art History. She continued to pursue her interests in the Middle Ages by completing her MA in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies in 2016. The following year Kaylee also completed a MA in Art History at the University of Toronto where she translated and catalogued the last will and testament of Blanche of Navarre as part of a digital humanities project. Her research interests stem from a history of exploring the sexualization and genderization of women in the Middle Ages. Kaylee has a personal interest in the vita and cult following of Saint Agatha of Catania and dreams of attending her feast day celebrations during the week of February 5th to experience the saint’s contemporary following first hand.
Arielle Winnik is a PhD candidate working with Professor Alicia Walker on Byzantine and medieval Eastern Christian art. Her dissertation examines the visual culture of death and burial of Coptic Christians during the period of Egypt’s Shiite Islamic Fatimid Dynasty. She has a particular interest in textiles and has assisted with the study and publication of late antique and medieval textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (Washington, DC), the Cooper Hewitt Museum (New York), and the Whitworth (Manchester, UK). She is the 2018-20 Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art and holds a Research Associateship at the American Research Center in Egypt. She has also received the International Center of Medieval Art’s Student Travel Grant, the Delaware Valley Medieval Association Travel Grant, and the Textile Society of America’s Student and New Professional Award. Arielle holds a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her article, “Toward a Grammar of Textiles: A Reconsideration of Medieval Silk Aesthetics and the Impact of Modern Collecting,” appeared in the November 2017 issue of The Textile Museum Journal.
Prints and Printmaking
Amalia is a PhD candidate working with Professor Christiane Hertel. She earned a B.A. in History from Oberlin College in 2009 and completed an M.A. at Bryn Mawr in 2013. She is interested in Polish modernism and the work of the Mloda Polska group. Her M.A. research focused on the intersection between language, type, and empire, and examined the ways in which public displays of typography either supported or undermined ideas of empire. Her PhD research similarly focuses on Polish political identity and its construction in the work of art. She has pursued museum work at both the Allen Memorial Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Mechella Ignace Yezernitskaya
Modern and Contemporary Art
Mechella is a PhD candidate in the History of Art working with Professor Homay King and Professor Tim Harte. Mechella specializes in wartime visual and literary culture of the Russian and Soviet avant-gardes. Her additional research interests include the history of collecting Russian and Soviet art, Eastern European Cinema of the 1960s, as well as museological studies. Mechella received an MA in History of Art at Bryn Mawr College in 2015 and a BA in History of Art at Fordham University in 2012. She has presented her research at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Karazin University in Ukraine, Temple University, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). At Bryn Mawr, she has served as a Teaching Assistant in the Film Studies Program and has worked in the Special Collections Department. Mechella has also worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, and has co-curated several exhibitions including Arctic Subtext at Fordham University in 2012 and Beyond Boundaries: Feminine Forms, a dual-sited exhibition at PAFA and BMC in 2017-2018.