Entering Doctoral Cohort 2017

Michael Assis comes to Bard Graduate Center from Tel Aviv University, where he received a BA in Philosophy and Art History and completed an MA in Art History, focusing on early modern Italian art. Following his master’s thesis on Benvenuto Cellini’s seal designs for the Accademia del Disegno (c. 1563), his current research interests lie in medieval and early modern Italian goldsmithing and metalwork, specifically the complex and obscure role goldsmithing served in relation to the other arts. Michael has spent time working with the Medici Archive Project in the Archivio di Stato in Florence and as a visiting graduate student at the University of Toronto. Beyond his academic work, he has worked with the Old Master Paintings department at Tiroche Auction House in Israel and managed several art collections for private dealers, galleries, and corporate entities.

Colin Fanning’s research interests encompass European and American architecture and design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with focuses in the material culture of childhood (especially architectural toys and video game design), postwar studio craft, and the visual culture of science. He received a BFA in interior design from Syracuse University (2009) and an MA from Bard Graduate Center (2013). He has held previous positions at the Museum of Arts and Design and the American Federation of Arts, and has taught the history of modern design in the Westphal College of Arts and Design at Drexel University. Most recently, he had a three-year appointment as Curatorial Fellow for European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he worked with the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary design. In that role, he co-curated the exhibitions The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community (2016) and Design Currents: Oki Sato, Faye Toogood, Zanini de Zanine (2016–17), and singly curated the exhibition Channeling Nature by Design (2017).

Rebecca Jumper Matheson is a fashion historian, focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American women’s dress. She uses interdisciplinary approaches to dress studies as a means of discovering women’s narratives as designers, makers, sellers, and consumers. Her recent projects have dealt with millinery, leather goods, teenage fashion in the 1940s, and dress for long-distance train travel. She is the author of two monographs, The Sunbonnet: An American Icon in Texas (2009) and Young Originals: Emily Wilkens and the Teen Sophisticate (2015). She has also published articles in journals such as Dress, essays in proceedings publications from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Bayou Bend’s Warren Symposium and the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, as well as contributed a chapter to The Places and Spaces of Fashion: 1800–2006 (2008). Matheson is an adjunct instructor in the MA program in Fashion and Textile Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and was previously employed in the Costume Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She holds a BA from Rice University, a JD from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MA from FIT, where she received an Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries Award.


Courtney A. Stewart is Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has worked on exhibition research and the permanent collection since 2010. Stemming from interests piqued during the research of Golconda diamonds for the exhibition Sultans of Deccan India: Opulence and Fantasy (2015), Courtney’s work focuses on the history and cultural significance of jewelry and gemstones, and the intersection of art and nature. She holds an MA from Bard Graduate Center (2010), an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto (2005), a BA Honours in Comparative Literature from Western University, in London, Canada (2003), and is completing the Graduate Gemologist program at the Gemological Institute of America. Courtney has taught Islamic art history at the University of Toronto and New York University.

Entering Doctoral Cohort 2016

Christina L. De León’s research interests lie in the material culture and decorative arts of the Americas, specifically the impact of international modernist principals on the creation of a regional visual vocabulary during the post-war era. She is also fascinated by the pioneering role of women, who were crucial in the establishment and reception of a modern aesthetic and lifestyle throughout the Americas. From 2010-2016 she was Associate Curator at Americas Society where she worked on modern and contemporary art exhibitions and publications. She co-curated the shows For Rent: Marc Latamie (2012), Cristóbal Lehyt: Iris Sheets (2013), and Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press (2016). De León contributed to the catalogue Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela 1940-1978 and has written articles for the periodical Review and Americas Quarterly. She held previous positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters Museum and Gardens.

Michelle Jackson’s research focuses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Central European design and architecture, especially the history of glass at the intersection of industrial and artistic contexts. She holds a master’s in the History of Design from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where her work focused on souvenir glass production and the architecture of Bohemian spas and sanatoria in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. She holds degrees in German Literature and Art History from the University of Munich/Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia. Jackson is a lecturer in the Glass Department at RISD and a lecturer at Parsons School of Design, where her courses focus on the history of American and European industrial design and visual culture, spanning 1800 to the present. She is also a docent at Neue Galerie New York, Museum for German and Austrian Art. Jackson recently published a chapter in Revival: Memories, Identities, Utopias (Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum, 2015) on the glass designs of Peter Behrens and Jan Kotĕra. She has presented her research at conferences for the Design History Society, Victorian Society of America, Courtauld Institute of Art, Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, and Southeastern College Art Association. She continues to publish design essays for international auction houses as a consultant specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American furniture, glass, and metalwork.

Julia Lillie studies the print culture of Early Modern Europe, with a focus on sixteenth-century Germany. Her research interests include the creation and dissemination of knowledge through print, the roles of women and families in print and book publishing, and the relationship between prints and the Protestant Reformation. She is intrigued by both the agency of printed objects and the collaborative social networks of artists, printers, and publishers. Julia received a BA in Art History and Modern History from the University of St. Andrews (2008) and an MA from Bard Graduate Center (2014). She wrote her MA Qualifying Paper about the cult of Dürer and references to Early Modern prints in German propaganda of the First World War. She spent the last two years managing the cataloging and digitization project in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has previously worked at International Print Center New York, and she has held internship positions at the New York Public Library and the New-York Historical Society. Julia is excited to return to the BGC for the pursuit of a doctoral degree.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2015

Julie Bellemare researches Chinese decorative arts of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), focusing on the development of new color technologies across ceramic, enamel, and glass. She is particularly interested in the agency and potentiality of objects, and believes the many discourses surrounding the decorative arts in China could answer key questions posed by art historians today. She holds a B.A in Art History and East Asian Studies from McGill University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and an M.St in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford. She pursued academic fluency in Classical and Modern Chinese in Taiwan, together with graduate studies in Chinese literature and art history. Her published research explores issues surrounding the cross-cultural legibility of objects. She examined pattern books replicating Asian and Asia-inspired imagery in Europe in “Design Books in the Chinese Taste: Marketing the Orient in England and France, 1688-1735,” (Journal of Design History, 2014, 27/1). “Hariti Domesticated: Re-evaluating Structures of Patronage in Gandharan Art,” (Orientations, Oct 2014, 45/7) explores the adoption of religious imagery in imperial programs. She has previously worked in art foundations and at the Asian art department of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Sarah Scaturro is the Head Conservator of The Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is in charge of the preservation program for the fashion collection, the safe display of objects on exhibition and loan, and the development of the conservation research agenda. Drawn to Bard Graduate Center due to its multi-disciplinary focus and its “Cultures of Conservation” initiative, she studies the genesis and development of theory and practice in the conservation of fashion and the evolving dialogue between curators and conservators. Previously, she was the Assistant Fashion Curator/Textile Conservator at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, a dual position created in recognizance of her experiences, capabilities, and interests in both the conservation and curation of fashion and textiles. She has curated several exhibitions, including Lucien Lelong: Modern Master at Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2006 and Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in 2009, and is the consulting fashion curator for the Cooper-Hewitt’s upcoming Triennial exhibition. Her research interests include the relationship between technology and fashion; the materiality of fashion objects; and the use and preservation of synthetic materials, a topic which will form the basis of the 2017 exhibition she is curating at the MMA on synthetic fibers and conservation.

Xiaoyi D. Yang is attracted to traditional East Asian art and material culture. Her principal areas of interest in the Chinese history of art are post-Tang ceramics, SongYuan painting, and Shang-Zhou bronzes. Her research interests also include the representation and interpretation of ancient Chinese objects at Western (esp. American) dominant museums, the reciprocal influence between traditional Chinese and Japanese artists/artisans, representation of non-Han people in Chinese artworks, their interaction with the Han culture, and the objects created by northern minorities like the Kitan, the Jurchens, and the Hui. Yang held a M.A. degree from Columbia University and had studied at the Central University of Nationalities, Peking University, etc. She has done internship at the American Museum of Natural History, Shanghai Museum, National Museum of China, and so forth.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2014

Antonia Behan completed her BA in the History of Religion with a focus on Sanskrit at the University of Toronto in 2009. She completed pre-program conservation training working mainly with textiles. Her dissertation, “ ‘The Brain of the Machine’: Ethel Mairet’s Textile Laboratory” examines the legacies of the Arts and Crafts movement in South Asia, the history and philosophy of technology, and cosmopolitan modernism. Her other interests include the history and theory of conservation.

Hadley Jensen is interested in exploring the intersections between art, anthropology, and material culture. She has a bachelor of arts in Religion from Colorado College and a master’s degree in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center. After spending a year in San Francisco conducting preliminary dissertation research, Hadley is looking forward to returning to the BGC as a doctoral student, where she will focus her studies on visual anthropology and material culture. She wrote her Qualifying Paper on the imaging of craft in the American Southwest with particular attention to photographs of Navajo weavers and their use in the marketing of Indian crafts. This builds on her previous research at the Smithsonian Institution’s Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology, where she studied the Navajo material culture collection and associated field photographs of James Mooney, a nineteenth-century American anthropologist. Her other research interests include American visual and material culture, Native American art, ethnographic and documentary photography, museum anthropology, exhibition design, and discourses of cultural preservation & heritage.

Anne Hilker comes to the BGC from the Cooper-Hewitt, where she received her MA degree. She is also a lawyer. She tells us that she is so glad to be here! She is now archiving the embroidery designs of needlework entrepreneur Erica Wilson, prominent in the last half of the twentieth century. In addition, Anne is also seeking manifestations of ars memoriae in Renaissance garden and interior spaces. A holdover from her prior life is an interest in the history of taxation of objects in the United States. Her work at the Cooper-Hewitt focused on embroidered textiles and on the architecture of public spaces; her thesis, “A Biography of the American Snow Globe: From Memory to Mass Production, from Souvenir to Sign” situated the cultural appeal of the globe in the literature of childhood memory and arctic exploration and its visual appeal in the combination of miniature, snow in liquid, and glass. She was recently published in the Journal of American Culture (“The Comfort of Melancholy: Understanding the Experience of Absence at American Memorials”) and is an invited lecturer at Winterthur Museum’s upcoming symposium, “The Diligent Needle: Instrument of Profit, Pleasure, and Ornament.” She holds a BSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and, from the University of Southern California, a JD (Law School) and MA, Communications Management (Annenberg School of Communications). She practiced law for 25 years as a tax and trusts and estates lawyer in New York and California, including five years of service as chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Trusts, Estates, and Surrogate’s Courts.

Antonio Sanchez Gomez is an academic researcher and lecturer from Bogota, Colombia. He has a BA in Graphic Design and an MA in History and Theory of Art, Architecture, and the City from the National University of Colombia and an MA in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center. His interests are focused on Latin American material culture, design history and urban history with a particular sensibility for gender issues. He has taught at the National University of Colombia, Piloto University and Valle’s University in Bogota. He also published few articles on the material culture of domestic and urban spaces in Bogotá and the book “Manos al agua: una historia de aguas, lavado de ropas y lavanderas en Bogotá” [Hands in the Water: a History of Waters, Clothes Washing and Washing Women in Bogotá]. He writes that “During my MA at the BGC I found myself intrigued by textiles. This new fascination led into my Qualifying Paper Chronicles of the Chuspas: A history of Two Objects in Three Acts. I am very excited to be present in such an important moment for Latin American art history and design studies in the U.S.A. This renewed interest is well represented by the upcoming exhibitions in art, design and craft in all the main venues in the city including the BGC Gallery. During my PhD I look forward to go back to my interest in urban history in Latin America, this time concentrating in the history of electricity in the public and domestic space.”


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2013

Martina D’Amato is a doctoral student and the current Curatorial Fellow at the BGC’s Focus Gallery. Her interests are in sixteenth-century European decorative arts and their afterlives in the nineteenth century, as well as the history of collecting in Europe and the United States and issues of national identity and revivalism. She holds a BA from New York University and an MA from the BGC. Her MA qualifying paper examined the collection of French Renaissance and neo-Renaissance decorative of the Lyonnais banker Maurice Chabrières-Arlès and its movement from France to America. As a Master’s student, she also contributed to the catalogue for the BGC exhibition in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013). She has previously worked at the Frick Collection and the New-York Historical Society.

Christine Griffiths studies the material culture of Early Modern Europe, focusing on the material book and its relation to knowledge and the physical and sensory experience of other objects. She was most recently awarded an Isaiah Thomas Stipend for participation in the Summer Seminar in the History of the Book at the American Antiquarian Society (2014). She received a BA in Art History and Anthropology from Stony Brook University in New York and completed an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center with a qualifying paper on the proliferation of perfumed gloves in eighteenth-century England. In addition to her studies, Christine is the current Editorial Fellow for West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. She has guest lectured at Bard College (2013) and has presented papers at national symposiums for the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (2014), British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (2013, 2014) and the UK Costume Society (2013). She previously served as a research collaborator for the HERA-funded project “Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800” and has contributed to museum exhibitions including In Pursuit of Freedom (Brooklyn Historical Society, 2014) and Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced (Museum of the City of New York, 2013).


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2012

William DeGregorio studies the history of western costume and textiles, focusing primarily on the eighteenth century and the early twentieth century. He graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with a BA in English in 2008 and completed his MA at the Bard Graduate Center in 2012 with a qualifying paper entitled Trompeuse Simplicité: Reconstructing the Oeuvre, Personality, Clientele, and Decline of Augustabernard, 1928-1934. For his work, he was awarded the Clive Wainwright Award. His research interests include the formation of private and institutional costume collections, the historiography of fashion studies, dealers, and the museum exhibition of historic costume, with a particular emphasis on the presentation/collection of eighteenth century costume and accessories. He has contributed to the exhibition catalogues Scaasi: American Couturier (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2010), Staging Fashion, 1880-1920: Jane Hading, Lily Elsie, Billie Burke (Bard Graduate Center, 2012), Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Bard Graduate Center, 2013), and Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s (Fashion Institute of Technology, 2014). He works as a conservation technician and research assistant at the Museum of the City of New York, most recently working on the exhibition Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, and at Cora Ginsburg LLC as a research assistant, writing for the gallery’s annual catalogue since 2012.

Meredith Nelson is a doctoral student from Rye, New York. She received her BA in Art History from Barnard College in 2007, and her MA in Art History and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU in 2009. She specializes in art, archaeology, and material culture from the Roman period to the early Middle Ages, with a particular interest in jewelry and metalwork, and its relation to broader issues of gender, status, and ethnicity. She has held internships and research positions in the departments of Medieval Art and European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She also participated in the excavation of a Roman period fort, located in South Shields, England.

Rebecca C. Tuite is a fashion historian and writer from London. She graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA (Hons) in English (Class I), and completed part of her undergraduate studies at Vassar College in New York. She also holds a MA in Fashion Journalism (Distinction Honours) from London College of Fashion. Her research interests include film and fashion, ready-to-wear fashion, fashion photography, twentieth-century American fashion, as well as the history of women’s education in the United States, with a particular focus on the clothing and campus culture at the Seven Sisters Colleges. Rebecca is the author of Seven Sisters Style (Rizzoli), and has been published in Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture. She is currently working on a cultural history of Vassar College in the 1950s, Vassar Style: Fashion, Feminism and 1950s American Media.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2011

Mei-Ling Israel is a researcher, writer and glass artist based in Brooklyn NY. Her interests include material culture, ethnography, digital cultural heritage management, popular culture and media studies. Her dissertation, “Circles, Pins and Threads: Craft Communities in the Digital Sphere,” explores the capacity of online interfaces for self-organization, extra-institutional learning, and the transmission of traditions. She holds a BA from Stanford University in Modern Thought and Literature and her Stanford thesis, Seeking the Phoenix: Artistic Consciousness in the Nuclear Age is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art library. She trained in glass making at Penland School of Crafts and Urban Glass. Prior to coming to BGC she published monographs in the fields of craft, immigrant culture, and contemporary art. She has presented her research at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, the Paley Center for Media, the Hagley Museum & Library in Philadelphia, the American Popular Culture Association, the University of Alberta Material Culture Institute, and the National Conference for Education in the Ceramic Arts. Her contributions are part of the Bard Graduate Center Focus Gallery exhibition catalogs Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast (2011) and Christmas Cards in America (2011). At the completion of her doctorate Mei-Ling is looking forward to applying her research to the preservation of cultural heritage via digital media design.

Mei Mei Rado trained in Chinese literature and art history and received her BA from Nanjing University, China (2001). An MA from University of Chicago (2007) followed. At the BGC, she specializes in late imperial and modern Chinese textile and dress, with a particular interest in transcultural aspects. Her dissertation examines the new developments in design, weaving and display of Qing imperial textiles during the eighteenth-century – changes that occurred in contact with Europe. In a broader scope, she also researches and writes on early twentieth-century Chinese fashion, chinoiserie and Japonisme in European textile and fashion, as well as representational and metaphorical aspects of textile. Her articles have appeared in National Palace Museum Monthly of Chinese Art and publications by China National Silk Museum, Yale University Press, University of Chicago Press, and the Getty Research Institute. In 2013, she won the Natalie Rothstein “Silk Price” for excellent research essay awarded by the Textile Society, UK. In addition to her work at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 2007 to 2012, she contributed to several textile- and fashion-related exhibitions, including Interwoven Globe (MMA, 2013) and 1930s: Elegance in the Age of Crisis (FIT, 2014). In 2013, she curated the fashion exhibition Shanghai Glamour: New Women 1910s-40s at the Museum of Chinese in America (New York) in collaboration with the China National Silk Museum.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2010

Maude Bass-Krueger divides her time between the United State and France. She has a BA in History from Wesleyan University, an MA in History from Sciences-Po, Paris, and an MPhil in Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center. She is an invited researcher at the INHA in Paris until 2015. Maude’s interests are focused on the material and cultural history of dress in nineteenth and twentieth-century France. She has worked extensively on French fashion during WWI as well as on the historiography of dress studies in nineteenth-century France. Her dissertation, Dress History in Nineteenth-Century France: Historicism and Fashion, Historicism in Fashion, under the direction of Michele Majer and Peter Miller, examines the relationship between dress history and archaeology, analyzes the first exhibitions of dress in French museums, and questions the role of historic imagination in the (re)creation of historic or historicizing costume and dress. Maude has worked on exhibitions at The Frick Collection and the Bard Graduate Center, including: Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and the French Decorative Arts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (BGC Gallery, 2013), Staging Fashion, 1880-1920: Jane Hading, Lily Elsie, Billie Burke (BGC Focus Gallery, 2012), and Renoir, Impressionism and Full-Length Painting (The Frick Collection, 2012). She currently provides research and curatorial consulting for private fashion houses in Paris.

Christian Larsen
is Curator at Wolfsonian-Florida International University, where his research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century Latin American material culture with a specialization in Brazil. He has been honored with the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award for Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern (November 2015) and is organizing a major exhibition and catalogue on the “ties of singular intimacy” between Cuba and the United States as documented in photography and material culture during Cuba’s Republican era (1902-1959). As a former curator in the Architecture & Design Department, MoMA (2000-08), he organized exhibitions including Digitally Mastered (2006-07), 50 Years of Helvetica (2007-08), and Ateliers Jean Prouvé (2008-09). He received his BA in English and French from Amherst College (2000), and MA (2010) and MPhil (2013) in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, where he was a former curatorial fellow. He is currently a doctoral candidate finishing his dissertation Aquarela do Brasil: Transnational Flows of Brazilian Design and Material Culture. His recent publications include two chapters in History of Design, Decorative Arts, and Material Culture 1400-2000 (Yale University Press).

Rebecca Perry is a PhD candidate at the Bard Graduate Center, where she has focused her studies on the history of costume and dress, specifically children’s clothing in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She received her BA in Art History from Skidmore College and her MA and MPhil in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the BGC. Rebecca is currently employed as the Senior Research Assistant for Acquisitions at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she works with donors, auction houses, and costume dealers to cultivate and expand the department’s collection of more than 35,000 garments and accessories. Previously, she was the Costume Institute’s Curatorial Graduate Research Intern, where she assisted with the exhibitions research for American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity; Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty; and Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled “Problematic Bodies: Dressing Pre-Adolescent Girls in the United States, 1930–1960.” This work explores the various discourses that surrounded pre-adolescent and adolescent girls’ physiques in this period, including how girls were taught to maintain or control their bodies by means of beauty rituals and clothing as they transitioned through puberty.

Elizabeth St. George is a specialist in late nineteenth and twentieth-century architecture and design and a doctoral candidate at the BGC, where she also received her M.A. She is currently a visiting lecturer at Pratt Institute, teaching courses on the history of interiors and industrial design, and an exhibitions assistant at the BGC Gallery. She has been an invited speaker at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Brown University and has served as a researcher for the BGC Gallery’s exhibitions Knoll Textiles (2011), William Kent (2013), Waterweavers (2013), and the forthcoming Artek: Modern Design for the Global World and John Lockwood Kipling (working titles). Her dissertation is a study of the famed Czechoslovak design cooperative Krásná jizba, and will assess the collective’s creative direction by graphic designer Ladislav Sutnar and impact on discourses of the modern home and modernist living in interwar Czechoslovakia. Previous projects have also included work on California modernism and mid-century architecture and the influence of race, ethnicity, and gender on the shaping of the built environment in twentieth-century America. Her research interests also extend to the effect of migration on currents in architecture and design, how design is used to construct modes of cultural interaction and identity, and how modernism and notions of modernity were used to disseminate social, political, and cultural reform in both Europe and America.

Entering Doctoral Cohort 2009

Amy Bogansky is currently conducting research for her dissertation, which focuses on trade networks and the material culture of the Atlantic slave trade. Her focus is on trade goods such as cotton and dyestuffs and the nature of the negotiations between factors and local traders. In addition, Amy began working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011 as part of the curatorial team that produced the exhibition: Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800 (Fall 2013) and now works as a research associate in the Met’s American Wing. In 2013, Amy also started working as a part-time museum scholar at the Museum of the City of New York where she leads adult tours on the various exhibitions. Before joining the doctoral program at the Bard Graduate Center, Amy earned her BA in art history from Columbia University (2003) and her MA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (2006) where she wrote her thesis on early American satirical prints and their transatlantic influences. Her professional experience also includes working as a Cataloguer with Sotheby’s American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture Department and as an Associate Curator of Exhibitions with the American History Workshop, where she helped produce exhibits such as New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War, French Founding Father: Lafayette’s Return to Washington’s America, and Revolution! The Atlantic Reborn at the New-York Historical Society.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2008

Pengliang Lu is a museum professional from Shanghai, China. He has a BA in Chinese History from Shanghai University and an MA in Chinese Archaeology and Museology from Fudan University. He also received his MPhil from the Bard Graduate Center in 2012. His interests are in decorative arts and the material culture of late Imperial China with a focus on bronzes and ceramics. From 2002 to 2008, he worked at the Shanghai Museum, where he coordinated over 20 exhibitions of Chinese and Western art. He also published a series of articles on Chinese ceramics and metal works, and contributed a chapter titled “Beyond the Women’s Quarters: Meaning and Function of Cloisonné in the Ming and Qing Dynasties” in the BGC exhibition catalogue Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties (2011). He is now Henry A. Kissinger curatorial fellow at the Department of Asian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pengliang’s dissertation is on Chinese bronzes of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), when China was under Mongol rule. These bronzes have so far received scant scholarly attention, but have played a fundamental role in the history of the decorative arts of later imperial China, both as mediators of design and transmitters of cultural values. His research aims to be the first comprehensive study of Yuan bronze vessels, and forms a prism to see the material culture and art history of the Yuan period.

Jorge Rivas Pérez is a Los Angeles-based art historian and industrial designer. He is also the Associate Curator for the Design in Latin America exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and former Curator of Spanish Colonial Art at the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros where he organized the exhibitions Devoción Privada: pintura religiosa colonial venezolana en la Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (2002), and De oficio pintor, arte colonial venezolano, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (2007). Jorge has co-curated exhibitions and published broadly on Spanish Colonial Art and twentieth-century Latin American design; Cornelis Zitman: 1947-1957 la década del diseño (2011) is his most recent design curatorial project. He authored, among others, Arte del Período Hispánico Venezolano en la Hacienda Carabobo (1998) and El repertorio clásico en el mobiliario venezolano (2007). Jorge’s design work has been exhibited in several solo and group shows: Maderas de Jorge Rivas, innovación en la tradición (2004), Objetos cotidianos, diseño tridimensional venezolano (2006), and Jorge Rivas, diseño y comunidad (2005). He received his architecture degree from Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, his specialization on industrial design from Universitá degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, and his MPhil from the Bard Graduate Center, where he is pursuing his PhD “I think this is an extraordinary decade for Latin-American material culture and design studies, both in Latin America and in the U.S. Museums are collecting Latin-American design and decorative arts and organizing exhibitions. I am thrilled and honored to be co-curating one of such groundbreaking shows at LACMA.”


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2007

Erin Eisenbarth received an BA from the University of Texas and an MA from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, where her thesis, “Plain and Peculiar: A Case Study in Nineteenth-Century Quaker Clothing,” won an E. McClung Fleming Award. She also received an M. Phil from the BGC. As a Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow and later assistant curator at the Yale University Art Gallery, she curated and contributed to exhibitions, most notably Baubles, Bangles, and Beads: American Jewelry from Yale University and Made For Love: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana. She also provided an introduction and updated notes to the 2007 reissue of Early Connecticut Silver, 1700-1900, contributed chapters to the two-volume folk art catalog Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, and contributed to the exhibits and catalogues Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century and Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery. Her dissertation, “Imagining the Founding Fathers: the Kountze Collection of Washingtoniana,” combines her interests in Early Republic history and decorative arts, the Colonial Revival, and the history of collecting. Her other research focuses on American women’s material culture, which she taught in her 2012 Graduate Teaching Fellowship course. She writes, “One of the best things about my BGC experience has been the community of my fellow students. While we all study different places and time periods, it’s wonderful to be in a place where the value of objects as evidence is a given.”

Rebecca Perten graduated from the MA Program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the Parsons School of Design/Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Her focus of interest is Jewish ritual art. She is currently conducting research on the production of Jewish ritual objects for mass consumption in the United States, from 1880 to 1980. Using an interdisciplinary approach, she aims to establish the basics of where objects were made and by whom, as well as to analyze the aesthetic decisions in the creation of mass produced objects relevant to evolving concepts of authenticity among American Jewry.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2006

Yenna Chan is an academic researcher originally from Ottawa, Canada. She holds a BArch from Cornell University and an MDesS from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She is interested in the history of postwar North American urban landscapes, particularly the material and visual culture of cities. Her dissertation, “Narrating Montreal: critiques of urban renewal in the 1970s through exhibition and documentary film,” investigates public dialogue on city redevelopment and its representation in urbanism exhibitions, film, and popular culture. She has taught at Parsons the New School for Design, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and the BGC (as a Teaching Fellow). She has published two books on contemporary design, Small Environments and Sustainable Environments. She also works as an architect in Manhattan.

Elizabeth McMahon is a scholar and an artist. Her research focuses on the politics of sixteenth-century dress, as well as the many custom-fitted gowns and handworked embroideries she has crafted. She completed her BS at Bowling Green State University of Ohio, and also took an AA in Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (1988), where her final garment was chosen for both the annual students’ fashion show and the “Best of Everything” show. After working in the fashion industry, she returned to FIT for an MA in Museum Studies: Fashion and Textiles (1999). Her thesis, “The Interpretation of Historic Reproduction Costume for Presentation by Living History Sites” was awarded the program’s Student Excellence award. Elizabeth works in the Gladys Marcus Library at FIT, and curates the extensive collection of international fashion, textile, interiors, and art periodicals. She began the library’s archive of historical fashion forecasting materials. She manages much of the library’s social media presence, and she writes for the library. She has also taught in the Graduate Division at FIT and at Berkeley College. Elizabeth’s dissertation topic, “‘Robes of Court and Palace’: Dress and Queenship at the Court of Henry VIII, 1509-1547”, explores the court of Henry VIII and the roles of early-modern women, as well as the ideal of princely magnificence which drove contemporary courts. Other research interests include the history of textiles, and their role in the global economy; American domestic architecture and interiors of the long nineteenth century; and the rise of color forecasting in the twentieth-century fashion industry. She has written catalog entries for BGC exhibitions, the Oxford Dictionary of Art Online, and “The Encyclopedia of Gender”, given papers and chaired sessions on fashion studies topics at the annual International Congress of Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, directed MA theses at FIT, and worked in the garment collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum at FIT. More recently, she developed a series of workshops to encourage textile and dress scholars to interact with experimental archaeologists so that both can gain deeper understanding of medieval and early-modern garments.

Shax Riegler is the executive editor of House Beautiful magazine. He has a BA in English from Kenyon College and earned his MA (2007) and MPhil (2009) at the BGC. His dissertation is an examination of the life and work of the seminal literary critic, historian, and collector Mario Praz. In 2007 he received a Kress Fellowship to attend the Attingham Summer School. His research interests include art and antiques collecting in Europe and America, domestic interiors, historic foodways, and the art and material culture of dining. He has taught classes on various aspects of the history of design at the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, Bard College, the Bard Graduate Center, and Parsons the New School for Design. Over the course of his 20+ year career in journalism he has worked and written for several U.S. publications including Elle Decor, House & Garden, The Magazine ANTIQUES, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, and Vogue. In 2011 he published Dish: 813 Colorful, Wonderful Dinner Plates (Artisan Books).

Tom Tredway is a design historian with broad interests in European and American decorative arts and design, particularly interiors, furniture, ceramics, and the arts of the table. He received a BA in History and Visual Arts from Oberlin College and an MA and an MPhil from the Bard Graduate Center. He has taught at Parsons, Pratt Institute, and the BGC. He has published on a variety of topics, including Elsa Schiaparelli’s interiors, Eva Zeisel’s tableware designs of the 1980s, and Paul Rudolph’s use of plastics and plywood, and he also contributed to History of Design: Decorative Arts and Material Culture, 1400-2000. He is currently writing his dissertation, Dinner at Tiffany’s: Walter Hoving, Van Day Truex, and the Arts of the Table at Tiffany & Co., 1955-1980.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2005

Christine E. Brennan is Senior Research Associate in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has a BA in History from Union College and an MA in Medieval History, with a certificate in Museum Studies, from New York University. Her interests include late medieval metalwork and the history of collecting medieval art in nineteenth and twentieth century Europe and America. She has lectured widely on topics associated with the history of collecting medieval art. She has contributed numerous catalogue entries to several exhibition catalogues in the past ten years. Her most recent publication is the essay, “Hoentschel’s Gothic Importance,” in the BGC’s 2013 exhibition catalogue, Salvaging the Past: George Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Christine’s interest in the history of collecting medieval art began with her MA at the BGC focusing on the legendary collection assembled by Russian Prince Pierre Soltykoff in the mid-nineteenth century. Her dissertation research continues upon the subject of collecting medieval art in Europe and America by looking at the renowned art dealer Joseph Brummer, whose establishments in Paris and later in New York made medieval works of art available to a variety of private collectors and public institutions during the first half of the twentieth century.

Joyce Denney received an MA in East Asian Studies at Columbia University in 1999 and worked for several years as a textile specialist in the Department of Asian Art and the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. There, she curated small focus exhibitions such as Astonishing Silhouettes: Western Fashions in 19th-Century Japanese Prints (2009) and also wrote essays on textile-related subjects for East Asian exhibition catalogues, such as “Mongol Dress in the 13th and 14th Centuries” in The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty (2010). Recently, she served on the curatorial team that produced the exhibition Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800, held at the Metropolitan Museum in 2013-2014, for which she wrote a catalogue essay entitled “Japan and the Textile Trade in Context.” Her current research takes up where her work on the Interwoven Globe left off, exploring the striking physical, historical, cultural, and intercultural aspects of a seventeenth-century set of monumental wall hangings embroidered in China on the European theme of the Story of Troy.


Entering Doctoral Cohort 2004

Caroline Hannah is a PhD candidate at the BGC where she completed her MA and MPhil. Her dissertation, Henry Varnum Poor: Crow House, Craft and Design, examines the twentieth-century American artist’s shift from fine art to other areas of creative production, including his seminal ceramics. In 2008, she co-founded the Henry Varnum Poor Foundation (a k a Friends of Crow House) to preserve Poor’s remarkable hand-built home and studio, located in Rockland County, New York. Caroline has received fellowships and grants in support of her doctoral work from the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery; as well as the BGC. She previously held positions at the New-York Historical Society; Historical Design, Inc.; and the Yale University Art Gallery, where she was Acting Assistant Curator of American Decorative Arts. As an independent design historian, Caroline has worked on numerous exhibitions and publications and her writing appears in exhibition catalogs (most recently MAD’s Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design), academic journals, and in American Craft, the magazine of the American Craft Council. She lectures regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on architecture and design topics and has taught undergraduate courses at Parsons, the New School for Design, and at Bard College.

Laura Microulis is based in East Hampton, NY and Cambridge, MA, Laura has a BS in Economics from Lehigh University and an MA and an MPhil from the Bard Graduate Center. She is currently in the final stages of writing her dissertation based upon the archive of the London cabinetmaking and interior decorating firm of Gillow & Company (1851-1897).

Shannon Bell Price entered academia through The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art after a decade in music industry management, costume design, and fashion styling. As Associate Research Curator at the Met, she collaborated with Harold Koda, Curator in Charge, and Andrew Bolton, Curator, on exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and education. Exhibitions on which she participated included: “Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed” (2002); “Wild: Fashion Untamed,” which she co-curated (2004); “Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion” (2006); “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (2008); and “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” (2011). She is co-editor for the journal Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption published by Bloomsbury and serves as an editorial board member for the Fashion, Style & Popular Culture Journal (PCA/ACA, Intellect Books). Shannon is currently a doctoral candidate at Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City, with research interest areas that include fashion film, avant-garde fashion and sub-cultural style, non-western costume as it relates to contemporary fashion practice, issues of sustainability, and postwar decorative arts and design history. She has taught and lectured at New York University and Parsons and since 2012 has been Associate Professor/Assistant Chair of Fashion at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; as of July 1, 2014 Price will be Acting Assistant Dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Design.