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.

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.


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 holds a BA 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 MSt in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford, where she presented a thesis on design books replicating Asian and Asia-inspired imagery in Europe. She pursued academic fluency in modern and classical 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 has previously worked at the Asian art departments of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, and Freer|Sackler.

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.

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.

Martina D’Amato’s research interests include the history and theory of collecting and museums, national artistic traditions and transnationalism, and revivalism as a modern phenomenon in Europe during the long nineteenth century. Her dissertation focuses on the politicization of collections and historiographies of medieval and Renaissance art in the early years of Third Republic France and the Kingdom of Italy. She holds a BA from New York University (2009) and an MA from the BGC (2012); her MA qualifying paper examined the collection of Lyonnais banker Maurice Chabrières-Arlès. She has contributed to the following publications: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013) and The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design (2015). Currently, she works as a research assistant at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and at Cora Ginsburg LLC, where she has written for the gallery’s annual catalogue since 2015. She previously worked at the BGC as Curatorial Fellow on the exhibitions Visualizing 19th-Century New York (2014), The Interface Experience: Forty Years of Personal Computing (2015) and Design by the Book: Illustrating the Chinese Ritual Classics (2017), as well as at The Frick Collection and the New-York Historical Society.

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.

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.

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.



Lauren Drapala
is primarily interested in 20th century American architecture and design. With a particular focus on immersive decorative interiors (also known as Gesamtkunstwerk or “total works of art”), she is interested in exploring the role of decorative art within the development of early modernism, as well as the issues surrounding interior spaces as they relate to relocation, preservation and fragmentation. She has worked as an architectural conservator on restoration projects throughout the United States and holds a B.A. in Art History from Smith College and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Continuing research that began during her 2010 masters thesis, she has published her research on the work of decorative artist Robert Winthrop Chanler (1872-1930) in Rediscovering the Fantastic: Robert Winthrop Chanler (2016, Monacelli Press), and is currently serving as a co-curator for a traveling exhibition of Chanler’s decorative work with the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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 design pedagogy in the United States. He received a BFA in interior design from Syracuse University (2009) and an MA from Bard Graduate Center in 2013 with his qualifying paper “The Plastic System: Architecture, Childhood, and LEGO, 1949–2012.” He has held 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. Prior to returning to BGC as a doctoral student, he held 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). Most recently, he curated the exhibition Dieter Rams: Principled Design (2018–19) for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and continues to consult on other projects for the museum.


Marjorie Folkman A summa cum laude graduate of Barnard College, where she is a Term Associate Professor of Professional Practice with the Department of Dance, Folkman holds an M.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A PhD candidate at the Bard Graduate Center, Folkman is researching European interwar visual culture and its intersections with choreography. Folkman was a member and principal performer with Mark Morris Dance Group (1996-2007), Martha Clarke’s Garden of Earthly Delights (2007-2009), Merce Cunningham’s Repertory Understudy Group, and choreographer Sara Rudner among others. Choreographic projects include productions for Boston Baroque (Pigmalion and Les Indes Galantes), L’Opéra Français de New York (Faust), Bard SummerScape (Der Ferne) Klang, Le Roi Malgré Lui and Oresteia directed by Thaddeus Strassberger), Paul’s Case for the Prototype Festival/New York, and collaborations with visual artist Kevork Mourad, poet Robert Kelly, and new music ensemble Contemporaneous. Folkman has taught with Lincoln Center Institute, as a Guest Artist at Phillips Academy Andover and Mount Holyoke College, as an Adjunct Lecturer in Dance History at Sarah Lawrence College, and as Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance and First Year Seminar with affiliations in Language & Thinking, Bard College.

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).



Anne Hilker studies the relationship between law and things. Her dissertation examines conditional gifts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the twentieth century, placing them within frameworks of public and tax policy, contract law, and gift economies. She works also on embroidery and kit craft in the second half of the twentieth century, and is currently co-curating an exhibition on the career of Erica Wilson scheduled for 2020 at the Winterthur Museum. Other study interests include later American memorials (“The Comfort of Melancholy: Understanding the Experience of Absence at American Memorials,” Journal of American Culture, March, 2014); snow globes (“The Snow Globe as an Object of Wonder,” in Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice, ed. Mieves and Brown, Routledge, 2017); the music of Joni Mitchell (“‘Dreams and False Alarms’: Melancholy in the Work of Joni Mitchell,” in Joni Mitchell: New Critical Readings, ed. Charnock, Bloomsbury Academic (forthcoming)), and the first “pop-up” book, Euclid’s Geometrie, published in 1570. A frequent speaker, she has presented at College Art Association, Southeastern College Art, and Renaissance Society of America annual conferences; at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts/Frick Symposium on the History of Art (2016); and at the Winterthur Embroidery Conference (2014, 2016). She holds an MA in the History of Design from Parsons and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. She also 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.

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.


Michelle Jackson-Beckett’s research focuses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Central European and American design and architecture, especially the history of glass at the intersection of industrial and artistic contexts. She holds a master’s degree in the History of Design from Parsons and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and holds degrees in German Language/Literature and Art History from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich and Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. Currently on the faculty for the MFA Industrial Design program at Parsons, she teaches courses on the history of American and European industrial design and visual culture, spanning 1750 to the present. Formerly she has lectured in the Glass Department at RISD and has held positions at Neue Galerie New York, Museum for German and Austrian Art, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and Sotheby’s 20th Century Design. Her work has been published by the Courtauld Institute of Art and she has lectured at conferences for the Design History Society, the College Art Association, the International Council of Museums, the Victorian Society of America, and the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, among others. Jackson is the Director of Archives and Publications at R & Company, a postwar and contemporary design gallery located in Tribeca.

Hadley Jensen’s research addresses the intersections between art, anthropology, and material culture. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Bard Graduate Center, with an MA in design history & material culture (BGC, 2013) and a BA in comparative religion (Colorado College, 2007). Her dissertation project, Shaped by the Camera: Navajo Weavers and the Photography of Making in the American Southwest, 1880-1945, examines the visual documentation of craft through various modes and media of representation. One of the key aims of this study is to examine the use of weaving as a common visual trope, and a frequent subject of photography, that circulated in various kinds of cultural venues—from regional tourism promotion and artistic modernism to anthropological surveys and salvage ethnography. She has developed her interests in museum anthropology, textiles, and ethnographic media in a variety of fellowship positions and research opportunities, including at Smithsonian Institution’s National Anthropological Archives, Otsego Institute for Native American Art History, Autry Museum of the American West, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and a two-week Navajo weaving workshop at Idyllwild Arts Foundation. Her doctoral work has also been supported by the Textile Society of America, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, and the Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research. Other research interests include: craft history & theory, the anthropology of making, histories of photography, and ethnobotany (specifically natural dyes). She will be returning to New York in Fall 2018 as the BGC/AMNH Postdoctoral Fellow in Museum Anthropology.

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).


Julia Grace Lillie is a PhD Candidate studying the print culture of early modern Northern Europe. Her dissertation investigates the effects of the expulsion of reformed religious groups from the Southern Netherlands upon print, book and map production in late sixteenth-century Cologne. Julia’s work deals with the creation and dissemination of knowledge through print, artist networks across national borders, and the education and scholarly ambitions of printmakers. She received a BA in Art History and Modern History from the University of St. Andrews (2008) and an MA from the BGC (2014). She has held positions in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at International Print Center New York.

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.


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.

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.

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 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.

Rebecca Sandler Perten’s research centers on the reevaluation of American Jewish religious identity as articulated in the design of Jewish ritual objects in the United States at mid-century. Her work interprets the story of the Jewish Museum’s Tobe Pascher Workshop (1957-1989) and work of German-born Israeli silversmith Ludwig Wolpert (1900-1981) in a larger examination of formulations of authenticity in the American Jewish identity from the perspective of object design, represented by initiatives the Conservative and Reform movements. Rebecca was the recipient of the 2017-2018 Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Endowed Dissertation Award. She received a BA in Jewish Material Art and Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary, in conjunction with a BA in Anthropology from Columbia University, and went on to study at the Master’s Program at the Parsons School of Design/Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. There, she specialized in European decorative arts and wrote her thesis on the subject on metal plates used in pidyon haben, a ritual object associated with a Jewish birth ceremony. She has worked in the archival collections of the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as a cataloguer in the decorative arts department at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Most recently, she served as a consultant for architect and Judaica designer Amy Reichert on the large-scale installation of a mural in the new Eli M. Black Lifelong Learning Center for the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City.

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.”


Sarah Scaturro is the Head Conservator of The Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is in charge of the preservation of the fashion collection, the display of fashion, and the development of the conservation research program. Drawn to Bard Graduate Center because of its multi-disciplinary focus and its “Cultures of Conservation” initiative, she studies the theory and practice of fashion and design conservation. 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 and abilities 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 (2006), “Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion” at Pratt Manhattan Gallery (2009), and most recently “The Secret Life of Textiles: Synthetic Materials” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017). Her research interests include the materiality/rematerializing of fashion and the preservation of synthetic materials within 20th and 21st century design. She recently published a chapter titled “Confronting Fashion’s Death Drive: Conservation, Ghost Labor, and the Material Turn within Fashion Curation” in the book Fashion Curating: Critical Practice in the Museum and Beyond (2017) by Bloomsbury Publishing. She earned a BA, summa cum laude, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MA at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence. She can be found online at www.exhibitingfashion.com.


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.

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.

Amanda Thompson’s research interests lie with Indigenous women’s crafts, especially as they intersect with tourist markets and the interventions, collections, and texts of white women. Amanda’s Qualifying Paper for her Bard Graduate Center MA, “Mrs. Colcleugh is not an average woman”: The Domestic and the Native in U.S. Women’s Travel Journalism, ca. 1885-1905,” received its Clive A. Wainwright Award. Professionally, Amanda served as Director of Exhibitions for the Museum for African Art managing the development and implementation of exhibitions around the world and Collections Manager for the New-York Historical Society overseeing over 80,000 objects of material culture. She has also held positions at the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Jewish Museum. Additionally, Amanda holds an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University and a BA in Art History and Women’s Studies from Pomona College.



Leonie Sophie Treier, originally from Berlin, received her BA in Liberal Arts from University College Maastricht focusing on cultural and museum studies. During a visiting term at the University of California, Los Angeles she developed a keen interest in the relations between source communities and museums, which she engaged with further in her MPhil in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology at the University of Oxford. In her master’s thesis she researched the photographic archive of Barbara Freire-Marreco, the first female anthropologist graduating from the University of Oxford in 1908, her fieldwork in New Mexico, and the contemporary meanings of her photographs to local Pueblo communities. At the BGC, Leonie will explore the changing role of museums in the 21st century and their shifting relationships with communities through the lens of repatriation. She understands repatriation as a productive means to address the history of museum collections and hopes to identify strategies of presenting the processes behind and relations involved in such returns to the public to initiate critical historical reflection.


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 costume, fashion photography, twentieth-century American fashion, Sylvia Plath and 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’s work has been published in Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, and she is the author of Seven Sisters Style: The All-American Preppy Look (Rizzoli), and The 1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years, 1952-1962 (forthcoming from Thames & Hudson).

Xiaoyi D. Yang is interested in traditional East Asian decorative arts and material culture. Her research areas are Chinese and Japanese ceramics, medieval and early modern Japanese tea culture, East-West commercial and cultural interaction, and the recontextualization of East Asian objects in Western museums. In particular, she works on the aesthetic and technological exchanges between Chinese, Japanese, and European potters since the late sixteenth century and aims to shed new light on less well-known kilns. Yang held an M.A. degree from Columbia University and had studied at the Central University of Nationalities, Peking University, etc. She has done internships at the American Museum of Natural History, Japan Society, Shanghai Museum, and National Museum of China.