Daniel Ackermann is a PhD student, and is a curator at MESDA.

Aaron Ambroso, originally from Michigan, spent most of his childhood in the Durham, NC area. My undergraduate degree is from East Carolina University, where I majored in multidisciplinary studies, focusing on art history. My areas of interest include the history of colonialism, contemporary art, critical theory, historiography, and the politics of museums. More specifically, I’m interested in how art and aesthetics are constitutive elements in the creation of primitivism and civilization. In relation to museums, I am also hoping to pursue research on the history and theory of ethnological and anthropological display.


Kim Bobier is an art history doctoral candidate and the advisee of John P. Bowles. She is originally from Michigan. Kim earned a B.A. degree from Lake Forest College and an M.A. degree in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she wrote her M.A. thesis “Ur-Mutter #8: Framing Art’s Political Impotence.” She specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary art, while researching the functions of African American art history, black artists, gender and sexuality as well as the politics of representation within these period contexts. Her dissertation investigates late twentieth-century artwork that engages the civil rights movement’s legacy. Kim is currently participating in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program as a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies.


Kim Bobier

Franny Brock is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, specializing in eighteenth-century French art and works on paper. She was advised by Dr. Mary D. Sheriff until Dr. Sheriff’s death in fall 2016. Her dissertation, entitled “Drawing the Amateur,” is now being supervised by Dr. Melissa Hyde (University of Florida). Franny’s project examines drawings made by amateurs, particularly women, working outside of the Academy in eighteenth-century France. Before arriving at UNC, Franny completed her BA in Art History at Oberlin College in 2009 and her MA in the History of Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2012. She was awarded The Philanthropic Collaborative/Fidelity Scholarship by The Courtauld and completed her master’s degree in eighteenth-century French and British drawings, taught by Dr. Katie Scott and Professor David Solkin. While at Oberlin, Franny served as Curatorial Assistant at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, where she co-curated an exhibition of modern and contemporary drawings. Franny has also held internships at The Frick Collection in New York and at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Franny Brock in London

Franny Brock in London

Ashley Bruckbauer grew up near Austin, TX and earned her B.A. in Art History from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  After teaching English in China and working at the Dallas Museum of Art, I came to UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011 and completed my M.A. in Art History in 2013.  My broad area of interest is eighteenth-century French art, particularly works related to aesthetic and cultural exchanges between France and Asia, and Dr. Mary D. Sheriff serves as my advisor.  My dissertation, titled “Dangerous Liaisons: Ambassadors and Embassies in Eighteenth-Century French Art,” examines the expansive body of visual and material culture surrounding diplomatic exchanges between France and nations such as England, Cochinchina (Vietnam), and the Ottoman Empire.  During my graduate studies, I have also served as a teaching assistant in the Department of Art and held intern positions in the curatorial and education departments of the Ackland Art Museum.


Ashley Bruckbauer

Katherine Calvin is a third-year graduate student from Fayetteville, Tennessee. She received her BA in Art History and English Literature from Vanderbilt University in 2013 and her MA in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 with the master’s thesis, “Touching Watelet: L’Art de peindre and the Performance of Philosophical Materialism.” Broadly, she studies 18th and early 19th century European art and visual culture under the direction of Dr. Mary Sheriff and is pursuing an external minor in English Literature. She is interested in the intersection of word and image in book production and the history of the book as it relates to theories of knowledge production, particularly ideas of nationalism and otherness. She is currently researching cross-cultural exchange among France, Britain, and the Ottoman Empire as relates to the topic of ruins.


Katherine Calvin

Alexandra Deyneka grew up in Kharkov, Ukraine and Columbia, SC. She holds a B.A. in International Studies, Russian, and Art History from the University of South Carolina (2004); a Master’s Diploma in Conservation and Restoration from the Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro, Palazzo Spinelli, Florence, Italy (2006); and an MA in Art History from UNC-CH (2007). Alex’s research interests include religious painting in eighteenth-century Italy; intersections of sense theories, medical knowledge, and visual culture; and women in the arts and natural sciences. Her advisor is Dr. Mary Sheriff.


Giuseppe Maria Crespi. Allegory of the Arts. Ca. 1730. National Gallery of Canada.

Erin Dickey is a Fellow in the IMLS-funded “Learning from Artists’ Archives” program and an MA Art History/MS Information Science dual degree candidate. She came to UNC from Asheville, where she was Development + Outreach Coordinator at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. Prior to working for BMCM+AC, she was a Mobile Facilitator for the national oral history nonprofit, StoryCorps. She received her M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago in 2010, and her B.A. in English and Religious Studies from Boston University in 2008. She is interested in 20th-century and contemporary American art, archives, and art librarianship.

Miranda Elston is a Ph.D. candidate at UNC-Chapel Hill working with Dr. Tania String. Her dissertation project, “Spatial Interaction: Architectural Representations in Henrician England” explores the theme of sixteenth-century experience and perception of architectural space through pictorial representations in England.  Originally from Washington state, Miranda completed her undergraduate studies at Western Washington University and earned her MA in The History of Decorative Arts and Design at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Parsons, The New School program. Her MA thesis was titled, “Henry VIII & Interiors of Persuasion: Henrician Magnificence within the Ceremonial Chambers of Whitehall Palace.”  She has previously worked as a consultant researcher and digital developer for Local Projects, where she worked on digital installations for the National Building Museum, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Last year she was a Kress Fellow for Applied Research at the Ackland Art Museum, and she is currently a Maynard Adams Fellow for the Public Humanities.


Miranda Elston

Klint Ericson is a PhD student.

Davenne Essif completed her undergraduate degree in Art History through the Chancellor’s Honors Program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is currently a student of Daniel J. Sherman and is working on research for her PhD dissertation tentatively titled, “La Mère Moderne: Motherhood in French Visual Culture 1910-1940.”DavenneE

Beth Fischer works on the context, display, and reuse of early medieval images and objects. Current projects include the medieval reuse of late antique sarcophagi, Carolingian manuscripts and codicology, and the global exchange of medieval ivory. She works with Dr. Dorothy Verkerk, and is completing a dissertation titled “Depictions of Spatial Experience in Early Carolingian Gospel Books, 787-814.” This dissertation asserts that illuminated manuscripts provide clues for how early medieval viewers experienced and communicated their understanding of architecture, exterior spaces, and the cosmos. While not “naturalistic,” these images can be used in concert with anthropological and neuroscientific studies of perception to understand aspects of lived experience.

Beth also works with the Office for Undergraduate Research to engage undergraduate students in research in all disciplines, and has taught online and in-person courses in subjects ranging from “Art in the Crusader States” to “The Handmade Book from Codex to Graphic Novel.”

Beth is originally from Portland, Oregon, and her BA is from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


Beth Fischer

Madison Folks is a dual degree MA/MLIS student from Atlanta, GA. A graduate of Oberlin College, Madison earned her BA in Art History with a minor in East Asian Studies (2014). Following graduation, Madison joined New York’s Ronin Gallery as a research associate. From writing catalogue essays to artist bios, scholarly research to weekly blogs, Madison continues to produce the gallery’s educational content. She is interested in the development of modern Japanese identity through the woodblock print medium. At UNC, her research concerns self-defined, perceived, and imposed identities, as well as foreign influence on modern Japanese print movements and French Japonisme.

folksMadison Folks

Carlee Forbes is a PhD student in African art history, studying under Dr. Victoria Rovine. Forbes’s research focuses on colonial-era Congolese art. She analyzes Congolese artistic innovations and relationships between Congolese artists and their various patrons. Forbes recently was part of the team to organize the exhibition and publication of Kongo across the Waters, featuring pieces from the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and U.S. collections. She received her bachelor’s degrees in history and arts and humanities from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in art history from the University of Florida.


forbesCarlee Forbes

Laura Fravel is a PhD student.

Elizabeth Grab is a second year MSLS / MA candidate in the School of Library Science & the Department of Art.  She is also one of six fellows in the IMLS-funded project “Learning from Artists’ Archives: Preparing Next Generation Art Information Professionals through Partnerships with North Carolina’s Artists’ Archives.”  Through the fellowship, Elizabeth worked on institutional artists’ archives at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, as well as established the studio archive of Durham letterpress artist Brian Allen.  She has and will continue to present the fellowship’s findings at library and art conferences to encourage and facilitate much-needed collaborations between artists, information professionals and scholars. Continuing her focus on material culture started as an art history student at Wellesley College, Elizabeth will work under the department’s JJ Bauer to examine the post-war female domestic consumerism evidenced by the advertising and sales of three leading pottery companies. For more on her work, visit elizabethgrab.com.

ASA workshop

Elizabeth Grab co-presenting at Archiving for Artists workshop

Erin Grady is an MA student.

Russell Gullette is a PhD student, advised by Dr. Daniel Sherman.

Brianna Guthrie is a Ph.D student specializing in 16th and 17th century British portraiture, with a focus on portrayals of the family. Originally from Florida, she received a B.A. in Art History and History from Syracuse University in 2006, focusing on Italian Renaissance art and British history, respectively. In 2008, Brianna completed her M.A. at the University of Florida with a thesis that explored the history of collecting within Caroline court culture. Upon graduation, she was employed by the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL, as a Curatorial Assistant for three years where she worked on 17 exhibitions, several of which were extensive, internationally touring shows. Prior to entering the department, she had been an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach State College and the Grants Coordinator for the Armory Art Center, also in West Palm Beach. Brianna works under the direction of Dr. Tatiana String.


Brianna Guthrie

Robin Holmes is a PhD student of French modern art, advised by Dr. Daniel Sherman.

Ryan Johnson

Francine Kola-Bankole is a PhD student of African art, advised by Dr. Carol Magee.

Hyejin Lee, a native of Seoul, completed her BA at Vanderbilt University and MA at University of North Carolina. She is currently writing her PhD dissertation, titled “‘Tout en l’air’: Visual and Material Representations of Air in Eighteenth-Century France” with Dr. Mary Sheriff to investigate decorative objects’ role in shaping and mediating human relationships with material things and immaterial ideas in the French Enlightenment. She is fascinated by intersections of art, science, and medicine in eighteenth-century Europe and active participations of artworks and objets d’art in the nexus of various types of knowledge. In her MA thesis, titled “The Language of Magic in Jean-Siméon-Baptiste Chardin’s Food Still Lifes,”Hyejin interpreted Chardin’s post-1750s still lifes of food in the context of culinary-alimentary discourse of the Enlightenment and situated those works of art in the conceptual framework of natural magic. She explores multidisciplinary approaches to interpreting visual and material culture of the eighteenth century, as well as theories of representation, ornament, and Rococo.


Hyejin Lee
















Qi Lu received her BA in Art History from Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, China (2012), and received her Master’s in Art History from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014). The title of her MA thesis is “The Concept of ‘Tomb’ under the Nomadic Traditions: Redefining the Tombs of Khitan Nobles in the Liao Empire (907-1125 CE).” Currently, she is a PhD candidate working with Dr. Wei-Cheng Lin. She focuses on mortuary art and Buddhist art and architecture in Medieval China. She is especially interested in issues of intersection of Buddhist devotion and funerary practice, nomadism, identity formation, body and space, as well as performativity of architecture.


Qi Lu

Stephen Mandravelis is a PhD student of American Art.

Kelsey Martin is a PhD candidate and Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She studies eighteenth-century French art under the direction of Dr. Mary Sheriff. Originally from Loveland, Colorado, Kelsey received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.A. in Art History with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of New Mexico. In 2014 Kelsey was awarded the Mary Vidal Memorial Award to conduct research at the Louvre’s Départment des Arts graphiques. Her M.A. thesis, “The Ideal Citoyenne: Women, Class, & the French Revolution in Philibert Louis Debucourt’s Fine-Art Prints”, resulted from this research. As a UNC-CH Royster Fellow, Kelsey has mentored both high school and undergraduate students and is currently Co-Director of the Royster Advanced Mentoring Program (RAMP). Kelsey has also served as a member of the Art Student Graduate Organization (ASGO) Symposium Committee and is the current ASGO Treasurer. She will serve as ASGO Co-President beginning in the spring of ’17. Kelsey has presented at both Art History and Women’s Studies conferences, and she continues to take an interdisciplinary approach to her dissertation research. Her background as a victim advocate and experience as a program coordinator for an after-school sex-education program has influenced her current interests in the visual dissemination of eighteenth-century French ‘sexual education’. She is particularly interested in constructions of sexual consent as they appear in fête galante fine-art engraving, popular prints, and illustrated erotic/pedagogic novels.


Massie Minor is a second year MA student studying American representations of Lyrical Abstraction under Dr. Daniel Sherman. He did his undergraduate study at UNC-Chapel Hill in anthropology and international relations and prior to returning for graduate work spend five years working at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC.


Massie Minor

Kelsey Moen is a dual degree MSLS/MA student.

Devon Murphy is a dual-degree masters student in Art History and Information Science. She previously attended the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY, earning a BFA in Fine Arts. Her visual work concentrated on movement and gesture as methods of portraiture. Devon’s main interests are in museum/curatorial studies, monuments, and Russian/Eastern European contemporary art. She has worked in a variety of cultural institutions, such as the Speed Art Museum and the Kentucky Science Center, in Louisville, KY. She is now a Research and Design Assistant at the R.B. House Undergraduate Library.

Devon Murphy
















Fannie Ouyang is a dual degree MSLS/MA student.

Rachel Ozerkevich is a PhD student from Toronto, Canada. She received her B.A. in Art History from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and her M.A. from UNC Chapel Hill. She works with Dr. Daniel Sherman on French modern art. Her M.A. thesis addressed sporting and nationalist symbolism in Robert Delaunay’s paintings, and her dissertation research examines similar themes of athleticism, militarism, and different forms of French nationalism before and during the First World War.


ozerkevichRachel Ozerkevich

Mandy Paige-Lovingood grew up in New York and completed her undergraduate degree in art history at UNC-Chapel Hill. While pursuing her MA, Mandy will be working under Dr. Mary Sheriff and will focus on visual representations of Turquerie in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. More specifically, her work will examine how gender and social class might change the meaning of Turquerie within works of art.

Claire Payne is a first year dual degree master’s student in art history and library science. She is interested in contemporary art, visual culture, art libraries, and accessibility, and currently works as a graduate research assistant in the School of Information and Library Science. Claire is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and completed undergraduate work in history at Oberlin College in northeast Ohio.

payneClaire Payne

Mary Piepmeier is a 2nd year MA student. She received her bachelor’s degree in Art History at UNC Greensboro. Mary is constantly in awe of the work her peers produce and is thrilled to be a part of the Art History program at UNC!

piepmeyerMary Piepmeyer

Colin Post is originally from Grand Rapids, MI. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with Bachelors degrees in English and Religious Studies. He also received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana. Colin’s focus in art history is on contemporary new media art, and he will be working with Professor Cary Levine for his master’s research. Specifically, Colin is interested in questions of preservation, collecting, and authenticity in net.art.

Colin Post

Colin Post

Julie Riegel is a second-year graduate student in the Art History Dual Degree Program.  Her research focuses on contemporary and modern art made by African American artists and critical race theory.  Currently, she is researching Elizabeth Catlett’s lithographs and sculptures under the supervision of Dr. John P. Bowles.  She is also the Carolina Academic Library Associate (CALA) in the Sloane Art Library.  She graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.A. in Art History.  She is from Charlotte, North Carolina.


Julie Riegel

Josh Smith is a doctoral student of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European, especially French, art history and visual culture. I received my BA in art history and studio art, with a minor in French, from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2012. Under the guidance of Daniel J. Sherman, my MA and now PhD advisor, I completed my MA thesis at UNC, titled “Wounded by Memory: Art, Glory, and the Fantasy of Revanche.” In this thesis I examine the imbrication of memory, masculinity, and glory in the cultural politics of revanche, with a focus on their manifestation during and shortly after the First World War. By analyzing representations of resurrected soldiers in several media, I argue that revanche functioned not only as a desire to restore the annexed provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to France, but also as a cultural fantasy that reproduced and masked the antagonism between the assumed glory of France’s past and its resounding defeat in 1871. More broadly, my research considers issues of gender, memory, and politics, particularly but not only as they relate to print culture.


Josh Smith

Alexandra Wellington is from Dallas, Texas and completed her B.A. at New York University.  Her work at UNC focuses on exchange between Britain and Africa, the visual culture of the British abolition movement, and theories of Otherness and Blackness.  Alexandra’s dissertation is titled “The Art of Sympathy: Picturing the British Abolition Movement, 1783-1833.” Her primary advisor is Dr. Mary Sheriff.

Alexandra Wellington at the Amon Carter Museum

Alexandra Wellington at the Amon Carter Museum

Diane Woodin is a PhD student, advised by Dr. Mary Sheriff.

Ji You is a PhD student.