Daniel Ackermann is a PhD Candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and curator of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.  Daniel’s dissertation focuses on cultural confluence in the material culture of early Kentucky.  Daniel holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia and was the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Curatorial Intern in American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  At MESDA Daniel has overseen the renovation and reinstallation of the Museum’s galleries and curated a wide range of exhibits.  He also serves the American secretary for the Regional Furniture Society of Great Britain.












Taylor Barrett is a dual degree MA/MLIS student. She received her BA in studio art and archival studies from Smith College in Northampton MA. During her time at Smith, she held internships at The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  She has spent the last two and a half years living in Philadelphia, working with the ancient Egyptian Collection at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Taylor Barrett












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 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. This year, she will serve as curatorial intern at the Ackland Art Musuem.

Franny Brock










Ashley Bruckbauer is a Ph.D. candidate focused on eighteenth-century French art and culture. She is currently working to complete her dissertation titled “Dangerous Liaisons: Ambassadors and Embassies in Eighteenth-Century French Art.” This project examines the expansive body of visual and material culture surrounding diplomatic exchanges between France and nations across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Ashley worked with Mary D. Sheriff until Dr. Sheriff’s passing in October 2016. Her dissertation is now under the direction of Elisabeth Fraser (University of South Florida). Ashley holds a B.A. in art history from Southern Methodist University and an M.A. in art history from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has taught UNC undergraduates as a teaching assistant in the Department of Art and as the 2015-16 Object-Based Teaching Fellow at the Ackland Art Museum. Ashley has also held positions at the Dallas Museum of Art and National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She spent the 2016-17 academic year conducting dissertation research in France with the support of a Georges Lurcy Dissertation Research Fellowship.


Ashley Bruckbauer

Adriana Burkins is a second-year art history master’s candidate and the advisee of Lyneise Williams. Adriana earned a B.A. in Studio Art and Spanish from Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C. She is interested in museum studies and education, critical race perspectives, representation, and identity. Adriana has worked with several museums including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, the McColl Center and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

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


Avery Close is an MA student.
Emily Crockett is a dual-degree MA/SILS student.

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.

Erin Dickey at Alcatraz










Miranda Elston is a Ph.D. candidate at UNC Chapel Hill working with Dr. Tania String. Her dissertation project, “Spatial Interaction: Architectural Representation in Early Tudor England” explores the theme of sixteenth-century experience and perception of architectural space through pictorial representations.  Miranda completed her undergraduate studies at Western Washington University and earned her MA in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies offered jointly by Parsons, School of Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, with her thesis “Henry VIII & Interiors of Persuasion: Henrician Magnificence within the Ceremonial Chambers of Whitehall Palace.”  She has 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. She has previously been awarded the Kress Fellowship for Applied Research at the Ackland Art Museum, Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities, and the Thomas F. Ferdinand Summer Research Fellowship.


Miranda Elston

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.”



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.


Madison 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.



Carlee Forbes

Brittany Forniotis is an Art History MA student specializing in the architecture of the medieval Mediterranean. She completed her BA in History and Art History at Wake Forest University, where she wrote her honors thesis “A Tale of Two Hospitals: Understanding Charitable Building in the Fifteenth-Century Mediterranean.” After completing her undergraduate studies, Brittany served as a Wake Forest Fellow at the START Gallery. In this role, she worked as the manager of the student art gallery at Wake Forest University under the direction of Paul Bright.

Laura Fravel is a Ph.D. student.

Catherine Gallagher is a dual degree MA/SILS 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 a doctoral student working with Dr. Dorothy Verkerk. She received her MA at UNC with a thesis entitled “Moralizing Monsters: Heretics in the Bible moralisée, Vienna 2554.” Her primary research interests include heresy and hybridity represented visually in thirteenth century manuscripts. She is also interested in the history and visual culture of the Dominican Order from the early thirteenth century through the fifteenth century in Spain, France, and Italy. Liturgy, chant, and the materiality of liturgical books and objects from the tenth through fifteenth centuries are additional areas of interest.

Russell Gullette is a Ph.D. 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. Her dissertation will explore the ways in which early modern Englishwomen wielded social and political authority through familial relationships and the production of children. Though her research centers on portraiture, Brianna also considers how artistic patronage, material objects, and architecture were utilized by women to emphasize family and authority. Originally from Florida, she received a B.A. from Syracuse University in 2006 and an M.A. at the University of Florida in 2008, where her thesis 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. 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. Last summer she was the Joan and Robert Huntley Scholar, working at both the Ackland Museum of Art and the North Carolina Museum of Art.


Brianna Guthrie

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

Taylor Hunkins is an MA student.

Ryan Johnson

Alex Jones is an MA student.

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

Megan Krznarich is a Ph.D. student.


Qi Lu is currently an art history doctoral candidate in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the recipient of the 2012-2017 Carolyn & Thomas Royster Fellowship. She obtained a BA in Art History from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing) in 2012 and a MA from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014. Her research focuses on the art and architecture of China’s Middle Period (1000–1400), with a particular focus on cities and monuments of the Liao Empire (907–1125). She is especially interested in issues of mobility, cultural exchange, and space construction in nomadic society. Her dissertation, titled “The Temporality of a City: Qingzhou in the Liao Empire (907-1125)” examines the formation of “temporary cities,” exemplified by Qingzhou, specifically their significant roles in Liao emperors’ state building and time controlling.

Qi Lu

Kelsey Martin is a Ph.D. candidate and Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her specialties include 18th-century French art and the history of printmaking, and her dissertation project explores women artists’ relationship to printmaking in 18th-century France. 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 served as 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 was Co-President of the organization in 2017. In the summer of 2017, she received an internship at the National Gallery of Art and worked on the gallery’s collection of reproductive prints of 17th-19th-century French and Italian paintings. She is currently a teaching fellow at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill.

Kelsey Martin












Veronica McGurrin is a dual Art History and Library Science student originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She received her undergraduate degree in History from Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont in 2017 where she minored in Art History, Public History, and Literature. She has interned at the Shelburne Museum as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and she is interested in art librarianship, museum studies, and museum accessibility.

Veronica McGurrin









Brantly Moore is a PhD student at UNC-Chapel Hill. With a BA in Art History from USC-Columbia, she completed a Kress Fellowship in Museum Interpretation at the Columbia Museum of Art, where she developed programming based on the history of paint media, entitled the “Alchemy of Art” Brantly later completed her MA degree in Museums and Collections at Leiden University in the Netherlands in 2015. Her MA thesis, “Make Room(s) for Wonder: The Early Modern Wunderkammer & the Art Museum” examines these fascinating sites of knowledge production and cultural exchange and questions their significance for modern museums. Particular interests include the intersection of art, science and trade, the evolution of cultural identities through the establishment of collections and painting styles, and wonder as a stimulus of and justification for the production of art in Northern European courts from the 15th-17th centuries. Working with Dr. Christoph Brachmann, Brantly will further explore these themes as manifested within the intersection of the Kunst- und Wunderkammer and the development of painting in Northern Europe.

Brantly Moore










Aisha Muhammad is a Ph.D. 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 a Research and Design Assistant at the R.B. House Undergraduate Library and a digital projects TA at the UNC Writing Center.

Devon Murphy
















Rachel Ozerkevich is a second yearPhD student from Toronto, Canada, and she is advised by Dr. Daniel Sherman. She received her B.A. in Art History from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and her M.A. from UNC Chapel Hill. Her M.A. thesis addressed athletic and nationalist symbolism in several of Robert Delaunay’s paintings. Her dissertation research examines athletic subject matter in French painting, print, and photography from the period surrounding the First World War. More broadly, she is interested in themes of athleticism, militarism, and different forms of French nationalism at the end of the Belle Epoque period.



Rachel Ozerkevich

Claire Payne is a second-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 research assistant in the User Experience and Assessment department of the UNC libraries. Claire is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and completed undergraduate work in history at Oberlin College in northeast Ohio.


Claire Payne

Josh Smith is a doctoral candidate specializing in modern European art. Under the direction of Daniel J. Sherman, he researches issues of gender, memory, and museums as they relate to conservative politics in French visual culture. His dissertation, “Inglorious Memories: Envisioning the Franco-Prussian War in Modern France,” explores how the visual as a category became a critical site for articulating and contesting memories of the Franco-Prussian War from 1871 to the present. Smith received his BA in art history and studio art, with a minor in French, from the University of Minnesota, Morris. In 2015, he completed his MA at UNC-CH. Smith has received several awards, the most recent of which include a pre-dissertation exploration award from the Center for Global Initiatives at UNC and a fellowship to participate in the Centre Internationale de Recherche de l’Historial de la Grande Guerre’s 2016 summer seminar, held in conjunction with the centenary commemoration of the Battle of the Somme. As a former co-president of the Art Student Graduate Organization, he organized two graduate symposia: “Then and Now, Here and There: The Curious Lives of Objects” (April 2016) and “Art, Media, and Social Unrest” (March 2017). For more information, see Smith’s personal website: http://joshuamsmith.web.unc.edu/.


Josh Smith

Andrea Snow hails from Little Egypt, Illinois – quite far from Chicago. A PhD candidate with an affinity for the medieval, she specializes in Scandinavian woodworking, small metals, and the relationships between identity and materiality during times of religious conversion. Her other interests include imagination, phenomenology and the senses, physicality and artifice, funerary objects, spiritual reward, and representations of the medieval in popular culture. Previously, she has worked as a freelance illustrator, gallery director, and prop design assistant for a variety of clients and institutions, but art history is her most beloved commitment. She completed her MA in art history and visual culture at Southern Illinois University in 2016. Her thesis, “Obscure Creatures: The Ambiguous Nature of The Urnes Stave Church Carvings,” explores the spiritual and political readings of the famed Norwegian structure as products of narrative fluidity between Old Norse and Christian religions.

















































































































































Alexandra Wellington is a Ph.D. candidate and the advisee of Dr. Douglas Fordham (University of Virginia). She earned B.A. degrees in art history and political science from New York University and an M.A. degree in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alexandra’s research focuses on the British Empire, anti-slavery art, exchange between Britain and Africa, and theories of Otherness and Blackness. Her dissertation, “The Art of Sympathy: Picturing the British Abolition Movement, 1776-1833,” analyzes illustrated texts that target viewers’ emotions for political purposes. Alexandra has received scholarships from King’s College London and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to support her  research in England and Scotland. She has also held positions at the Cloisters Museum in New York and the Dallas Museum of Art and worked as a British art consultant for auction houses.

Alexandra Wellington


Jennifer Wu is a Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellow and PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She specializes in early modern British art and works with Dr. Tatiana String. Her areas of interest include image-text relations, history of the book, and issues of gender and sexuality. Jennifer completed her MA in art history at American University in Washington, D.C. Her thesis, “Reinventing Donor Family Portraiture:  Hans Holbein the Younger’s Darmstadt Madonna,” examines the shifting concepts of devotional practices, marriage, and parental authority in early sixteenth-century Basel. Prior to her studies in art history, she had extensive corporate and teaching careers.

Ji You is a Ph.D. student.

Weixin Zhou is an M.A. student in Art History. She is originally from Shanghai, China, and completed her undergraduate studies at Shanghai Normal University before earning an M.A. Degree in Creative and Media Enterprises in Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies at The University of Warwick in the U.K. Weixin’s main research interest is Western modern art, specifically European modernism and art movements in nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is interested in the interdisciplinary approach of reflecting art and art history in the intellectual and cultural context.

Weixin Zhou










Alexandra Ziegler is a doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill working with Christoph Brachmann. Her research interests lie in the art and architecture of early modern Europe, with particular attention paid to intersections of politics, gender, and religion within portraiture. She is originally from Hawaii, but has spent several years on the West Coast, where she received her BA from Humboldt State University and MA from the University of Oregon. Her Master’s thesis, entitled “Divinity and Destiny: Marian Imagery in Rubens’ Life of Marie de’ Medici” investigates the construction of identity, femininity, and authority in the Medici Cycle. She continues to explore these issues in her current research, looking more broadly at the tradition of saintly imagery in representations of female royals in the seventeenth century.