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 second year dual degree MA/MLIS student. She received her BA in studio art and archival studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. 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.  Prior to arriving at Carolina, she spent two and a half years in Philadelphia, working with the ancient Egyptian Collection at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Most recently, she served as the Photography Archives Intern in the Minor White Archive at the Princeton University Art Museum. Taylor is interested in contemporary American art, material culture and artists’ archives.

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 Museum.


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.

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.

Avery Close is an MA student.

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

Photo portrait of Erin Dickey. Erin has chin length brunette hair with bangs and wears tortoise-shell rimmed glasses. She is wearing a black crew-neck top. She is standing in front of the Kenan music building at UNC.

Erin Dickey is a PhD student focusing in contemporary art and technology, with specific interests in media theory, histories of telecommunications technologies, visuality, surveillance, and archives. She received dual master’s degrees (MA Art History/MS Information Science) at UNC in 2018. Her Art History master’s thesis, titled “‘The Faster the Machines, the Better the Poetry’: Gebhard Sengmüller’s TV Poetry” examines Sengmüller’s 1990s multimedia installation TV Poetry as a critical and constructive response to television’s influence in western Europe in the late twentieth century. Her Information Science thesis, “‘Her Own Version of History’: A Case Study of the Guerrilla Girls Oral Histories at the Archives of American Art,” explores oral history web access policies in relationship to the Smithsonian Archives of American Arts’ 2007-08 interviews with the Guerrilla Girls. Erin was a Fellow in the Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded “Learning from Artists’ Archives” program (2015-2017). Prior to coming to UNC, Erin was Development and Outreach Coordinator at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, NC. From 2010-2012, she worked as a Mobile Facilitator recording stories and conversations across the U.S. for the national oral history nonprofit StoryCorps. Erin holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Boston University.


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 literary and pictorial examples. 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. She has worked as a consultant researcher and digital developer for Local Projects, where she consulted on digital installations for the National Building Museum, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. In 2017, she conducted research in England after being awarded the Thomas F. Ferdinand Summer Research Fellowship and Fall-Off Campus Fellowship. She has previously been awarded the Kress Fellowship for Applied Research, the Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities, and the Visiting Scholar Award at the Yale Center for British Art.

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.



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.

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.

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.


Robin Holmesis 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.

Photo portrait of Kelsey Martin standing in front of a painting from the exhibition "Women Artists in Europe from the Monarchy to Modernism," She is wearing a grey blouse, black slacks, black blazer, and black pumps. Her hair is brunette and chin length. She is standing in front of a still life of flowers and fruit.

Kelsey Martinis an Art History PhD Candidate and Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellow at UNC-CH. She was advised by Dr. Mary D. Sheriff until Dr. Sheriff’s passing in the fall of 2016, and is currently advised by Dr. Melissa Hyde (University of Florida, Gainesville). Her fields of specialization rest in early modern Europe (though she often ventures to the 19th and early 20th centuries for various curatorial projects), with particular emphasis on eighteenth-century French art, works on paper, and women artists from 1450-1950. Her dissertation project explores women artists’ relationship to printmaking in eighteenth-century France, including their roles as designers, engravers, and exhibitors of prints. Kelsey is the recipient of numerous awards, internships, and fellowships, including the ‘Rare Prints Project’ Internship at the National Gallery of Art, D.C. (2017), the Object-Based Teaching Fellowship at the Ackland Art Museum (2017-2018), and the Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Curatorial Internship for European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (2018-2019). She served as the curatorial intern for the DMA’s Women Artists in Europe from the Monarchy to Modernism as well as the major traveling exhibition, Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist. Kelsey also curated Violence and Defiance, a works on paper show of German and Austrian Expressionist prints, which will open at the DMA in August of 2019. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Kelsey will be in Paris conducting dissertation research thanks to the generous support of the UNC-CH Georges Lurcy Research Fellowship.

Website: http://kelseydmartin.web.unc.edu/
Twitter: @kelsey_d_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.


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.


Aisha Muhammad is a Ph.D. student.


Devon Murphy is a dual degree MA/MSIS Art History and Information Science student, focusing on museum studies, 20th century and contemporary Native American art, and museum/metadata description. Devon is also a practicing artist, with a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY, and previously worked as a museum educator in science and art institutions.


Rachel is wearing a black tank top, has her brunette hair in a bun, and is smiling because she is standing in front of the Coliseum in Rome.

Rachel Ozerkevich is an Art History PhD Candidate 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, “Aestheticizing Sport: Representations of Athletes in France and Switzerland, 1870-1914,” investigates different ways that male and female athletes were imaged in popular media and in the fine arts between the Franco-Prussian and First World Wars. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland, funded by the Werner P. Friederich Off-Campus Dissertation Fellowship.


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.



Josh Smithis 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/.


Andrea Snow is a PhD student, Dixon fellow, and Huntley scholar working with Dr. Dorothy Verkerk. She specializes in early medieval Scandinavian art, focusing on metalwork and rune stones. Her research is underscored by themes of community, perception, liminality, and translation. Her dissertation project, Language of the Snake: Serpents and Serpentine Forms in Old Norse Visual Culture, interpolates the use of serpents across objects during the Viking Age. Andrea is also interested in representations of the medieval in American popular culture, particularly in illustration, comic books, and video games.

Alexandra Wellingtonis 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.


Portrait of Jennifer Wu. She is an Asian-American with chin length black hair and is wearing a black jacket and blue v-neck shirt. She stands in front of a garden wall with plants outside a brick building.

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.

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.