Current Graduate Students Bios
Aimee Caya is a first year PhD student studying late medieval art with Elina Gertsman. She is particularly interested in notions of the medieval body, viewer reception, materiality, and most recently, the visual culture of play. She knits and writes fiction in her spare time, and makes frequent sojourns to the Cleveland Museum of Art’s medieval galleries.
Julie A. Dansereau-Tackett is a third-year doctoral student specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French painting and sculpture, and the history of photography in Europe and the United States. Her research interests include the intersections of fine art, consumerism, new technologies, and emerging markets in contemporary arts of the late nineteenth-century, especially in relation to the great international expositions of that period. Julie has presented papers in the US and Canada on a variety of subjects including marginality and marketing strategies of the early Impressionists, late nineteenth-century painting in dialogue with growing French nationalism and tourism as an emerging market, and the development of an open market and its effects on mass production in early Netherlandish painting. She is also published in Myth and Mystique: Cleveland’s Gothic Table Fountain, a catalogue accompanying Cleveland’s centennial focus exhibition of the same name. After receiving her B.A. in art history and theatre from Baldwin-Wallace University and her M.A. in art history and museums studies from Case Western Reserve University, Julie held positions as the research assistant to Dr. William Robinson, curator of Modern European Painting and Sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art; education manager for the Zanesville Museum of Art; adjunct faculty member of Kent State University, Ohio University, and Cleveland State University; and Gallery Talk Lecturer and Development Associate for Reports and Record Integrity at the National Gallery of Art. The joint program between Case and the Cleveland Museum of Art, which allows students the opportunity to take courses with museum curators and conservators and to be involved with collection-focused research for special exhibition development and publications, was a deciding factor in Julie returning to the Cleveland area for her doctoral work. At the core of the newly-redesigned joint doctoral program is the year-long CMA curatorial internship that she is currently undertaking in the department of Modern European Painting and Sculpture. This internship has allowed her to further develop her skills in curatorial work, as she is cataloguing Cleveland’s collections of modern Scandinavian paintings, Rodin sculpture, and Picasso paintings, and is developing a focus exhibition concept.
Dominique DeLuca received her B.A. in Art History at Bryn Mawr College where she developed an interest in all things weird and wonderful about medieval art. After graduating, she attended the Christie’s Education program in London, receiving a degree in Art History and Art-World Practice of Early European Art, and shifted focus to later medieval and Gothic works of art. After moving to Washington, D.C. she worked as a gallery assistant to an antiquities dealer in Georgetown for two years before relocating to Cleveland and entering the CWRU School of Graduate Studies where she received her M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies. She is now in her third year of the Art History Ph.D. program studying late medieval art. As a graduate student at CWRU, she has been able to work extensively with objects and staff from the Cleveland Museum of Art, including a year and a half spent as a curatorial intern in the Indian and Southeast Asian Art department where she was involved in the development of the 2016 exhibition Art and Stories from Mughal India and its catalogue. Now, as a curatorial intern with the department of Medieval Art, one of her current projects is researching the history of the museum’s collection of Limoges enamels. Her early academic work focused on issues concerning the intersection of the courtly and macabre or grotesque in medieval art. Her current specialties are manuscript illumination in France and Germany, 1200–1400, and wooden sculpture in northern Europe, 1200–1500, focusing on issues of image and presence in religious art.
Kylie Fisher is a second-year Ph.D. student and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in Art History. She specializes in Italian Renaissance art with a focus on print history and culture. Kylie earned her B.A. in Art History and Government from Smith College, and received her M.A. in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She enjoys the unique opportunity of collaborating with CMA curatorial and conservation staff through her coursework, and looks forward to exploring the CMA’s print collection in greater depth during her third-year internship.
Lauryn Smith is currently a first year in the doctoral program specializing in 17th century Dutch painting. Her current research interests include gender issues, patronage, and the history of collecting and collections. An aspiring museum curator, Lauryn is delighted to be a part of the joint program with the Cleveland Museum of Art, whose outstanding collection of 17th century Dutch painting enticed her to make the move from Toronto to the Midwest. In her spare time, Lauryn enjoys exploring Ohio and trying new vegan recipes.
Bing Wang concentrates on photographs of China between the 1840s and the 1930s. In addition to studying the rich collections at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she is also working on Chinese and East Asian art and the history of photography more broadly. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Museology from China, where she accumulated a thorough knowledge of Chinese history and art. After she became a certificated photographer in China, her aspiration to obtain a richer understanding of photography as an art form and an image-making technique drove her to join the photography track in the Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management (F+PPCM) Master of Arts, a collaborative program between Ryerson University, Toronto, and George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. During her one-year residence at Eastman Museum, besides extensively researching the collections, she also gained hands-on experiences with various historical photographic processes, such as Daguerreotype and wet/dry collodion. After finishing her master’s thesis at Eastman Museum, she completed additional courses in film studies within the F+PPCM program, which further enhanced her understanding of historical image-capturing processes and placing her expertise in photography into a new context.
James Wehn is a PhD candidate and an Andrew W. Mellon Pre-doctoral Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. After receiving his MA in art history from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, James worked for two years as a curatorial fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he organized the exhibition Starting from Scratch: the Art of Etching From Dürer to Dine. Aspiring to be a print curator, James chose to pursue his doctoral studies at CWRU because of its close partnership with the CMA and the opportunity to work closely with a world-class collection. James is delighted to have curated the recent CMA exhibition Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in 18th-Century Prints and Drawings. For his dissertation, James is researching issues related to authorship, authenticity and replication in the prints of Israhel van Meckenem, a prolific fifteenth-century German engraver, who was influential in the development of the Northern European print market.
Alexa Sue Amore is a first year Master’s candidate in Art History specializing in medieval art and architecture. She received her first MA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University in August 2016. While at Fordham, she was awarded a professional development grant to conduct research in France for her Master’s thesis, Models of Ecclesiastical Authority and Lay Submission in the Sculptural Program at Laon Cathedral. In the summer of 2016 Alexa also traveled to Spain to walk the medieval pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago. A native of California, she received a BA in History, cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta) with a minor in Philosophy and Religion from San Francisco State University in 2014. Alexa is primarily interested in exploring the role of art in shaping the institutional identity of the medieval church, and she is fascinated by the parallels between the visual strategies employed by powerful institutions in the Middle Ages and those of the present day. Alexa is thrilled to join the department of Art History and Art at CWRU and looks forward to making the most out of the department’s object-oriented curriculum as well as its close relationship with the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Alexandra Czajkowski is a first year Masters student at Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests include Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, specifically in examining viewer reception and sensory perception as it relates to sculpture. One of the reasons she chose to attend CWRU is because of its collaborative affiliation with the Cleveland Museum of Art. The ability to analyze remarkable collections of art in person, coupled with the great cache of researching tools, are just a few of her favorite aspects of the graduate program. When not studying, Alex enjoys reading fiction, practicing yoga, and traveling.
Erin Hein is in the Masters Program studying Early Modern painting in Southern Europe. Due to her undergraduate degree in Chemistry, she is especially interested in technical art history because of the insights it can give into working process and materials. Erin chose the program at Case Western, in part, due to the strong partnership with the CMA, which allows for the close study of objects in the collection and the chance to build relationships with the CMA staff. She is originally from Chicago and enjoys cooking and hand lettering in her spare time.
Kate Heller is a first year student in the Art History MA program. She is interested in the problem of Internationalism in Northern European art from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She also has a particular passion for the study of decorative arts and design from this region and period. In additional to her scholarly interests, Kate is concerned with the exhibition and public reception of the arts and is currently completing the CMA Curatorial Fellowship in the European Paintings and Decorative Arts Departments. Kate enjoys the close relationship between the CWRU Art History department and the Cleveland Museum of Art and appreciates the program’s object-centered approach. In her spare time Kate enjoys drinking Belgian beer on sunny patios with her husband.
Anthony Huffman is a second-year M.A. student in the Case Western Reserve Universityand Cleveland Museum of Art Graduate Program in Art History. He received his B.A. in Government from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 2014 and spent a year after college immersed in various facets of the museum and art non-profit world before beginning graduate work. Ultimately, he moved to Cleveland to attend Case because of the department’s strong relationship with the Cleveland Museum of Art, rich professional development opportunities, and the inimitable opportunities afforded to students to engage in objected-oriented examination and analysis. He says his favorite aspect of the program has been having invaluable access to curators and conservators at the CMA to discuss research projects, and having the support of a faculty of the highest caliber. His research interests include the early waves of the French modernist avant-garde; critical theory; bridging the divide between technical and social histories of art; historiography; institutional critique; and the history of museums and collecting. Currently, he is engaged in research that will culminate in the production of his Master’s Qualifying Paper, which is focused on early American collectors of Puvis de Chavannes; a reduced mural painting by the artist held by the Cleveland Museum of Art; and the impact of Puvis’s modern decorative aesthetic on the City Beautiful Movement in Cleveland during the Gilded Age. Aside from his professional interests in modern and contemporary art, he is first and foremost a francophile, enjoys cooking, hiking, learning about Bourbon production, and reading Sinclair Lewis novels.
Jerika Jordan is a 2nd year MA student in Art History and Museum Studies. After earning her BA in Art History and Museum Studies from Juniata College, Jerika returned to her hometown in Texas where she completed a five-month curatorial internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This experience solidified her interest in pursuing graduate studies and, ultimately, a career in the museum field. Since coming to CWRU, the joint program with the Cleveland Museum of Art has provided multiple opportunities to actively engage both of Jerika’s academic interests. In addition to her coursework, she is currently working as the exhibitions intern at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland.
Allison Slenker is a second year M.A. student from Columbus, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate education here at CWRU, graduating in 2016 with Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Art History. She decided to pursue her Master’s in Art History at CWRU because she believed the relationships and connections she had made at the Cleveland Museum of Art would continue to enrich her education. Allison has enjoyed studying a wide range of subjects in art history including but not limited to Chinese painting, Classical architecture, and 20th century performance and video art. Her desire to understand such a broad spectrum of media and styles stems from her ultimate goal of becoming an art conservator. Allison has been interning with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Conservation Department since 2014, and has spent the past two summers in Cleveland assisting in preparing exhibitions of works on paper and cleaning outdoor sculpture. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, painting with watercolors, and exploring Cleveland.