Current Graduate Students Bios
Aimee Caya is a second year doctoral student studying medieval art with Professor Elina Gertsman. She received her MA in Art History from Case Western Reserve University in 2016 and graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University in 2014. She is particularly interested in exploring reception, performance, and materiality as they apply to late medieval sculpture. Her publications include “Carnal Consumption, Miraculous Deliverance: Saint Margaret and Caesarean Section in the Late Middle Ages,” which appeared in Glossolalia in 2016, and two catalogue entries for Myth and Mystique: Cleveland’s French Gothic Table Fountain. She served as a research assistant to the International Center for Medieval Art’s Lordship and Commune project on Amiens and Rheims cathedrals. Most recently, in 2017, Aimee presented at the Midwest Art History Society conference and the Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies. She also co-chaired the 43rd Annual Cleveland Symposium, entitled Ars et Scientia: Intersections of Science and the Visual Arts, held at the Cleveland Museum of Art on October 27, 2017.
Julie A. Dansereau-Tackett is a fourth-year doctoral candidate 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 international expositions of that period. Julie has presented papers in the US and Canada on a variety of subjects and is published in the Rodin at 100 and Myth and Mystique: Cleveland’s Gothic Table Fountain exhibition catalogues. Since receiving her B.A. in Art History and Theatre from Baldwin-Wallace University and her M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University, she has held positions in curatorial, education, and development departments at the National Gallery of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Zanesville Museum of Art; has taught for Kent State University, Ohio University, and Cleveland State University; and has worked at Rachel Davis Fine Arts and The Potomack Company auction houses.
Dominique DeLuca is a fourth-year Ph.D. student currently working on her dissertation, “Shadows in Fifteenth-Century Secular Manuscripts,” with her advisor Professor Elina Gertsman. She has published the article “Bonum est mortis meditari: Meanings and Functions of the Medieval Double Macabre Portrait,” in a 2016 volume edited by Albrecht Classen, Death in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times: The Material and Spiritual Conditions of the Culture of Death, and contributed two catalogue entries to the Myth and Mystique: Cleveland’s French Gothic Table Fountain exhibition catalogue edited by Elina Gertsman and Stephen Fliegel. As a graduate student at CWRU, Dominique has worked extensively with objects and staff from the Cleveland Museum of Art. She was 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, and a curatorial intern with the department of Medieval Art where she researched the history of the museum’s collection of Limoges enamels.
Kylie Fisher is a third-year doctoral student and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in early modern Italian art working with Professor Erin Benay. Her primary research interest is fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian print history with a particular focus on the relationship between secular imagery and vernacular culture. Now a curatorial intern in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Kylie is researching the permanent collection of Italian drawings. She has also interned at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, where she helped to organize the centennial show, A Century of Women in Prints, 1917-2017 as well as Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings, for which she contributed to the exhibition catalogue. Kylie has recently presented her research at the annual conferences of the Midwest Art History Society along with the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. Her article, “Drawing from Mantegna: Engaging with Engraving in Cinquecento Northern Italian Art” was published in Athanor 35.
Gilbert Jones is a first-year doctoral student studying late medieval art with Professor Elina Gertsman. He received his MA in Art History from Syracuse University in 2013 and a Graduate Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Texas Tech University. His primary research interest is the intersection of architecture, movement, and identity construction. He plans to explore the relationship between processional routes, miracle-working objects, and the latemedieval cityscape. Before coming to Case Western Reserve University, Gilbert worked as the Docent Coordinator and Assistant Curator of Education at the Museum of Texas Tech University. In this capacity, he researched and wrote the curriculum and trained the inaugural class of docents for the museum. Gilbert has delivered papers at numerous conferences, including the International Congress on Medieval Studies and the Renaissance Society of America. In 2010, he founded the Graduate Student and Emerging Scholars committee of the Italian Art Society and later served on the board of the IAS as the Events and Membership Coordinator.
Lauryn Smith is a second-year Ph.D. student specializing in early modern northern European art under the supervision of Professor Catherine Scallen. Lauryn’s current research interests include social history; issues of gender and sexuality; patronage; the history of collecting and collections; early modern material culture; and viewership and viewer reception. She has presented her research at the Arizona Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS) and co-organized an international Music and Visual Culture Conference in Toronto in 2016. An aspiring curator, Lauryn completed internships in North America and the UK, including a curatorial placement at the Cuming Museum (London) and Christie’s (Toronto). She is delighted to be a part of the joint program with the Cleveland Museum of Art, whose outstanding collection of Baroque Dutch and Spanish painting enticed her to make the move from Toronto to the Midwest. In her spare time, Lauryn enjoys preparing new vegan recipes and visiting the numerous cultural institutions at University Circle. Lauryn currently serves as co-chair of GAHA for the 2017–18 academic year.
Angelica Verduci is a first-year Ph.D. student in medieval art who is excited to be working with Professor Elina Gertsman, whose interest in macabre imagery mirrors her own. Angelica’s research interests include late medieval frescoes representing the macabre, with a main focus on Last Judgment, Dance of Death, and Triumph of Death imagery. She received both her B.A. and M.A. in Art History (cum laude) at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, where she wrote her theses on the iconography and iconology of northern Italian wall paintings. After graduating, she received a diploma in Archive Administration, Paleography and Diplomatics from the Milan Archivio di Stato. Before moving to Cleveland, Angelica worked as an intern at Capitolo Metropolitano (Library and Archive) of the Duomo of Milan, as well as at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. As an Italian native, Angelica enjoys teaching some Italian to other students in the program and sharing Italian recipes with them.
Bing Wang is a third year-year Ph.D. student working with Professors Andrea Rager and Noelle Giuffrida. She concentrates on global photography 1839–1939, with focus on East, South, and Southeast Asia. Now as an intern under the supervision of Dr. Barbara Tannenbaum, Curator of Photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she is working on standardizing the terminology used to describe media/process in the CMA photographic collection and researching an album of photographs by one of the most celebrated 19th century Indian photographer Raja Deen Dayal (1844-1905). After she earned a bachelor’s degree in Museology from China, she joined 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, and completed both the photography and film tracks. She has recently presented her research at the annual conference of the Midwest Art History Society and will present her paper at the annual conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association.
James Wehn is a fifth-year PhD candidate and the Andrew W. Mellon Pre-doctoral Curatorial Fellow of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Advised by Professor Catherine B. Scallen, James studies early modern printmaking. His dissertation examines the engravings of Israhel van Meckenem (German, c.1440/45-1503) as a means to understand how early print markets influenced ideas about image-making, authorship, reproduction, and authenticity during the late fifteenth century. James has presented numerous conference papers, including “A Market for Rembrandt’s Late Etchings of Female Nudes” at the RSA’s 2016 annual conference and “Printed Designs as Social Currency: The Etching of Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier’s Silver Tureens for the Duke of Kingston” at the 14th Congress of the International Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. Recently, his article “New Thoughts on Hans Burgkmair’s Mercury, Venus, and Cupid” appeared in Print Quarterly (September 2017). James has organized two exhibitions for the Cleveland Museum of Art: Gods and Heroes: Ancient Legends in Renaissance Art and Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in 18th -Century Prints and Drawings.
Alexa Sue Amore is a second-year MA student in Art History specializing in medieval art. Her research interests include modes of representation as they relate to medieval theories of cognition and the senses as well as the intersections of social history, urbanism, and the development of gothic architecture. She holds an MA degree in Medieval Studies from Fordham University (2016), where she completed a thesis entitled “Animated by Pious Zeal: the Cult of Carts and the Oxen of Laon Cathedral.” In 2017, Alexa received a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Fellowship to attend the intensive French summer program at Middlebury College. She currently serves as a teaching assistant for Art History 101 and sings in Case Western Reserve’s Early Music Choir.
Alexandra Czajkowski is a second-year MA student in Art History studying Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. Her current research interests include studying viewer interaction with sculpture. She received a BA in Art History (magna cum laude) from Miami University in 2015. During the summer of 2017, Alex interned in the collections management department at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She is currently working with Special Collections Librarian Elizabeth Meinke as the Kelvin Smith Library Exhibit Program Assistant. Alex also serves as the 2017- 2018 co-chair of the Graduate Art History Association (GAHA), organizing social and professional development events for the department. She has recently presented a paper at the annual conference of Florida State University on Hans Baldung Grien’s print, Two Mothers.
Jacob Emmett is a first-year MA student in Art History and Museum Studies. His research interests primarily include Roman architecture and art, especially the liminality of monuments and spaces; reception; museum viewership and collecting; as well as globalization and acculturation through visuality and materiality. Jacob earned his BA in both Classics and Art History from Washington University in Saint Louis, in 2014. He is enthusiastically grateful for the opportunities of learning and working directly in the Cleveland Museum of Art, notably interning with the curator of Greek and Roman art. When not assiduously reading at Ingalls Library, he enjoys cooking hypoallergenic meals, attending the Cleveland Orchestra, and a fine cup of coffee.
Erin Hein is a second-year MA student in the Art History track studying French and Italian Baroque art. Her research interests include courts, materiality, and objects’ relationship to space. Erin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama in 2016 with a BA in Art History and a BS in Chemistry. She has interned in the Paintings and Sculpture Department at the Cleveland Museum of Art where she worked on a forthcoming Neapolitan crèche exhibition. In the Fall of 2017, Erin also served as a teaching assistant for Art History 101, leading weekly gallery discussions, and co-chaired the 43rd annual Cleveland Symposium, one of the longest-running graduate art history symposia in the country.
Hannah Hilditch is a first-year graduate student pursuing an MA degree in Art History and Museum Studies. She received her BA in Art History and Museum Studies, with a minor in French, summa cum laude from Alma College. In recent years, she has worked as a museum shop intern at the Cincinnati Art Museum and as a grant writing intern for Dramakinetics of Cincinnati. Currently, she is interested in studying 18th and 19th century European art, gaze theory, Feminist art history, and museology. She is thrilled to be a part of the CWRU graduate program, and she is most excited about the department’s affiliation with the Cleveland Museum of Art, which affords her many experiential learning opportunities.
Kate Hublou is a first-year MA student on the museum studies track. She earned her BA from the University of Minnesota with a double major in art history and Scandinavian languages and literature. Her senior thesis, “Welding Independence: An International Approach to Norwegian Enameling, 1884-1904” won the departmental prize. Kate is interested in nineteenth-century Germanic and Scandinavian art and design, contemporary art, and the societal relationship to art and museums. She has completed fellowships in education and curatorial departments at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis where she curated the exhibitions Silver River and Surfaced: Rarely Seen Woodcuts from the Permanent Collection. In her spare time Kate enjoys Belgian beers on sunny patios with her husband.
Julia LaPlaca is a first-year MA student in the Art History/Museum Studies program. She graduated summa cum laude from Calvin College with majors in art history and English. Before coming to Case, Julia interned at the Muskegon Museum of Art. She co-curated an exhibition on Grand Rapids artist Jaro Hess (1889-1977) at the 106 Division Gallery in Grand Rapids in 2016 and assisted with program planning for the exhibition Stirring the World: Printmaking in the Age of Martin Luther (September 5 – October 14, 2017) at Calvin College’s Center Art Gallery. Most recently, Julia completed a book project on the late congressman Dr. Vernon J. Ehlers (1934-2017). Julia is interested in early modern European art and the museum’s function as a teaching space.
Tori Laser is a first-year MA student in Art History and Museum Studies. Her research interests include American art, especially colonial portraiture, viewer reception, portraiture’s roles in society, and methods of figural representation. Tori graduated from John Carroll University with a BA in Art History, minoring in English Literature. She interned at the Cleveland Museum of Art in the Marketing and Communications Department and with ArtNEO as a curatorial intern. She chose the CWRU program in part for its affiliation with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the opportunities it allows her to explore through the Museum Studies program. When not writing and studying, Tori enjoys practicing yoga, baking, cooking, and exploring new cities.
Lauren Lovings-Gomez is a first year MA student in Art History and Museum Studies. She graduated with a BA in Art History and French from the University of Houston. Her research interests range from late eighteenth- through nineteenth-century British and French art with a focus on Victorian art and gender representation, to Pre-Columbian masks and murals. During her time at UH, Lauren was a research assistant for a project that focused on digital curation. She also interned for the photography and European art curatorial departments at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Lauren enjoys traveling, going to the ballet and cinema, and reading historical fiction.
Thomas Martis is a first year student pursuing an MA in Art History and Museum Studies. He graduated cum laude with a BA in Art History and Italian from College of the Holy Cross. He was a member the Italian Gamma Kappa Alpha honor society, as well as the College Honors Program. He spent his junior year in Florence, Italy studying at the Universita degli Studi Umanistici di Firenze and interned at Gonnelli: Libreria Antiquaria – Casa d’Aste, translating object conditions into English for international clients for two auctions as well as speaking on the phone with clients during the auctions. He is most interested in Italian Baroque painting and the relationship between art and the Counter-Reformation.
Gabrielle van Ravenswaay is a first-year MA student in the Art History program at Case Western Reserve. Her research interests include Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century art, the Global Baroque, and Dutch colonialism. Gaby received her BA in Art History from the University of Central Florida. There, she was awarded the College of Arts and Humanities Honors in the Major Scholarship for her undergraduate thesis project, “Subjects of the Gaze: Rubens and his Female Portraits.” In the spring of 2017, Gaby served as a curatorial intern and volunteer docent at the Rollins College Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, Florida.