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Graduate Students

Current Graduate Students Bios

Ph.D. Students


Aimee Caya is a second 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 fourth 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 fourth 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 third 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 a second-year Ph.D. student specializing in early modern European art. Her current research interests cover a range of topics including: social history; issues of gender and sexuality; patronage; the history of collecting andcollections; early modern material culture; and viewership and viewer reception. Lauryn earned her B.A. in Art History and Theatre from Florida State University and received her M.A. in History of Art from the University of Toronto. Anaspiring 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 sparetime, she enjoys preparing new vegan recipes, visiting the numerous cultural institutions at University Circle, and catching the occasional musical at Playhouse Square.




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.


M.A. Students

Alexa Sue Amore is a second-year MA candidate in Art History specializing in medieval art. A California native, Alexa received her BA in History (cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta) from San Francisco State University in 2014. She also holds a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies from Fordham University (2016). While at Fordham, she completed a thesis entitled Animated by Pious Zeal: the Cult of Carts and the Oxen of Laon Cathedral, for which she received grants from Fordham’s Graduate Student Association and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to conduct research in France. In 2017, Alexa received a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Fellowship to attend the intensive French summer program at Middlebury College, as well as a Phi Beta Kappa grant from CWRU to attend the University of London’s International Paleography Summer School. She currently serves as a teaching assistant for Art History 101 and is grateful for the opportunity to teach in the galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art each week.




Alexandra Czajkowski is a second 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 a second-year MA candidate studying French and Italian Baroque art. She is especially interested in the interaction between objects and their environs, materiality, and artifice. Erin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama with a BA in Art History and a BS in Chemistry in 2016. In the summer of 2017 Erin interned in the European Paintings and Sculpture curatorial department at the Cleveland Museum of Art, working on forthcoming exhibitions on William Morris and the museum’s Neapolitan crèche collection. Erin has served as a research assistant for Professor Catherine Scallen and Professor Erin Benay, assisting on current book projects and forthcoming publications. Erin is currently writing her qualifying paper, “Surviving Caravaggio: legacy and identity in the Burial of Saint Lucy,” and presented a portion of the project at the Florida State University Art History Symposium in October of 2017. Erin is serving as a teaching assistant for Art History 101 and is thankful for the opportunity to teach in the Cleveland Museum of Art galleries each week. She is also co-chairing the 43rd annual Cleveland Symposium Ars et Scientia: Intersections of Science and the Visual Arts, which is one of the longest-running graduate art history symposia in the country.


Page last modified: October 2, 2017