CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar

In 2014, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CCL launched a summer seminar intensive, which introduces art history doctoral candidates at the outset of their careers to the daily challenges and strategic questions of museum practice.

Alisa Chiles -

Alisa Chiles


Alisa Chiles is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in modern architecture and decorative arts. She holds a BA in Art History from Stanford University and an MA in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Her dissertation, “On Duels and Designs: French and German Modernism at the Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition, Paris 1930,” has received support from the Smithsonian and the Decorative Arts Trust. It examines the Deutscher Werkbund’s 1930 Parisian exhibition in the context of the national rivalry between France and Germany, and considers how this rivalry stimulated the invention of new artistic forms during the early twentieth century. She is also interested in war memorials and recently published an article on French Beaux-Arts architect Paul Cret’s WWI war memorial designs. Prior to studying at Penn, Alisa worked for six years in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also worked for the George Nakashima Foundation, and interned at the Musée d’Orsay, the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hanna House in Stanford, CA.

J. English Cook - Graduate Curatorial Assistant

J. English Cook


J. English Cook is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, where she specializes in intersections between architecture, cinema, and urban theory. Her dissertation examines the impact of cinema on the postwar spread of phenomenology, particularly as expressed in architects’ re-articulation of notions of spatial experience. These overlaps, she argues, have an under-examined prehistory in the intertwined practices of interwar filmmakers and architects. She previously received an MA with distinction from the Institute of Fine Arts and a BA with highest honors from Williams College, where her research was awarded the S. Lane Faison, Jr. 1929 Prize.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she has worked as a curatorial assistant in modern and contemporary art at the High Museum, Atlanta and as the assistant commissioner for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. She has produced performances at Momentum Worldwide, a time-based media gallery in Berlin, curated a traveling exhibition of paintings by Winston Churchill, and interned in curatorial departments at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Williams College Museum of Art, as well as for the online English language journal of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Ashley Dimmig - University of Michigan

Ashley Dimmig


Ashley Dimmig is a PhD candidate in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, where she focuses on the art and architecture of Islamic cultures, under the direction of Professor Christiane Gruber. As the 2017–2019 Ittleson Fellow at CASVA, she is currently working on her dissertation, “Making Modernity in Fabric Architecture: Imperial Tents in the Late Ottoman Period”—a subject she has begun to explore in an article published in theInternational Journal of Islamic Architecturein 2014. Ashley holds two Master of Art degrees from Indiana University Bloomington and Koç University in Istanbul, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art history and Fiber studio art from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Xiaohan Du - Columbia University

Xiaohan Du


Xiaohan is a PhD candidate at Columbia University, specializing in Chinese art and Japanese art, with a focus on medieval Sino-Japanese exchanges. Her dissertation “On A Snowy Night: Yishan Yining (1247-1317) and the Development of Zen Calligraphy in Medieval Japan” examines the life and work of an expatriate Chinese priest who went to Japan in 1299 as an imperial envoy for the Yuan court; his practice as a calligrapher in Japan is pivotal in the transformation of calligraphy from a semantic tool into a symbolic cultural product central to the self-fashioning of Zen priests who came after him, testifying to the abiding power and potential of this age-old art form that has long been venerated in the East Asian cultural sphere. 

Xiaohan received her BA with Honors in Art History from Hamilton College in 2012; she studied French and European art in Paris, where she had an internship with Museé Guimet. She has also interned in the Chinese works of art department at Christie’s New York office, the Japanese and Korean painting department at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, and the curatorial department at Kyoto National Museum.

Christopher Green -

Christopher Green


Christopher Green is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His research focuses on modern and contemporary Native American art, the representation and display of Indigenous culture, and primitivisms of the historic and neo-avant-garde. His dissertation, “Masked Moderns: Northwest Coast Native Art Beyond Revival,” examines the interplay between Euro-American modernism and Native American art of the Pacific Northwest through a series of Indigenous artists who in the years 1960–1990 drew on modernist aesthetic procedures to complicate notions of authenticity, identity, and tradition. His scholarly essays and criticism have appeared inArt in America,The Brooklyn Rail,ARTMargins, andWinterthur Portfolio, amongst others, and he is the co-editor of Issue 11 ofSHIFT: Graduate Journal of Visual and Material Culture, “BLOOD AND EARTH AND SOIL.” He recently contributed a catalogue essay and public program to the exhibition “Unholding” at Artists Space, and he will be a 2018–2019 Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Museum of the American Indian.

Leila Anne Harris -

Leila Anne Harris


Leila Anne Harris is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at The Graduate Center, City University of New York specializing in the history of photography. Her dissertation, “Labor and the Picturesque: Photography, Propaganda, and the Tea Industry in Colonial India and Sri Lanka, 1880-1914,” considers how photographs functioned as nationalistic propaganda advertising the merits of British-grown tea through a romanticization of colonial labor and a celebration of industry in the British Empire. Her research has been recognized with support from the Social Sciences Research Council, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She holds a BA with Highest Distinction in Art History and Studio Art from the University of Virginia. Before pursuing graduate studies she was an Aunspaugh Fellow at the University of Virginia and worked in a professional photography lab. More recently, she has worked as a curatorial intern at the Museum of Modern Art and as a fellow at the Morgan Library & Museum. In fall 2018 she will be a visiting scholar at the Yale Center for British Art.

Diana Mellon -

Diana Mellon


Diana Mellon is a PhD candidate and graduate instructor at Columbia University, where she studies Medieval and Renaissance Italian art. Her dissertation examines the relationship between 14th- and 15th-century paintings depicting healing and vernacular healthcare practices during the period. Diana has held the positions of Ayesha Bulchandani Graduate Curatorial Intern at the Frick Collection, Joseph F. McCrindle Curatorial Intern at the National Gallery of Art, and Nancy Horton Bartels Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art. She has also worked at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the American Academy in Rome, and DEPART Foundation in Italy. She received her BA in the History of Art from Yale University.

Jun Nakamura -

Jun Nakamura


Jun Nakamura is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, where he works on Dutch Golden Age topics and the history of printmaking. His dissertation explores how visual rhetorics of print were manipulated, appropriated, and subverted in the Netherlands in the long seventeenth-century in order to get at implications of print that hinge on its particular aesthetic qualities, rather than on print’s multiplicity or materiality. His other research interests include transoceanic trade and travel, approaches to the depiction of space, and early modern science and technology. Jun is also a practicing artist and printmaker. He holds a BFA in Fashion Design and Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Art History from Southern Methodist University. Jun was previously the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation Curatorial Intern in prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Art from 2013–14. He will be a Kress Institutional Fellow at Leiden University from 2018–20 and a Belgian American Educational Foundation Honorary Fellow 2018–19.

Galina Olmsted -

Galina Olmsted


Galina Olmsted is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Delaware and a specialist in nineteenth-century European art. Her dissertation, “Making and Exhibiting Modernism: Gustave Caillebotte in Paris, New York, and Brussels,” evaluates Caillebotte’s art- and exhibition-making as interconnected forms of modern artistic expression and her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for Material Culture Studies, and the Getty Research Institute. Prior to beginning her doctoral work, she earned a BA in English and Art History from Georgetown University and an MA in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University. She has held curatorial positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the University of Delaware Museums, where she curated an exhibition of contemporary prints in the spring of 2018.

Rachel Patt -

Rachel Patt


Rachel Patt is a doctoral candidate specializing in Roman art history at Emory University. Her dissertation, “Meaning, Materiality, and Pothos in Late Antique Gold Glass Portraits,” focuses on the discrete handful of gold glass roundels bearing portraits of private individuals. In 2017, she held a Mellon Fellowship in Object-Centered Curatorial Research, studying a gold-band glass alabastron at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Rachel received her BA in Classics with distinction from Stanford University in 2009. During her senior year, she guest-curated the exhibition “Appellations from Antiquity” at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center, exploring appropriation of Classical mythology in modern art. Rachel received her MA in Classical and Byzantine Art History with merit from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, in 2011. She has held multiple volunteer curatorial internships at the Getty Villa, Malibu, and a Graduate Curatorial Internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and worked from 2012–2014 at the Visual Resources Center of Stanford’s Art & Architecture Library.

Chloé Madeleine Pelletier -

Chloé Madeleine Pelletier


Chloé M. Pelletier is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago concentrating on Italian Renaissance art. Originally from Texas, she received her BA in the History of Art with departmental honors from Johns Hopkins University (2013). At the University of Chicago, she wrote her MA thesis on the influence of Early Renaissance painting in the work of 20th-century Chicago artist Roger Brown (2016). She is interested in artists who worked outside of large urban centers and developed independent styles that have been historically labeled ‘provincial.’ Building on these interests, her dissertation examines the elaborate but often overlooked landscape backgrounds of Adriatic Renaissance paintings as a means of investigating the relationship of environment to artistic practice. Beyond the University of Chicago, she has held research positions at the Blanton Museum in Austin, the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She will be spending next year in Urbino, Italy on a Fulbright fellowship.

Anni Pullagura -

Anni Pullagura


Anni Pullagura is a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at Brown University. She holds a Master’s in Public Humanities from Brown University and a Bachelor’s in Art History from Emory University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in the History of Art and Architecture, also from Brown University. Her dissertation, “Seeing Feeling: The Work of Empathy in Exhibitionary Spaces,” explores the intersection of moral philosophy and visual culture in the art encounter, examining how feelings attach to narratives and subjects in contemporary art and media. An advocate for social justice in museums, she has worked in various cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Atlanta History Center, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University. Currently, she is a curatorial fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

Xuxa Rodríguez -

Xuxa Rodríguez


Xuxa Rodríguez is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign specializing in 20th and 21st century Latinx and Latin American Art, with focuses in Afrodiasporic art and theory of the Caribbean, performance art, social practice, and feminist and queer theory. Her dissertation, “Performing Exile: Cuban-American Women’s Performance Art, 1972–2014,” is the first to examine Ana Mendieta, Carmelita Tropicana, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Coco Fusco together, arguing their work embodies U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations of the late 20th century. She has served as a 2017–2018 Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a 2016–2017 Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow, a 2014 Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program Fellow, and a 2013–2016 Graduate College Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has interned and worked for Figure One Exhibition Lab Space, Frost Art Museum, Krannert Art Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Spurlock Museum. Her curatorial practice occupies the intersections of the affective, collaborative, immersive, and sensorial to facilitate projects that center artist’s voices, dance, installation, music, participation, performance, and readings. In 2018–2019, she will serve as a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellow in American Art.

Miranda Saylor -

Miranda Saylor


Miranda Saylor is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she specializes in art of viceregal Mexico and early modern Spain. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Miranda’s dissertation examines the profound influence of the Spanish mystic author María de Ágreda on sacred art in the Americas. More generally, her research interests explore print culture, female piety, and Marian imagery in the early modern Ibero-American world. She has assisted with curatorial projects organized by El Museo del Barrio, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Most recently, she worked on Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibitionFound in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, for which she also contributed to the catalogue.

Marina Tyquiengco -

Marina Tyquiengco


Marina Tyquiengco is PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture  at the University of Pittsburgh, advised by Professor Terry Smith on contemporary Indigenous art. She received her BA from the University of Virginia with a double major in Art History and Foreign Affairs. While at the University of Virginia, she interned at the Fralin Museum of Art and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. After graduating, she continued to work in the arts at a for-profit gallery and nonprofit art center. In 2016, she received her MA in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh with a project on reuse of ethnographic photographs by contemporary Aboriginal artists. She has presented her research at the Australian and New Zealand Studies of North America and at the Southeastern College Art Conference. She was the inaugural intern for the 57th Carnegie International where she conducted a digital humanities project based on recent curators’ travel patterns. Her dissertation will focus on Indigenous artists’ use of their bodies in work made from the 1990s to today in Australia, Canada, and the United States. She is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief forContemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture.