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About The Met/ Collection Areas/ Medieval Art and The Cloisters/ Meet the Fellows

Meet the Fellows

The Medieval Art Department encourages the development of young scholars and aspiring curators in many ways, including support for research projects and opportunities to work on the collections with our curatorial staff.

Met 2022–2023 Fellows Joseph Salvatore Ackley, Cristina Aldrich, Claire Dillon, and Laura Feigen

2022–2023 Fellows for Medieval Art and The Cloisters. From left to right, Joseph Salvatore Ackley, Cristina Aldrich, Claire Dillon, and Laura Feigen

Meet the 2022 – 2023 Fellows

Joseph Salvatore Ackley

Joseph Salvatore Ackley is an assistant professor of art history at Wesleyan University. His research focuses on medieval metalwork, and he is at The Met to complete his first book, Medieval Gold: The Radiant Medium, which examines the use, definition, and significance of gold in precious-metal objects. He has published widely on a variety of topics, including Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval Manuscripts (De Gruyter, 2022), a co-edited volume that explores the use of metallic media in manuscript decoration and the depiction therein of precious metalwork. He received his doctorate from New York University and taught at Columbia, Barnard, and the University of Arkansas before coming to Wesleyan.

Cristina Aldrich

Cristina Aldrich is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and the current Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Fellow. Her dissertation analyzes polychromed wooden sculptures from northern Spain, including The Cloisters’ Enthroned Virgin and Child to question the porosity of social distinctions in the pre-modern West—specifically how monks, monarchs, and parish officials were able to employ the symbolic power of Mary to suit their spiritual, dynastic, and political aspirations throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Cristina is also assisting curator Julia Perratore with a project on Valencian lusterware, in addition to researching a painted wooden ceiling from the Castilian town of Illescas.

Claire Dillon

Claire Dillon is a PhD candidate in Islamic art history at Columbia University where she researches the intersections of visual cultures, identities, and faiths in the medieval Mediterranean. Her dissertation focuses on textiles produced in Sicily and their place within the historiography of the “global Middle Ages” and other postmedieval contexts. Claire is studying The Met’s collection of textiles from the Mediterranean dated between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Her research into attribution practices and the textiles’ technical qualities aims to better understand interaction between medieval Mediterranean societies.

Laura Feigen

Laura Feigen is a PhD candidate at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her research interests center around Jewish-Christian relations and Jewish experience in medieval Western Europe between 1290 and 1500. Her dissertation explores the migration of Hebrew manuscripts from France, Germany, and Spain to Italy in the fifteenth century, examining their movement and changes to their material composition in relation to the expulsion of Jews from these countries. This PhD project is supported by a Doctoral Studentship from the Consortium for the Humanities and Arts South-East England (CHASE) and has received additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation and British Archaeological Association.

Past Fellows

Max Hello
Fellow, 2021–2022

Max Hello is a doctoral candidate at the École Nationale des Chartes in Paris, France. His thesis focuses on the study of ornamental aspects of Merovingian manuscripts and illumination of the seventh and eighth centuries. As a Fellow, Max conducted paleographical and provenance research for several artworks in the collection of the department, especially sculpture and illuminated manuscripts.

Jacqueline Lombard
Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, 2021–2022

Jacqueline Lombard is a PhD candidate in the history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh and a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. She specializes in medieval art history and is particularly interested in art objects that served as products or conduits of cross-cultural exchange between medieval Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her research examines pre-modern conceptions of identity and seeks to understand how medieval peoples used artistic production and consumption to articulate their own positions and spaces in their ever-expanding world.

Zachary Stewart
Fellow, 2021–2022

Zachary Stewart is an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University (PhD, Columbia University). He specializes in the material culture of medieval Europe with a focus on the buildings, cities, and landscapes of medieval Britain. His research has appeared in The Journal of Architectural Education, Speculum, Different Visions, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and The Antiquaries Journal and is forthcoming in several edited volumes. During his year at The Met, Zachary worked on a book project titled Collaborative Gothic: Perpendicular Architecture, Identity, and Community in the English Parish Church, 1350–1550, which investigates the parish church as a vehicle for innovative material production between the Black Death and the Reformation.

Alexis Wang
Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, 2021–2022

Alexis Wang is a specialist in the art and architecture of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, with interests in the mediality of mural decoration, cross-cultural exchange, medieval notions of nature, and the intersections between art, science, and devotion. Her current book project, Intermedial Effects, Sanctified Surfaces, examines medieval understandings of media and mixture, and brings to the light the practice of embedding devotional objects within monumental mural images in medieval Italy. She has a PhD from Columbia University. In 2019–2020 she was the Donald and Maria Cox/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Rome Prize Fellow in Medieval Studies at the American Academy in Rome. She was the 2021–2022 Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.

Scott Miller
Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research and Collections Specialist; Medieval Ivory Project, 2020–2022

Scott Miller was a 2020–2022 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research and Collection Specialist and a member of the Medieval Ivory Project in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. He came to The Met after completing his doctoral thesis, “Royal Nomadism and the Valois Castle” at Northwestern University. His research interests include the use of ivory in hygienic tools and furniture, ivory simulants like bone, and the history and ecological impact of the ivory trade. Recent publications include “Declawing the Pastourelle in the Visual Arts of the Valois Courts and Christine de Pizan’s Dit de la Pastoure,” in Subjects of Violence: Women, Consent, and Resistance in the Late Middle Age.

Nicole Pulichene
Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research and Collections Specialist; Medieval Ivory Project, 2020–2022

Nicole Pulichene was a 2020–2022 Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research and Collections Specialist and a member of the Medieval Ivory Project in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. She is co-editor and contributing author of the monograph The Boethius Diptych: New Findings in Technical Art History, Iconography, and Paleography (Passau: Dietmar Klinger Verlag, 2021). Her new book project, entitled “One Whose Name was Writ in Wax”: Reflections on the Medieval Reuse of Consular Diptychs, focuses on the connection between early Christian liturgical rites and the medieval reuse of late antique ivory diptychs. She completed her PhD at Harvard University in 2020 in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.