Area of Concentration: Southern Renaissance
Faculty Advisor: Mark A. Meadow
Committee Member: Christine Thomas (Religious Studies, UCSB)
Dissertation: "Healing Walls: Visualizing Bodily and Social Care in the Pellegrinaio Frescoes of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena"
M.A. Thesis: "Through the Crystal Veil: Devotional Discipline and the Ambivalence of the Material Image on the Sacro Monte di Varallo," completed 2012
Margaret Bell is a Ph.D. Candidate at UC Santa Barbara where she also received her M.A. in 2012. Her Master’s thesis entitled “Through the Crystal Veil: Devotional Discipline and the Ambivalence of the Material Image on the Sacro Monte di Varallo,” was published as an article in Volume 5 of the California Italian Studies Journal in 2015. Margaret’s dissertation research, which she is currently pursuing as a Samuel H. Kress fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (2016-2018), centers on the relationships among architecture, healing practices and visual representation in early modern Italy, focusing in particular on the fifteenth-century frescoes in the central ward of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena.
Margaret is committed to the pedagogy of art history, and interested in the role of the visual arts in challenging and enriching the experience of individuals and communities. In 2016 she was UC Santa Barbara’s Humanities Public Scholar (a Mellon/UCHRI initiative), conducting interdisciplinary research on art education and perceptions of community. She is currently co-curating the exhibition “Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara” which will open at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum in September 2017 as part of Getty Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.