Rachel Winter

Rachel Winter
Graduate Student


Areas of Concentration: Contemporary art from the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey; Museum History, Theory, and Display (US and Global); Global Contemporary art; Cultural Exchange; Biennials; the Art Market; Globalization; World's Fairs & Festivals
Faculty Advisor: E. Bruce Robertson
Committee Members: Anneka Lenssen (History of Art, UC Berkeley), Laurie Monahan
Dissertation: "A Spectacle of Inclusion: The Rise of Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey in the United States and England, 1970-2020"
M.A. Thesis: "Out of the Periphery: Identity and Protest Art Amidst Alternative Revolutions" (Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Iowa, completed 2017)


Rachel Winter is a Ph.D. candidate, emerging curator, and museum educator. Rachel’s specialization is contemporary art from Southwest Asia and North Africa, or the Middle East. Her dissertation examines the relatively unknown history of curating and collecting contemporary art from the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey before 9/11 in both the US and the UK, as well as how collecting and curatorial practices were informed by earlier fairs and festivals. She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the Craft Research Fund Project Grant from the Center for Craft (Asheville, NC), the Humanities & Social Sciences Research Grant from the UCSB Graduate Division, a Research Grant from the Decorative Arts Trust, the Claudia Weitlanner Fellowship in the Arts, and the Albert and Elaine Borchard European Studies Fellowship. 

An emerging museum professional, Rachel is an Assistant Curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Previously, she held positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the AD&A Museum at UCSB, and the Old Capitol Museum (Iowa City, IA). 

Rachel received her M.A. from the University of Iowa in Interdisciplinary Studies: Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies in 2017 where she was named Outstanding Graduate Student in Islamic Studies. In 2015, Rachel obtained her B.A. with honors in Art History from the University of Iowa.

For more on Rachel’s museum projects, grants, fellowships, and other recent scholarship, see https://ucsb.academia.edu/RachelWinter Link opens an external site. Profile picture by Eat Pomegranate Photography


Cover of the book Samia Halaby: Centers of Energy, edited by Elliot Josephine Leila Reichert, Rachel Winter, and Samia Halaby (Hirmer Verlag, March 2024)