Dr. Vitela received her B.A. from Emory University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation analyzed the significance of ceramics created for Isabella d’Este, the most famous female patron of the Renaissance, and for her son Federico II Gonzaga within the context of the Mantuan court. Her articles about Renaissance banqueting practices and the reception of early modern ceramics have appeared in the journals Word and Image and Women’s Studies: An inter-disciplinary journal. Dr. Vitela is principal investigator of IDEA Ceramics, a website and database dedicated to Isabella d'Este's maiolica as part of the Isabella d'Este Archive (IDEA) digital project. Her current research projects analyze the collection and use of ceramics in the sixteenth-century papal and Medici courts to consider how the medium established identity and fit into broader artistic programs.