Dr. Beth Harris is co-founder and executive director of Smarthistory. Previously, she was dean of art and history at Khan Academy and director of digital learning at The Museum of Modern Art. Before joining MoMA, Beth was Associate Professor of art history and director of distance learning at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she taught both online and in the classroom. She has co-authored, with Dr. Steven Zucker, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, and is the editor of Famine and Fashion: Needlewomen in the Nineteenth Century (2005). She received her Master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and her doctorate in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Dr. Steven Zucker is co-founder and executive director of Smarthistory. Previously, Steven was dean of art and history at Khan Academy. He was chair of history of art and design at Pratt Institute where he strengthened enrollment and lead renewal of curriculum across the Institute. Previously, he was dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY and chair of art history. He has taught at The School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, and at The Museum of Modern Art. Dr. Zucker is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has co-authored, with Dr. Beth Harris, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums. Dr. Zucker received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Dr. Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank is Dean of Content and Strategy. She is also the General Editor of Reframing Art History. As a strong advocate of public art history and digital art history pedagogy, she has been a long-time collaborator with Smarthistory as a content contributor, content editor, and board member. Lauren was previously associate professor of art history at Pepperdine University. Her MA and PhD are from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught at California State University, Long Beach, Brooklyn College (CUNY), the Graduate Century (also CUNY), the University of Oregon, and UCLA. She has served in a number of service and public outreach capacities, including as a board member of the Renaissance Conference of Southern California, a member of the Student and Emerging Professional Committee at CAA, and as a member of the selection committee for the Renaissance Society of America. She is currently a board member of the journal Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture. Her research primarily focuses on the visual culture of Spain and Latin America between 1400 and 1800, considering issues of colonialism, Indigenous agency, gender, censorship, globalization, and emotions. She has published a monograph, Holy Organ or Unholy Idol?: The Sacred Heart in Art, Religion, and Culture of New Spain (2018), and two edited volumes: Visualizing Sensuous and Affective Pain in Early Modern Europe and the Americas (2018) and Emotions, Art, and Christianity in the Transatlantic World, 1450–1800 (2021). Beyond books, she has published essays and reviews in journals, including The Americas, Colonial Latin American Review, Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, caa.reviews, and others. She is also interested in pedagogy, digital art history, and the digital humanities, with recent publications in the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (“Doing Digital Art History in a Pre-Columbian Art Survey Class: Creating an Omeka Exhibition Around the Mixtec Codex Zouche-Nuttall,” 2018) and Digital Humanities Quarterly (“Decolonizing “The Digital” in the Classroom: Reflections on the Intersection of Colonial Latin American Art History and Digital Art History Pedagogy“).
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Ariel Fein received her PhD in Art History from Yale University and is a specialist in Byzantine and Islamic art. Her scholarship explores the circulation of objects, peoples, and ideas across the frontier zones of the medieval Mediterranean, with a particular focus on the arts of Norman Sicily. Other research interests include: the arts of medieval Arab-Christians, identity negotiation and cultural memory in the post-Byzantine diaspora, and Jewish ceremonial art and architecture, especially the Jewish communities of the 19th- and 20th-century Middle East. She is the Spring 2022 Fields of the Future Fellow at the Bard Graduate Center and held the 2019–20 Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship in the Islamic Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her essay, “Kufic epigraphy between Sicily and Ifriqiyya,” received the Historians of Islamic Art Association’s Margaret B. Ševčenko Prize for best unpublished essay written by a junior scholar.
American history fellow
Dr. Kimberly Kutz Elliott was Senior Content Creator in Humanities at Khan Academy. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in United States cultural history, visual culture, and religion. Her dissertation, “Lincoln’s Ghosts: The Posthumous Career of an American Icon,” was the recipient of the Hay-Nicolay Prize. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech and Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Mary Washington.
Senior fellow for public art history
Sarah Boyd Alvarez is an art museum educator and administrator with over 20 years of experience in program design and management, collaboration, teaching, and curriculum development. Most recently, she served as Senior Director for Students and Educators at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she led a holistic evolution of the museum’s offerings for K-12 learners. Sarah has made notable contributions to the arts and museum education fields through various publications and presentations, including guest editing the Journal of Museum Education (Vol 36, No. 1, Spring, 2011), “Beyond Teachers: Relevance and Value in Professional Development Programs in Museums.” She has also served on numerous advisory committees and task forces dedicated to equity and access in art and museum education.
Sarah has a passion for connecting learners with visual art in ways that feel relevant, inspiring, and meaningful. She believes in the power of arts experiences to bring people and ideas together, to catalyze inquiry about ourselves and the world around us, and to democratize and humanize learning. She holds a BA in art history from Skidmore College and an MA in art history from Rutgers University. She has been a contributor at Smarthistory since 2018.
Operations and projects manager
Kayla McCarthy has her hands in just about every aspect of Smarthistory, focusing on managing initiatives and operational strategy. At Indiana University, where she graduated with a B.A. in American Studies, she also had her hands in many areas, from pioneering a pop-up exhibit for the University’s bicentennial, to writing about the nostalgia of Stranger Things. It was also at Indiana University where her curiosity about digital tools and their potential to democratize knowledge was sparked, which built on a longer love of how to connect real people with big ideas in that humbling, expansive process of learning and exchange. In addition to Smarthistory, Kayla has worked with the Chicago History Museum’s Chicago 00 Project, where she had a dynamic role in realizing a virtual reality experience of the 1893 World’s Fair.
Julia Campbell is actively producing videos related to different projects, including Reframing Art History and refreshing older content. She formerly worked as an intern, and later, as a production assistant at Smarthistory. Julia graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.A. in art history and a minor in digital humanities. Her undergraduate thesis “Procession, Feast, and Ceremony: Asco’s Celebration of Subversion” explores the work of Asco, a Chicano artist group active in the 1970s and 1980s. Beyond her work with Smarthistory, Julia has interned with the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and is a member of the inaugural cohort of the AllPaper Seminar at the Benton Museum of Art.
Academic and technical support
Smarthistory relies on the extraordinary generosity and dedication of our contributing editors and our many academic contributors. Without their commitment, Smarthistory would not be possible. We would also like to thank Dr. Joseph Ugoretz for his technology expertise and Susan Koski Zucker for her design expertise.