Alexandria (class of 2022) is a PhD candidate in Stanford’s department of Art History, with a certificate in Iranian Studies. She specializes in early modern art and architecture of the Mediterranean basin and eastern Islamicate world, with a particular focus on the arts of Italy and Iran. Her doctoral dissertation examines diplomatic and artistic exchange between Safavid Iran and the Venetian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and Papal Rome.
Her dissertation highlights new findings from three overlooked areas: trade routes in luxury goods (silk harvested near the Caspian Sea in exchange for mirrored Venetian glass); architectural exchanges (the Italianate Safavid fortress in Kandahar and the unrealized design for a lapis lazuli dome in Florence); as well as architectural traces of minority communities (Safavid Shi’a converts in Rome and Roman Discalced Carmelites in Isfahan). Collectively, the project is about the agency of art in facilitating intercultural dialogue, discovery and diplomacy.
Alexandria is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship to Rome, where she will collaborate with the Istituto Italiano di Studi Orientali at La Sapienza (University of Rome) and the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway. She has also been awarded the Henry A. Millon Award in Art and Architectural History from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, as well as research fellowships from the American Institute for Iranian Studies and the Hoover Institution. In the winter of 2020, through a grant from the Mellon Foundation, she will curate an exhibition titled Persophilia: Safavid Iran and the West. Opening at the Cantor Arts Center, the show will bring works of art (including graphic arts, maps, rare books, and textiles) that have rarely been exhibited to the public for the first time. The Iranian Studies community at Stanford continues to be a crucial and treasured part of her doctoral education.