Dr. Mariah Proctor-Tiffany teaches courses in medieval and Islamic art and architecture, and in the cross-cultural exchange of objects in the early modern period. She enjoys teaching at RISD because of the curiosity and varied perspectives of her students.
She has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships, including a Samuel H. Kress Travel Fellowship that funded her dissertation research year in France, a Manning Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, and awards from the Medieval Studies program and the Graduate School of Brown University. Most recently, she received a Samuel H. Kress/International Center of Medieval Art book research award.
Before coming to Providence, Dr. Proctor-Tiffany lived in New York City, where she worked in the education department of The Cloisters, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She continues to speak at The Cloisters as an invited lecturer.
She earned her Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture at Brown University.
Academic Research/Areas of Interest
Dr. Proctor-Tiffany’s research interests include cross-cultural exchange through international gift giving, female patronage during the late Middle Ages, Islamic art in the West, theories of collecting and gift giving, prescriptions about patrons' relationships to works of art in didactic literature, and the modern lives of medieval works of art.
Currently, Dr. Proctor-Tiffany is finishing a book, Gothic Art in Motion: The Possessions, Identity, and Gift Giving of Clémence of Hungary, which explores art and the performance of identity by royal women in fourteenth-century courts. The book argues that women, often separated from their loved ones by politically advantageous marriages, maintained their relationships through international gifts of sculptures, reliquaries, textiles, jewels, and manuscripts. The luxurious objects that queens circulated testified to the women's identities, strengthening their claims to income and political power.