Ashley Mason is a doctoral candidate specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art. She received a BA in Art History with Honors from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a MA in Art History from UI. Her master’s thesis, titled "Portraits of Maintenon: Edifying Depictions of a Royal Mistress," examined the official commissioned portraits of Louis XIV's last official mistress and morganatic wife, the Marquise de Maintenon. Research for her doctoral dissertation focuses on the depictions of women by Jean-François Millet. Ashley’s broader research interests encompass various aspects of early and late modern European art and culture, including: women as artists, subjects, and patrons; rococo design and decorative arts; court life and royal patronage; art and the Enlightenment; art of the French Revolution; and French art of the early and mid-nineteenth century.
Ashley has had the opportunity to work at both the Shelburne Museum in Vermont and the University of Iowa Museum of Art. In addition, she has taught a variety of courses at UI, serving as a TA for Masterpieces: Art in Cultural Contexts, From Mona Lisa to Modernism, Asian Art and Culture, Arts of Africa, and Western Art and Culture Before 1400. Additionally, Ashley has served as Instructor of Record for both Writing About the Visual Arts and Masterpieces: Art in Cultural Contexts. Teaching such a wide variety of courses has provided her broad insight into the field of art history and allows her to utilize an expansive foundation of knowledge in her primary research projects.