Ashley Mason is a third-year Ph.D. student specializing in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century European art. She received a B.A. in Art History with Honors from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Iowa. Ashley's M.A. thesis, titled "Portraits of Maintenon: Edifying Depictions of a Royal Mistress," examined the official portraits of Louis XIV's last official mistress and morganatic wife, the Marquise de Maintenon. Her Ph.D. research interests encompass various aspects of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century art and culture including rococo design and decorative arts, court life and royal patronage, art and the Enlightenment, and issues relating to gender. While Ashley has had the opportunity to work at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, teaching is her passion. Being a teaching assistant for a variety of courses at the University of Iowa, such as Survey of Western Art Before 1400, Masterpieces of Western Art, Writing About the Visual Arts, and Arts of Africa, has provided her insight into the field of art history and allows her to incorporate a broad knowledge of the field into her primary research projects.