ASU-LACMA Master's Fellowship in Art History

We are advancing a new generation of art museum leaders to create a more inclusive museum field.

The ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History offers a three-year degree program that pairs rigorous academic instruction through traditional masters-level coursework with on-the-job work experience. In this program, fellows explore key issues around expanding the canon of art history for the future of museums. The ASU-LACMA fellowship is a program of ASU’s National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation.

The fellowship

The fellowship allows staff already working at a participating museum to enroll in the master’s degree program in Art History at ASU. Museum employees take the classes via Zoom technology and participate in person and remotely in professional development activities.

Fellows have access to resources at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the ASU Art Museum and ASU’s Herberger Institute, the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the United States.

Eligibility requirements

Potential applicants must be employed at a participating museum for a minimum of one year. In addition, applicants must fulfill all admissions requirements for the MA in Art History degree. 

Program components

ASU's MA in art history is a comprehensive degree program designed to train students to engage with visuality in multiple ways.  A diverse curriculum fosters critical understanding of aesthetics, production, patronage and consumption of art. Ten internationally recognized faculty members offer classes covering many cultures, time periods and geographies, using multiple approaches and methodologies. The program stresses intersections between disciplines and offers focused study in the areas of images and digital technologies, art in social and political contexts, and histories and theories of visual culture. Object-based learning using museum collections is an emphasis. 

Fellows enroll in two graduate-level courses each semester. Course offerings in the curriculum include Ancient Greek and Roman, Asian, Contemporary, Global/Thematic Seminars, Latin American, Medieval, Modern and Pre-Columbian art. Future coursework is planned in American Indian, Latinx, African American, Korean, African Diaspora and Oceanica art. 

An outside museum professional is assigned to mentor each fellow to provide individual counsel on graduate study, thesis and externship design, and ongoing career trajectory.

Thesis requirement
Under the guidance of a Thesis Committee, fellows write a thesis proposal during the second year and complete and defend their thesis in the third year. The thesis must demonstrate significant research abilities and methodological approaches.

Language requirement
Students must have a reading knowledge of one research language. The selected language needs to be appropriate for the area of research concentration and must be approved by the chosen faculty mentor. The requirement can be fulfilled by passing the Graduate Foreign Language Examination. Although it is highly recommended that students meet the foreign language requirement before beginning the program, many languages can be taken at ASU.   

Fellows receive a free professional membership during the fellowship to the American Alliance of Museums or the Association of Art Museum Curators. 

Travel and externship
Fellows are expected to participate virtually and/or travel to 1-2 convenings at either ASU or LACMA each semester and participate in annual convenings focused on current issues in museum practice and institutional leadership. Fellows participate in a customized weeklong externship at the end of their second year.

Who’s involved

Museum partners

The ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship was founded in 2018 as a partnership between ASU and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with the aim to culturally diversify the leadership of art museums in the United States. 

In 2021 the partnership will expand to include additional museums across the United States. Museum partners employ fellows and cover tuition and travel expenses.

Current fellows

Ariana Enriquez

Ariana Enriquez
Assistant Registrar
ASU Art Museum

Dhyandra Lawson

Dhyandra Lawson
Curatorial Assistant, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Celia Yang

Celia Yang
Head of Director’s Strategic Initiatives, Asia
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Matthew Villar Miranda

Matthew Villar Miranda
Curatorial fellow
ASU Art Museum

Aurora van Zoelen Cortés

Aurora van Zoelen Cortés
Curatorial Administrator, Art of the Ancient Americas
Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Ten internationally recognized faculty members in the history of art are joined each year by a dynamic mix of rotating visiting faculty and respected museum curators across the partner museums, who offer classes that span many cultures, time periods and geographies, using multiple approaches and methodologies. Meet the ASU art history faculty.


    Museum curators

    Each year a specialized seminar is taught by museum curators.

    2018 Iranian Art: The Intersection of Past and Present (Dr. Linda Komaroff, LACMA)
    2019 Daoist Art (Dr. Stephen Little, LACMA)
    2020 Writing, Speaking,and Collaborating in a Museum Context (Dr. Diana Magaloni, LACMA)

    Program mentors and advisers

    Angelica Afanador-Pujol, ASU-LACMA Master's Fellowship in Art History Program Director and Associate Professor, School of Art, ASU 
    Clarissa Esguerra, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles, LACMA
    Erika Franek, Assistant Director, Registration and Collections Information, LACMA
    Miki Garcia, Director, ASU Art Museum
    Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, LACMA
    Joanna Grabski, Director, School of Art, ASU
    Zoe Kahr, Deputy Director, LACMA
    Naima Keith, Director of Education, LACMA
    Katie Kennedy, AVP, Corporate and Foundation Partnerships, LACMA
    Julio Morales, Curator, ASU Art Museum 
    Steven J. Tepper, Dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
    Olga Viso, Senior Adviser to the Dean on Global Arts Partnership at ASU
    Hilary Walter, Manager of Academic Programs, LACMA

    Past lecturers

    Each year, the fellows convene at ASU for lectures and panels by leading scholars about museum practices, diversity and inclusion, exhibitions and other current topics in the field.

    Past lectures include:
    Bryan Brayboy, President’s Professor, ASU School of Social Transformation
    Amada Cruz, previously Director of the Phoenix Art Museum
    Rita Gonzalez, Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head, Contemporary Art, LACMA
    Stephen Little, Florence and Harry Sloan Curator of Chinese Art and Department Head, Chinese and Korean Art Departments, LACMA
    Tiffany Ana López, Vice Provost for Inclusion and Community Engagement, ASU
    Diana Magaloni, Deputy Director, Program Director and Dr. Virginia Fields Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas, and Director of Conservation, LACMA
    Chon Noriega, Professor and Director, UCLA Chicano Studies Center
    Sharon Takeda, Senior Curator, Costume and Textiles, LACMA


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