Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
Website URL
Islamic Art, Ottoman Art, Early-Modern Cross-cultural Exchanges, Ottoman Studies, Mediterranean Studies
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Personal Info

About Me

Gwendolyn received her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s joint program for Middle Eastern Studies and History of Art & Architecture, where she specialized in Islamic art (Ottoman focus) and cultural history. Previously, she received her M.A. from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies and her B.A. from Vassar College in Classics and Medieval/Renaissance Studies.

She currently is the Assistant Curator for Art of the Middle East at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). There, she will contribute to upcoming exhibitions, including Dining with the Sultan and the reinstallation of the permanent collection galleries following museum renovations.

Gwendolyn’s dissertation offers the first extended history of the commercial art market for single-folio paintings in Ottoman Istanbul during the 17th-18th c.  Works from this market largely survive in albums, costume albums, and mecmuas (anthologies). Her research contextualizes these paintings from artistic production to their purchase by a diverse clientele, and follows their afterlife as recommodified objects in private collections. The dissertation argues that the popularization of the album format, and the rise of a wealthy class of Ottoman urban notables contributed to the creation of this market, which had broad cross-cultural appeal among European travelers as well. She further tracks collecting trends among Ottoman and European buyers through codicological analysis and digital tools, such as network graphing of pounced models. In doing so, she considers how these factors drove the development of this early modern art market. Her past projects have included cross-cultural exchanges in commercial Levantine prints and depictions of dress in artists’ albums of the Qajar dynasty.

Recent Publications

“‘Word-Seizing’ Albums: Imported Paintings from ʿAcem and Hindūstān on an Eclectic Ottoman Market,” Ars Orientalis 51 (2021). Special Issue: “Going Viral in the Graphic Arts of Asia,” ed. Holly Shaffer.


“Between Brush, Stone, and Copper: The Levantine Print Scene of 1830s Smyrna and the Harvard Fulgenzi Album,” in Prints and Impressions from Ottoman Smyrna: Collection de costumes civils et militaires, scènes populaires, et vues de l’Asie-Mineure (1836-38) at Harvard University’s Fine Arts Library, Memoria. Fontes minores ad Historiam Imperii Ottomanici pertinentes 4, ed. Gwendolyn Collaço and Richard Wittmann (Istanbul: Orient-Institut Istanbul and Max Weber Stiftung, 2019).


“Albums of Conspicuous Consumption: A Composite Mirror of an Eighteenth-Century Collector’s World,” Journal18: A Journal of Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture, no. 6 (Fall 2018). Special Issue: “The Culture of Albums in the Long 18th Century,” ed. Nebahat Avcıoğlu.


“Crafting Time Through Dress: A Patchwork Pastiche of Periods and Reigns,” in An Album of Artists’ Materials from Qajar Iran, ed. David J. Roxburgh, 40-44. Cambridge, Mass., and New Haven: Harvard Art Museums, distributed by Yale University Press, 2017.


“Dressing a City’s Demeanour: Costume Albums and the Portrayal of Urban Identity in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries,” Textile History 48, no. 2 (Nov. 2017): 248-267.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Mediterranean, Middle East
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern, Modern
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Material Culture, Museums, Urban History