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Art History Outcomes: Alumna Chelsea Kaufman

Art History Outcomes

Chelsea Kaufman, Class of 2015

Chelsea Kaufman working on a technical drawing of a trench on the island of Orasaigh, South Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

Chelsea is studying for her doctorate in Egyptian art and archaeology at Johns Hopkins. She has a master of arts in archaeology from Yale, where her thesis focused on ceramic remains from Catfish Cave, Lower Nubia/Upper Egypt. While at Moravian, she cross-registered for several archaeology classes at Lehigh. She studied anthropological archaeology with Lehigh University Professor of Anthropology and Interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, Cameron Wesson. Together they worked on a prehistoric rock shelter site in Mertztown, PA; located and mapped the foundation of the Moravian First House in Nazareth; and worked on a Bronze Age site in the Hebrides, Scotland, along with students from Cardiff University, Wales. In the summer of 2017, Chelsea ran an excavation for Wesson at the George Taylor house in Catasauqua, PA. While at Yale, Chelsea’s primary research focused on Egypt, and her interests included supernatural belief systems, ritual, and mortuary practices as they reflect or are affected by societal structure, all of which had the potential to present themselves within the material record. Her thesis utilized petrographic analysis of ceramic thin sections from a 4th-millennium-BCE site in Upper Egypt to determine which culture groups may have contributed to the formation of the state of Egypt. Her thesis poster can be downloaded below. Her thesis advisors were Dr. John Darnell and Dr. Anne Underhill. While at Yale, she also served as the acting collections curator for the Yale Babylonian Collection. During that time, she contributed to Ron Wellenfel's publication of Hellenistic seal impressions from the Babylonian collection, published in 2016. Chelsea produced all of the illustrations diagramming the locations of seals on Near Eastern bullae (clay envelopes for security) created during Alexander the Great's empire.

After Yale, Chelsea went to Temple University. At Temple, she developed student manuals on cataloging, accessioning, and conditioning protocols. She also quantified, identified (age, sex, culture), and repatriated formerly undocumented Native American human remains in the collection in accordance with NAGPRA regulations. As she began pursuing her doctorate at Temple in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology, she had the desire to specialize in Egyptian art and archaeology. She is now doing just that as she is pursuing her PhD at Johns Hopkins, where she is the student of Dr. Betsy Bryan, the current President of the American Research Institute in Egypt. Chelsea says "I am interested in the change and consistency of art over time in both sacred and secular spaces, especially during the 18th Dynasty, which is regarded as a period of increased trade of materials and ideas."

To view Chelsea's Yale thesis poster click here.

Photo (right): Chelsea Kaufman working on a technical drawing of a trench on the island of Orasaigh, South Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

Sofia D. Bakis, Class of 1988


Sofia D. Bakis graduated from Moravian College in 1988 with a BA in Art History. She also took a good number of studio art classes. She has been employed by the Allentown Art Museum since 1988. Her current title is Coordinator for Collections and Exhibitions. Her main responsibilities include: collections records management, preparing receipts, loan agreements, and gift agreements, generating and installing exhibition ID labels, managing rights and reproductions, preparing acquisitions list, overseeing museum’s library.

The Allentown Art Museum’s growing permanent collection currently stands at over 17,000 works in the permanent collection, which includes American and European paintings and sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, textiles, decorative arts, and Asian sculpture and prints. In the ten galleries, the permanent collection is on view in seven galleries, with the other three reserved for special changing exhibitions. There are many tours available for school groups and adult programming, as well as many events related to the special exhibitions.  

Photo Courtesy of the Allentown Art Museum