BA - University of Chicago
MA - University of Pennsylvania

Ryan Eisenman (he/him/his) is a PhD Candidate specializing in the visual and material culture of the European Middle Ages. His research focuses on histories of metalwork and mining, artistic labor and knowledge, the role of art in power formation, and the relationship of modernity to the Middle Ages. His dissertation in progress, “Opera et Labora: The Limoges Champlevé Enamel Industry, 1100-1400,” examines the overlapping networks supporting the serial production and widespread consumption of Limoges champlevé enamels. To make sense of such networks, which cut across social divisions, involved multiple systems of power, and anticipate modern processes of market exchange, Ryan traces the transmission of technical skills, the extraction and movement of raw materials, and the commission and consumption of finished commodities. He furthermore situates Limoges enamels in premodern environmental and economic histories. Ryan maintains an active research interest in histories of sexuality and gender and the application of contemporary queer theory to medieval art history, especially in twelfth- and thirteenth-century France.  

Ryan received a B.A. with Honors from the University of Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. His Master’s Paper, “The Bishops and the Lions,” was awarded a 2020 Graduate Student Prize by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA). His research has been supported by the McCoubrey-Campbell Travel Grant at the University of Pennsylvania and the ICMA Student Research Grant. He is a former department representative to SASGov, a former co-coordinator of Medievalists@Penn and a current member of the ICMA Advocacy Committee. In 2021, Ryan authored six “Long Descriptions” of medieval and early modern objects at the Barnes Foundation for their In Focus series. He is the 2021-2022 Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fellow at the Rijksmuseum.

Photo by Maarten Kools. 

Barnes Foundation In Focus “Long Descriptions”

Enthroned Virgin (A437):

Shutter of a Tabernacles with Scenes of the Infancy of Christ (01.04.51):


Field of Study