Isabelle Masse


Isabelle Masse is a PhD candidate in art history at McGill University. She specializes in eighteenth-century drawing, with a particular interest in the intersection of history of media and portraiture. Her dissertation “Médium du portrait, portrait du médium: les ‘spécificités historiques’ du pastel dans le long XVIIIe siècle” focuses on the historical construction of pastel as a medium of portraiture. It explores the ways of interpreting, understanding, and perceiving the nature of pastel in art practices and discourses of the long eighteenth century. Masse conducted contract research for the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (MNBAQ) and held a 2016–17 Max Stern Museum Fellowship at the McGill Visual Arts Collection. She has published peer-reviewed articles on contemporary and Aboriginal nineteenth-century portraiture in RACAR and Journal of Canadian Art History. Recent awards include the 2017 Dora Wiebenson Prize from the American association Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (HECAA) for the best graduate student paper presented in 2016, as well as a 201819 ASECS-Clark Fellowship to support research at the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and a two-year FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellowship starting in 2019 at the UCLA Department of Art History.