Clara Ma is a Ph.D candidate studying the history of Asian art and architecture. Her interests include medieval Buddhist visual culture, the ritual use of Buddhist art and architecture, and the cross-cultural interaction along the Silk Road. Clara received her B.A. magna cum laude from St. Lawrence University in 2013. At St. Lawrence University, she conducted her independent research on the development of the Western Pure Land images in Dunhuang as well as the archives of the British Museum. After graduation, She worked as a curatorial intern in the Cleveland Museum of Art's Chinese Art Department.
In 2015, Clara received her M.A. with distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Her dissertation "Representing Paradise during Tibetan Occupation Period: The Ritual Function of Mogao Cave 361," combined her interest in Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist art, and analyzed the visual program and the ritual experience that the murals try to stage.
Clara is currently a David Dean Jefferson Fellow in Asian Studies at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.