Lauren Van Nest

PhD Student


Lauren Van Nest is a doctoral student in art and architectural history in the McIntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia. She studies medieval art history under the direction of Professor Eric Ramírez-Weaver. Her research explores illuminated manuscripts of the Romanesque period in their ritualized contexts, including analysis of how objects generate and activate networked relationships among earthly and heavenly realms. Lauren examines object materiality as well as medieval conceptions of visuality and spatiality in order to reveal how objects perform medieval worldviews.

Lauren received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Art History and History with a minor in Medieval and Early Modern Studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she completed a Senior Honors Thesis titled “Morgan Beatus: The Three-Dimensional Cosmos of the Adoration of the Lamb.” During her undergraduate career, Lauren conducted internships in curatorial and education departments at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum, and the Oriental Institute. After graduating, Lauren worked at The Newberry in Chicago, IL, as a Digitization Technician in the department of Digital Initiatives and Services.

Lauren pursued a Master of Arts at the University of Toronto, and began her studies at the University of Virginia in the fall of 2017. Lauren is currently the co-coordinator of the Medieval Colloquium at the University of Virginia.