History of Art and Architecture

Sarah Daiker



Sarah Daiker studies medieval sculpture and its continued appeal in the modern world, with an emphasis on French architectural elements and their recontextualization in museum collections. Her dissertation examines the intersections of medievalism, historicism, and a developing sense of an American national identity at Washington National Cathedral in the first half of the twentieth century. Sarah’s broader research interests include relationships of the medieval and the modern, the history of collecting and collections, and reproductions and revivals.

Sarah was an intern at The Cloisters in 2013 as part of The Cloisters Summer Internship Program, where she began developing these research interests. Prior to beginning her studies at Pitt, Sarah earned her M.A. in Art History at Pennsylvania State University, where she studied with Elizabeth Bradford Smith and Anthony Cutler. Sarah’s Master’s thesis on George Grey Barnard (1863–1938), the American sculptor whose medieval collection came to form the cornerstone of The Cloisters Collection, considered the public reception of Barnard's collections and the desire for medieval art in the United States during the early- to mid-twentieth century.

Education Details

Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, History of Art and Architecture, in progress
Advisor: Shirin Fozi
Committee Members: Christopher Drew Armstrong, Kirk Savage, Paula M. Kane, and Janet T. Marquardt

M.A., Pennsylvania State University, Art History, 2016
Advisor: Elizabeth Bradford Smith

B.A., Florida State University, History and Criticism of Art, 2014
Minors in Medieval Studies and Museum Studies

Selected Awards

Dietrich Summer Research Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2020, 2021

Arts and Sciences Graduate Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2019–2020

Limited Graduate Student Travel Grant, Department of Art History, Pennsylvania State University, 2015

Helen J. Beard Undergraduate Scholarship, Department of Art History, Florida State University and the Helen J. Beard Foundation, 2013

Selected Presentations

“Evoking the Middle Ages: Alexandre Lenoir’s Musée des monuments français and George Grey Barnard’s Cloisters and Abbaye.” Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism (ISSM), Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, November 12­–14, 2020.

“‘Poems of Past Ages’: George Grey Barnard and the Bishop’s Garden of Washington National Cathedral.” Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism (ISSM), Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario, October 12–13, 2018.

“Architectural Representations and Topographic Designation in the Mosaics of Jordan, 6th–8th Centuries.” Annual Conference of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA), New York, NY, October 22–25, 2015.

“Architectural Sculpture at The Cloisters.” Gallery Talk, The Cloisters, New York, NY, August 1, 2013.