Michelle Donnelly studies twentieth-century American art, with particular interests in materiality and intermediality, issues of race and gender, and transcultural entanglements. For the 2019–20 academic year, she served as a Yale-Smithsonian Graduate Research Assistant on an upcoming exhibition on race and sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Prior to joining Yale, she was the inaugural Curatorial Fellow in the Sondra Gilman Study Center at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she curated Experiments in Electrostatics: Photocopy Art from the Whitney’s Collection, 1966–1986 (2017–18) and assisted on such exhibitions as Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 (2020), Mary Corse: A Survey in Light (2018), and Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables (2018). She has also held curatorial positions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Morgan Library & Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Heckscher Museum of Art. Michelle earned her MA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 and her BA in Art History with Honors from Vassar College in 2011.