Aija received her B.A. (cum Laude) from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2019 with a concentration in Sociology of the Arts and a minor in Art History. Her undergraduate thesis titled “Beauty in the Museum: Understanding Art Socially” explored how beauty, as a subset of aesthetics, has come to be defined by the museum, in conversation with representations of beauty that have been defined by the art and culture held therein. Her interests in South Asian art and Mughal miniature painting began while studying at NYU under the tutelage of Columbia Ph.D. candidate Gale Berninghausen. These combined interests in museology, curation, and Mughal painting have led her to join the University of Edinburgh’s MSc by Research in Collections and Curating Practices program in 2019. Aija’s previous experience in museums and galleries includes an internship in the Public Programs Department of Phoenix, Arizona’s Musical Instrument Museum as well as co-curating a large-scale contemporary art gallery exhibit for Brooklyn, New York’s ShapeShifter Lab. While at the University of Edinburgh, Aija has undertaken a research placement at the National Gallery of Scotland, which will culminate in the co-curation of a temporary exhibit centered around the theme of advice to women.
While pursuing her MScR in Collections and Curating Practices at Edinburgh, Aija will endeavor to research museums’ displays of South Asian art, with an emphasis on Mughal painting. Her research will focus on how the artistic agency and contemporary exploration of miniature paintings by South Asian artists is currently impacting the approach to scholarship as well as the display of traditional miniature paintings.