Meredith Gamer received her Ph.D. in History of Art from Yale University, where she is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music. Her research centers on the art and visual culture of Britain and its empire, particularly as it relates to histories of violence, slavery, medicine, and the body. She is currently at work on her first book project, The Sheriff’s Picture Frame: Art and Execution in Eighteenth-Century Britain, which examines the links between rituals of capital punishment and practices of art making, instruction, and display in this period. Drawing on a range of sources—from simple woodcuts and graphic satires to anatomical models and narrative paintings—it argues for a fundamental rethinking of a visual culture that has long been predominantly understood as refined, secular, and, above all, modern.
In 2014, Meredith co-curated Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain at the Yale Center for British Art. She is also at work on several new projects, including a material history of William Hunter’s extraordinary obstetrical atlas, The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, and a longer study of the role of violence in the physical environments and visual cultures of three key British colonial sites: Australia, North America, and the Caribbean. She holds an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and is the recipient of fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art. Following her year at the ISM, she will join the faculty of Columbia University as assistant professor of art history.