Biographical Sketch

Yael Rice (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) specializes in the art and architecture of South Asia and Greater Iran, with a particular focus on manuscripts and other portable arts of the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries. Between 2009-12, she held the position of Assistant Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in that capacity curated exhibitions of court portraits from South Asia, ragamala paintings, and works by Rabindranath Tagore and other Bengali artists of the early twentieth century. Most recently, she co-curated Painting the Persianate World: Portable Images on Paper, Cloth, and Clay with Yao Wu, the Jane Chase Carroll Curator of Asian Art at the Smith College Museum of Art.

Among her recent publications, Rice is the author of The Brush of Insight: Artists and Agency at the Mughal Court (University of Washington Press, 2023), which was a recipient of a Millard Meiss Publication Fund grant. With Dipti Khera, she also co-edited Readings on Painting: From 75 Years of Marg  (Marg, 2024). The latter publication brings together important articles on Indian painting published by Marg, an art book and magazine publisher founded in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1946.

Rice is interested in the potential that computational methods and digital tools hold for the study of art history. Her publications in this vein include “Workshop as Network: A Case Study from Mughal South Asia,” Artl@s Bulletin 6, no. 3 (2017): 50–65; “Art History Beyond Objects,” Art Journal Open, published January 26, 2023, the final installation of the three-part series “Teaching for a Future-Oriented Art History,” conceived with Nancy Um and Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi; and a planned special issue on "The Urgency of the Digital," which Rice is guest editing for the International Journal of Islamic Architecture.

Attachment Size
Cover of Readings on Painting 1.29 MB
Cover of the Brush of Insight 136.26 KB


Since her work straddles the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, Rice offers three survey courses, one on the visual culture of the Islamic world; another on the art and architecture of South Asia (India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Myanmar); and the third, which she co-teaches with Mekhola Gomes, on the global medieval world. She also teaches intermediate-level courses on the art and architecture of the Mughal empire, artistic exchange and encounter during the early modern period (1400-1800), the museum in the digital age, and book arts of the Islamic world; and offers an upper-level course on the Shahnama (Book of Kings), co-taught with Monica Ringer. Rice regularly incorporates digital art history assignments into her course curricula and welcomes students who are interested in exploring these avenues. 

Selected Publications

Books and Special Issues
Readings on Painting, From 75 Years of Marg, co-edited with Dipti Khera. Mumbai: Marg, 2024.          

The Brush of Insight: Artists and Agency at the Mughal Court. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2023.                

Articles and Book Chapters
“The Mughal Imperial Image between Manuscript and Print,” Routledge Companion to Global Renaissance Art, eds.             Stephen J. Campbell and Stephanie Porras (New York: Routledge, 2024).
“Books that Bind: The Persianate Album and Its Widespread Circulation.” In Old Stacks, New Leaves: The Arts of the             Book in South Asia, edited by Sonal Khullar (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2023), 129–54.
“Art History Beyond Objects,” Art Journal Open, published January 26, 2023.
“Painters, Albums, and Pandits: Agents of Image Reproduction in Early Modern South Asia,” Ars Orientalis 51                            (2022). 
““A Flower from Each Garden”: Contradiction and Collaboration in the Canon of Mughal Painters,” in Canons and                     Values: Ancient to Modern, eds. Larry Silver and Kevin Terraciano (Los Angeles: GRI, 2019), 138–62.
“Moonlight Empire: Lunar Imagery in Mughal India,” in The Moon: A Voyage through Time, ed. Christiane J. Gruber                 (Toronto: Aga Khan Museum, 2019), 56–62.
“The Global Aspirations of the Mughal Album,” in Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India, ed. Stephanie Schrader                   (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), 61–77 + plates 2, 24–26, 29–30, 44–45, 50–51, 57–62.
“Workshop as Network: A Case Study from Mughal South Asia,” Artl@s Bulletin 6, no. 3 (2017): 50–65.
“Lines of Perception: European Prints and the Mughal Kitābkhāna,” in Prints in Translation, 1450–1750: Image,                      Materiality, Space, eds. Suzanne Karr Schmidt and Edward Wouk (London: Routledge, 2017), 202–23.
“Cosmic Sympathies and Painting at Akbar’s Court,” in A Magic World: New Visions of Indian Painting: In Tribute to              Ananda Coomaraswamy’s Rajput Painting of 1916, ed. Molly Emma Aitken (Mumbai: Marg, 2016), 88–99.
“Between the Brush and the Pen: On the Intertwined Histories of Mughal Painting and Calligraphy,” in Seeing the                  Past—Envisioning Islamic Art and Architecture: Essays in Honor of Renata Holod, ed. David J. Roxburgh (Leiden:          Brill, 2014), 148–74.
“Mughal Interventions in the Rampur Jami‘ al-tavarikh,” Ars Orientalis 42 (2012): 150–64.
“An Early Fifteenth-Century Khamsa from Shiraz in the Bryn Mawr College Library,” Muqarnas 28 (2011): 265–81.
“A Persian Mahabharata: The 1598–99 Razmnama,” Manoa 22/1 (2010): 125–31.
“The Brush and the Burin: Mughal Encounters with European Engravings,” in Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration &          Convergence: Proceedings of the 32nd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, ed. J.                    Anderson (Melbourne: Miegunyah Press, 2009), 305–310.

Public Scholarship
Kitabkhana,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, video presentation published online September 20, 2022.
“Facing Facts: How Scientists Use and Abuse Portraiture,” with Sonja Drimmer, Hyperallergic,  published online                     December 11, 2020.
Jahangir’s Dream,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, video presentation published online October 16, 2020.
The Mystery of the Timurid Qur’an,” with Stephennie Mulder, Prospect Magazine, published online July 22, 2020.

 Full CV available here.