Marcella Martin is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Italian Studies at New York University. She holds a Master’s degree in Visual Culture: Costume Studies also from New York University. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies she was a Lecturer in the history of fashion and Curator of the Textile and Costume Collection at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has published on the topics of museum studies and costume history, most recently in a co-authored essay entitled “Heritage narratives in the digital era: How digital technologies have improved approaches and tools for fashion know-how, traditions, and memories” in the Research Journal of Textile and Apparel. She is currently working on her dissertation project tentatively titled: “Fondazione Fashion: Contemporary Art, Brand Museums, and the Pursuit of Modern Italy” in which she uses four exhibitions of Italian art and fashion to trace the prehistory of brand museums and their unique relationship to contemporary art in Italy.
During her fellowship with the Center for Italian Modern Art, Marcella will be working on a project entitled “The Fashion of Advertising: Reference and Reproducibility, 1930-2018”. This project uses the art of commercial posters as a starting point to study the limits of reproducibility, from images to artworks to exhibitions. It takes the world of fashion and fashion advertising as its particular point of inquiry, attempting to understand the interplay between the visual language of fashion and the work of art, from Fortunato Depero’s failed Vogue covers in 1930 to the cultural backlash towards Dolce & Gabbana advertisements in the 2010s.