Stephanie Mayer Heydt is the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art, overseeing a collection program spanning more than two hundred years of historic paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture. With her academic specialization in nineteenth-century print and popular culture, she has expanded her area of interest to address the full scope of the High’s diverse American collection. Her current projects include further investigations into issues of race, gender, and popular culture with a reassessment of post-Civil War representations of women, and the reception and evolution of immersive and illusionistic art in America from the nineteenth century to the present.
Before coming to the High, Stephanie held positions at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museums, and Terra Foundation for American Art, in addition to numerous fellowships. Her exhibitions at the High include Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature (2022), “Something over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series (2019–2020), Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (2013–2014), and Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College (2012).
Stephanie has contributed to publications at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Harvard Art Museums, Terra Foundation for American Art, and Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others. She is committed to serving the museum profession and training the next generation of curators. She has served as managing curator for the High’s academic mentorship programs for graduate and undergraduate students considering curatorial careers, and she remains an active mentor for the next generation. A graduate of Cornell University, she earned her MA in art history from the University of Chicago and her PhD in art history from Boston University.