A scholar of Roman architecture and Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Margaret Kurkoski is primarily concerned with the long biographies of ancient buildings—their construction, modifications both to their surface and structure, and their eventual demolition or abandonment. Drawing from textual and archaeological sources, her work investigates how individual decisions concerning properties, whether enacted by patrons, architects or laborers, generated dynamic messages for contemporaneous viewers. She is particularly interested in evidence for coercion, whether direct or indirect, during the transference of properties between owners and its implications for the material record. She seeks to bring archaeological remains and ancient text into immediate discourse.
Margaret received a B.A. in classical languages from Smith College. Following her graduation in 2012, she taught at Akdeniz Üniversitesi in southwest Turkey with the support of a Fulbright grant. Margaret then returned to Smith College as the Brown Foundation Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Art, where she helped to envision, organize, and curate the Art of the Ancient World gallery during the Museum's two-year gallery redesign project. She has also taken part in the Pompeii Quadriporticus Project, a thorough archaeological investigation of this previously understudied monument. Her dissertation, "Imperial Presence in the Villas of Roman Italy," evaluates how the institution of the emperor impacted developments in architectural and decorative display at these countryside estates.