Sarah Madole Lewis

Picture of Sarah Madole Lewis

Associate Professor of Art History
Deputy Chairperson
Music and Art


Office: F-1130X

Office Hours:

Phone: +1 (212) 220-8000;ext=5579

Associate Professor of Art History Sarah Madole Lewis received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2012. Her primary area of expertise is in the art and archaeology of the ancient world, with a specialization in Roman sarcophagi, regional contexts and social experience. At BMCC Professor Madole Lewis teaches art history courses, including those assigned to the Learning Academy (BLA) and Honors programs.

Before arriving at BMCC in 2014, Professor Madole Lewis taught art history at a number of New York City institutions. She has lectured widely to both public and private audiences in museum and gallery settings.

In recent years Professor Madole Lewis has held a BMCC Faculty Development Grant for research in Lebanon, and for research on sarcophagi and catacombs in Rome she received a Franklin Grant from the American Philosophical Society and was named Shohet Scholar of the International Catacomb Society. She has worked at several archaeological excavations including those at Aphrodisias and Caesarea Maritima. Her research has taken her from Spain to Syria, and many places in between, most consistently to Italy, Greece and Turkey.



  • Ph.D. New York University, History of Art and Archaeology, 2012
  • M.A. New York University, History of Art, 2006
  • B.A. Skidmore College, Religion, 2001

Additional professional qualifications include:

  • Latin Epigraphy Program, American Academy at Rome with John Bodel, 2018
  • Aestiva Latinitatis Romae, Intensive Latin Program with Reginald Foster, Rome, 2004
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classical Languages, University of California, Los Angeles, 2003

Courses Taught

Research and Projects

  • A current project considers an Attic battle sarcophagus from Tyre, in southern Lebanon. Compared to the plain and unfinished sarcophagi that typify the Tyrian necropolis, this and several other similarly-themed Attic examples stand out. Who were these enterprising patrons, and why did they opt for such a strong statement of identity politics in the chaotic third century? This study explores provincial identities, regional contexts and the sarcophagus trade.
  • An ongoing project explores sarcophagi found in Eastern Mediterranean contexts within their local and regional funerary landscapes, looking at the construction of gender and the visibility of women, mortuary customs and familial reuse of monuments, among other themes.


Articles & Chapters

  • “Female Experience at the Tomb: Ritual Commemoration and Roman Sarcophagus Imagery,” in Material Culture and Women’s Religious Experience in Antiquity: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, eds. M. D. Ellison, C. G. Taylor, and C. Osiek (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2021), 125-146
  • “Roman Sarcophagi in Context from the Catacomb of Praetextatus,” in Grounding Roman Sculpture. Selected Papers in Ancient Art and Architecture 6, eds. A. Hrychuk Kontokosta and P. De Staebler (Boston, Mass.: Archaeological Institute of America, 2020), 199-218
  • “A Case Study in Attribution: Two East Greek Sarcophagi in Italy,” Roemische Mitteilungen 124 (2018), 269-299
  • “A Mythological Frieze Sarcophagus from Aphrodisias Depicting the Birth of Dionysos,” American Journal of Archaeology 122.1 (2018), 145-168


Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • PSC-CUNY Research Award Cycle 51, 2020-2021
  • PSC-CUNY Research Award Cycle 49, 2018-2019
  • Franklin Research Grant
    American Philosophical Society, 2018-2019
  • BMCC Faculty Development Grant
    For research in Lebanon, 2017-2018
  • Shohet Scholarship
    International Catacomb Society, 2016-2017
  • Research Fellowship
    American Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2010
  • Travel Fellowship
    American Research Institute in Turkey, 2009-2010

Additional Information

  • “Excavations: A Conversation on Fragments: Part One,” with Rachel Frank, Field Projects, New York, April 2016
  • “Excavations: A Conversation on Fragments: Part Two,” with Ellie Krakow, Field Projects, New York, April 2016