In 2005, Wendy Wauters (°1983) obtained a Master of Visual Arts degree from St. Lukas Brussels. She later enrolled in Art History at KU Leuven and graduated in 2017 with a thesis on early modern evocations of the healing and makeability of men who are overcome by temporary insanity, stupidity or narheid, supervised by Prof. dr. Barbara Baert and Prof. dr. Jan Van der Stock. Meanwhile, she worked as an intern at Fondation Custodia (Paris), as a student employee at Illuminare (KU Leuven) and as a scientific assistant at Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Antwerp).

Since October 2017, she has been a PhD candidate in Art History at her alma mater. Her doctoral research forms part of the Brain-Belspo project Ornamenta sacra, a research collaboration between KU Leuven, UCL and KIK-IRPA Brussels. In the framework of this project, Wauters conducts her study under the supervision of Prof. dr. Barbara Baert. Her dissertation aims to shed light on the sensory and ritual aspect of several (undervalued) liturgical objects from the Southern Netherlands. Embedded in the context of the Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady from c. 1450 to the wonderjaar of 1566, this research takes on a concrete shape. 

Her recent publications include The Invisible Presence of Ornamenta Sacra in the Antwerp Church of Our Lady (Art & Religion, forthcoming),Smelling Disease and Death in the Antwerp Church of Our Lady (Early Modern Low Countries, 2021), and several contributions for the exhibition catalogue Bruegel in Black and White (2019). She has been awarded the Olbrechts Prize 2018 for her master’s thesis Een oven vol van menig hoofd en zotten bol. The Olbrechts Prize is awarded every two years to a thesis related to popular culture.  




Kick off meeting OrnaSacra, national committee (© KIK-IRPA, photo Hervé Pigeolet)
Southern Netherlands, Mass of St Gregory, c. 1491-c. 1510 (© KIK-IRPA)