Layla Seale's work currently analyzes fifteenth-century Northern European painting and illuminated manuscripts, and specifically examines representations of Hell, devils and demons. She received her M.A. from American University in Washington, D.C. where she focused on Quattrocento cassoni panels and American women printmakers at the turn of the twentieth-century. In 2017, Layla was awarded the Kress Foundation Two-Year Institutional Fellowship in the History of Art, which will allow her to be in residence for two years at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.
Before matriculating in Rice's PhD program, she worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and The World Bank within the Archives of Development. Her doctoral research interests also include female spectatorship in late medieval private devotion, and the intersection of gender performance and economic class.