Mini-Vows: They Bonded Over Mexican Art and Street Tacos

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Jennifer Josten and Matthew Howard Robb were married June 30 at the faculty center of the University of California, Los Angeles. Shira Brisman, a friend of the couple who became a minister of the American Marriage Ministries for the occasion, officiated.

The couple met at Yale, from which each received a Ph.D. in history of art.

The bride, 39, is an assistant professor of history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and a specialist in modern and contemporary art of the Americas. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College.

She is the daughter of Mary D. Josten and Robert E. Josten of Des Moines. The bride’s father is a municipal bond lawyer and a partner in Dorsey & Whitney, a law firm based in Minneapolis; he works in the Des Moines office. Her mother retired as a vocal music teacher. The bride is the stepdaughter of Susan Judkins Josten.

The groom, 46, is the chief curator of the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a specialist in art of the ancient Americas. He graduated from Princeton.

He is a son of Frances Osborn Robb and David M. Robb Jr., of Huntsville, Ala. The groom’s mother is a historian of photography and the author of “Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography, 1839-1941, and a List of Photographers” (University of Alabama Press, 2017). His father was chief curator of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and director of the Telfair Academy in Savannah, Ga., before retiring as the director of the Huntsville Museum of Art.

When Ms. Josten entered the Ph.D. program at Yale in the fall of 2005, Mr. Robb was already in his fifth year there. He was so focused on writing his dissertation that when she made arrangements with him to borrow a poster from his adviser’s office to use in a class presentation, he didn’t recognize it as an opportunity to get to know a fellow art scholar (nor was he inclined to let her take the poster out of the office, though she persisted and did indeed take it).

“Working on a dissertation can be a very solitary existence, and I had practically vanished while writing my own,” Mr. Robb said. “I realized that I had been borderline rude to Jennifer and that was out of character for me, I certainly didn’t show her my best side.”

Scrambling to show Ms. Josten his better side, Mr. Robb found her in the company of friend at a campus lounge and invited her to lunch at a local Cuban restaurant.

“My friend had witnessed our first encounter,” Ms. Josten said. “But she was also there for that second encounter and saw what I saw in Matthew, an extremely nice, engaging person who seemed to put people at ease when he spoke.”

They went to lunch and soon learned they each had a passion for Mexican art and its history. They also realized that in studying their shared interest, they had stayed in the same bed-and-breakfast in Mexico City for years without ever crossing paths.

An enthusiastic exchange over email ensued, with topics ranging from the legacy of the art historian George Kubler to their work as college radio DJs. They were soon dating steadily and taking trips wherever their studies led them, eventually spending time together in that Mexico City bed-and-breakfast.

“Our shared passion for Mexican culture extends across 30 centuries of art and architecture, from the pyramids of Teotihuacan to the towers of Ciudad Satélite,” Ms. Josten said. “It also includes a deep respect for a good street taco and a well-stocked mezcal bar.”

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page ST14 of the New York edition with the headline: Bonding Over Mexican Art and Street Tacos. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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