By Katie Hanson ’25
When Lindsey Galloway ’07 wrote her senior thesis, a feminist reinterpretation of historical novels, she didn’t expect that her academic research would eventually lead to an award-winning screenplay. The Last Queen’s Painter, which began as a novel and passion project in 2015, chronicles Marie Antoinette’s court painter, a female artist who Galloway believes has not been fairly credited in history. When she came across an image of a woman wearing a straw hat and holding a paint palette, she discovered the photo was a self-portrait of the painter, who survived the French Revolution.
“I was so fascinated that I hadn’t heard of her,” Galloway says. “I really wanted to bring her story to life and tell it in an interesting way, explore what it’s like to be a working woman in this high-class society and have a family from a lower class. Those aspects are still relevant in today’s world.”
The Last Queen’s Painter has received extensive praise, including semi-finalist honors in four screenplay competitions and the 2023 Grand Prize in the Table Read Your Screenplay Park City competition where the script was performed live during the Sundance Film Festival. The screenplay’s focus on feminist themes springs from Galloway’s Scripps education. As an English and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies dual major, she explored the influence of feminism within writing. She continued her inquiry of this theme while studying abroad in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews. There, she enrolled in a transformative course, studying the historical novels that would form the basis for her thesis and, eventually, her screenplay.
Galloway says she is grateful for the exploration that was possible during her time at Scripps. Outside of the classroom, she worked as a Resident Advisor in her residence hall, developed a writing club with her roommate, served as an editor for The Scripps Voice, and participated as a fellow at the Humanities Institute. Galloway explored several summer internships focused on journalism as a student writer for Scripps magazine. At the same time, she worked at 5280, a Denver-based magazine, and US News and World Report as part of the American Society of Magazine Editors program. After graduation, she began working at a health magazine before moving into the tech field, working for several digital content startups. In 2016, she co-founded Rebel AI, a start-up centered on a patented solution to protect publishers and advertisers from advertisement fraud.
Academically, she credits the interdisciplinary nature of learning at The Claremont Colleges to her multitude of interests and flexible career path. “I ended up taking a class from every single college at least once,” Galloway says. “I just loved the different types of classes, all the different angles, and interdisciplinary approach to all kinds of subjects. I feel like that’s served me well in my career so far.”
After selling her company in 2021, Galloway has immersed herself in freelancing, writing for the BBC, Chief, and Atlas Obscura, among other publications. In addition to collaborating with a producer to turn The Last Queen’s Painter into a movie, she also hopes to launch a historical fiction writing workshop, once again related to her senior thesis.
“I am interested in how we tell historical stories and reimagine those stories for when there’s not a lot of records, especially for women and marginalized voices,” she says. “That’s an area that I think I’ll always be drawn to and coming back to, and I always go back to my thesis when I’m talking about it.”