Ayesha Matthan has a Bachelors in English Literature from St. Stephen's College, Delhi and a P.G. Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. Subsequently, she was a journalist with The Hindu MetroPlus, Bangalore.
Ayesha returned to the capital for a Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, followed by an MPhil in Visual Studies. Her MPhil thesis 'From Courts, Studios to Bazaars: A Visual History of the Tawai'f in Colonial North India, Late 18th to early 20th Centuries', explored the tawa'if's visual trajectory over a century and a half in court paintings, studio photographs, and matchbox labels in Awadh and Delhi. She was a recipient of the Brooks International Fellowship with Tate Britain and Delfina Foundation in 2014.
Ayesha was Research Scholar with The Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi. Her academic interests lie at the intersection(s) of gender, space, art, colonial history, literature as well as society, urban and popular culture.