Dr. Elizabeth Molacek

Faculty, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Dr. Elizabeth Molacek is an art historian whose research, teaching, and curatorial work centers on the art and architecture of Greek and Roman worlds as well as the history of excavating and collecting in the U.S. and Europe. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Virginia, a B.A. from Rice University, and completed her postdoctoral training at the Harvard Art Museums.

Elizabeth is a specialist in Roman wall paintings (c. 100 BCE-200 CE) as well as Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, namely from Antioch and the environs. She often collaborates with conservators and conservation-scientists to understand the material aspects of wall paintings and mosaics. Her current project traces wall painting fragments from excavations, through the art market, to museums in the U.S. Her work has been supported by the Getty Research Institute, the AAMD, and the American Academy in Rome, among other institutions.

Prior to Dallas, Elizabeth worked in the Department of Asian and Mediterranean art at the Harvard Art Museums. In this role, Elizabeth contributed to the international loan exhibition and accompanying catalogue, Animal Shaped Vessels and curated the special collection, Roman Domestic Art. She also worked extensively with colleagues in the Straus Center for conservation, including spearheading the conservation and installation of a never-before-exhibited Roman wall painting fragment from the so-called imperial villa at Boscotrecase. She also led the acquisition of several mosaics excavated from the site of Samaria. In addition to her curatorial work, Elizabeth has worked in university administration and taught both traditional (classroom) and on-site (study abroad) courses in which she always prioritizes close encounters with objects.


Ph.D. History of Art and Architecture, The University of Virginia
M.A. History of Art and Architecture, The University of Virginia
B.A. History of Art, Rice University

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