Catherine Olien

Catherine Olien

Catherine Olien

Associate Director


historiography of art history, classical receptions, ancient Mediterranean sculpture, universal museums

Catherine Olien holds a PhD in Art History from Northwestern University with a specialization in the ancient Mediterranean and Classical Receptions. Her research has been supported by numerous fellowships, including a Fulbright Research Grant (in partnership with Technische Universität Berlin and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellowship in partnership with the Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris. Her dissertation, “Between Classicism and Orientalism: The Reception of Ancient Cypriot Sculpture, 1860-1900,” analyzes the early excavation, classification, and publication of Cypriot sculpture and its collection and display in European universal museums.

From 2018 to 2021, she managed public humanities programming at the American Library in Paris.


"Exploring the Legacy of Imperialist Logic: New Theoretical Approaches to the
Historiography of Cypriot Sculpture." In Empire and excavation: critical perspectives on archaeology in British-period Cyprus, 1878-1960, edited by Anna Reeve and Thomas Kiely. London: British Museum Press. (forthcoming 2024)

"The Cypriot fragment at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the late 19th century." In Ancient Cyprus Today: Museum Collections and New Research, edited by Giorgos Bourogiannis and Christian Mühlenbock, 31-42. Uppsala: Åströms förlag, 2016. 

Grant and project work:

Project Manager, “IndigenoUs Northern Virginia: Activating Local and Diasporic Native Identities at Mason." 2023-present.



PhD, Northwestern University (2018)

MA, Northwestern University (2013)

BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010)