Assistant Curator, Science and Research
Erin Peters is joint assistant curator of science and research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and lecturer of curatorial studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Peters earned her BA from Arizona State University in 2003, her MA in Egyptology from the University of Memphis in 2007, her MA in museum professions from Seton Hall University in 2009, and her PhD in art history from the University of Iowa in 2015.
Peters’ research specialization is Roman Egypt, and she recently joined the Italian archaeological mission of the University of Florence at el Sheikh Abada – ancient Antinoupolis in Egypt. The mission hopes to build a complete archaeological and architectural picture of this city founded by emperor Hadrian in 130 CE for his companion, Antinous. Peters is focusing on the sacred landscape of this city, dedicated to the new god Osir-Antinous.
For her dissertation, she carried out spatial analysis at temples built in Egypt under the first Roman emperor Augustus, who annexed Egypt into the Roman Empire in 30 BCE. She conducted three seasons of field research at temples in Egypt, some of which are in the process of being cleaned, revealing brilliant polychromy. Her research of polychromy is the basis for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MediaLab and Department of Egyptian Art collaboration Coloring the Temple of Dendur. The collaboration (re)colored the Augustan temple of Dendur using projection mapping technology to engage museum visitors and show the temple in a way it had yet to be seen at the Met—in virtual color. The Met’s project is an example of the kind of collaborative work that Peters believes will be integral to the future of museums. Peters is carrying this collaborative work forward at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. She is the project director for a 2017–2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Projects for the Public Discovery grant to explore possibilities for content and display of the royal funerary boat of Senwosret III in the museum’s collection.
Peters was awarded the D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in the Humanities and the Fine Arts in 2015 and the Seton Hall University Institute of Museum Ethics Travel Award in 2008. She was awarded the University of Iowa Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Year Fellowship, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Chester Dale Fellowship in the Department of Egyptian Art, and the University of Iowa T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Fellowship.
Recent Blog Posts
Ask a Scientist: What did the museum recently discover about Lion Attacking a Dromedary? Assistant Curator of Science and Research Dr. Erin Peters worked on a team that uncovered new facts about a …Read More »
Ask a Scientist: What does the motif on this vessel mean? Assistant Curator of Science and Research Dr. Erin Peters explains the meaning of this ancient Egyptian motif and how it relates to …Read More »
Ask a Scientist: What does the bird on this limestone fragment symbolize? Assistant Curator of Science and Research Dr. Erin Peters talks about “Egyptian blue” and the meaning of the falcon found on …Read More »
Publications and Projects
“A New Augustan Temple at Dendur in the Dodekaschoinos,” to be submitted to the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Summer 2017.
“Coloring the Metropolitan Museum’s Temple of Dendur,” submitted to the Metropolitan Museum Journal.
“Living Color: The Met Museum’s Temple of Dendur,” submitted to Egyptian Archaeology. Co-authored with Diana Craig Patch.
“Experiencing Ancient Polychromy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur.” In Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Architectural Paint Research Conference, edited by C. Madsen. London: Archetype Publications. Co-authored with Matt Felsen and Maria Paula Saba.
“Octavian Transformed as Pharaoh and as Emperor Augustus.” In Ancient Art of Transformation, edited by R. Gondek and C. Sulosky Weaver. London: Oxbow Books.
2015 Review of Caesar in the City of Amun: Egyptian Temple Construction and Theology in Roman Thebes, by David Klotz. The Classical Review 65, no. 1 (April 2015): 218–220.
Selected Curatorial Projects
Curator, Egypt on the Nile, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2016-present
Curator, Lion Attacking a Dromedary, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2016-2017
Research Scholar, Department of Egyptian Art and Met MediaLab Project: Coloring the Temple of Dendur, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013-2015
Co-curator, PAPERWORK, Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, November 10–December 12, 2008