Eleni Vassilika took her Bachelor’s Degree in Classics at Brooklyn College (1979), Master’s Degree in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU (1982), and her PhD in the double fields of Greek and Egyptian Art and Archaeology also at the Institute of Fine Arts (1989). In addition, she studied in Athens (1977-78), and in Germany (1983-85). Following her doctorate, she was a Getty Fellow and Director of Independent Art Research Ltd London (1988-1990), where she advised on the dating and authenticity of ancient and later works of art, by means of scientific testing
Dr. Vassilika became Keeper of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum (1990-2000), where she was in charge of all Greek, Roman, Cypriote, Egyptian and Western Asiatic collections. At Cambridge, Dr. Vassilika also led a busy teaching and research programme in both Classical art and in Egyptology. She was a Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.
In 2000 she left Cambridge to take up the position of Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Roemer-und Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim Germany, which had become a limited Company. Dr. Vassilika installed over 4000 square metres in Hildesheim of permanent galleries with Egyptian Art, Paleontology, Early Mankind, Asiatic Art, Peruvian Archaeology, Mineralogy etc. She also planned and edited catalogues for Egyptian travelling exhibitions. Between working on the Egyptian Collections and other permanent gallery installations, Dr. Vassilika also organised and curated a number of temporary exhibitions.
Dr. Vassilika has contributed to numerous journals, edited several exhibition catalogues and published a variety of reviews, all relating to ancient art and technology, or to art collections.
Dr. Vassilika took up the post of Director of the Museo Egizio in Turin in October 2005.
In December 2006 she was awarded Woman of the Year (Premio Donna 2006) for her sustained engagement in the arts and for her promotion of the Museo Egizio as a cultural and tourist attraction for the region. The award was presented by the Association of Women in Tourism.
She is the mother of two daughters and a chamber musician.
Her published books include:
- The Tomb of Kha, Firenze, 2010, also available in Italian and French from the publisher, Scala Group;
- Masterpieces of the Museo Egizio in Turin, Firenze, 2009, also available in Italian and French from the publisher, Scala Group;
- Art treasures from the Museo Egizio, Torino, 2006, also available in Italian and French from the publisher, Allemandi & C.;
- The Art of Ancient Cyprus in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Nicosia & Cambridge, 1999, with Vassos Karageorghis and Penelope Wilson;
- Classical Art, Cambridge, 1998;
- Egyptian Art, Cambridge, 1995;
- Ptolemaic Philae, Leuven, 1989.