Henry Colburn

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Henry Colburn earned a PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan and holds a M.A. in Classics, from the University of Colorado and a M.A. (Hons.) in Classics, from the University of St. Andrews. His research focuses on the art and archaeology of ancient Iran, and on the regions of the Near East, Eastern Mediterranean, and Central Asia that interacted with Iran prior to the advent of Islam. His interests range from seals, coins and drinking vessels to questions of historiography, identity, and globalization. He has held fellowships at the Harvard Art Museums, the Getty Research Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and teaching positions at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Southern California. He currently serves on the advisory committee for the reinstallation of the Ancient Near Eastern galleries at the Met, and he is also a research associate of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan.

His first book, Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020. His current projects include the publication of the seals of the Persepolis Fortification Archive, excavated by Ernst Herzfeld in 1931, and a study of a 19thcentury illustrated Persian manuscript in the Metropolitan Museum of Art recording Louise de la Marinierre’s (1781-1840) journey to visit Achaemenid and Sasanian sites in Fars in the 1830s.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.