Emma Natalya Stein, PhD

Assistant Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art

photo of Emma Stein

Emma Natalya Stein received her PhD in the history of art at Yale and joined the curatorial staff at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art in 2019. She has curated the exhibitions Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain, Prehistoric Spirals: Earthenwares from Thailand, and Power in Southeast Asia, and she is the author of the monograph Constructing Kanchi: City of Infinite Temples (Amsterdam University Press, 2021). Dr. Stein has also created a robust online resource for the Southeast Asia collections area that includes an interactive map of sacred sites in diverse landscapes. She is currently codeveloping The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas, a new installation of the museum’s South and Southeast Asia collections.

Grounded in extensive fieldwork throughout India and Southeast Asia, Dr. Stein’s research has been sponsored by the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Paul Mellon Centre, Yale University, and the Smithsonian. In partnership with SOAS University in London, Dr. Stein runs an annual workshop in Southeast Asia, and she frequently lectures and teaches in Asia, Europe, and the United States.