Rita Freed received her BA from Wellesley College and her MA and PhD in Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She was associate professor of Art at the University of Memphis and founding director of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology before coming to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to head the Department of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Art (a position she now holds as Emerita).
Currently, she is a non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University, where she is pursuing research in Nubian art and developing methods to make it more widely available. She also teaches Egyptian and Nubian Art at Wellesley College.
Freed has excavated in Egypt at numerous sites from the Delta to Karnak as well as in Israel and Cyprus. The exhibitions she has curated and co-curated include Egypt’s Golden Age, A Divine Tour of Ancient Egypt, Ramesses the Great, Pharaohs of the Sun, The Secrets of Tomb 10A and Ancient Nubia Now. Her upcoming book on Nubian art has been accepted for publication by the Getty Museum Press.