Jon Frey
(517) 355-0237

105 D Kresge Art Center East Lansing, MI 48824


Associate Professor
Classical Studies; Art History & Visual Culture

ORCID: 0000-0002-9249-5439


Jon Frey received his BA in Ancient History and Classics from the Ohio State University and his MA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the Department of Art and Art History and the Department of French Classics and Italian since 2007 where he teaches courses on the Classical World, Classical Mythology, Ancient Art and Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology. He has participated in archaeological projects in Egypt, Crete and Greece and currently serves as field coordinator at the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia. His most recent publication, “Pausanias, William Martin Leake and the “Depopulation” of Ancient Greece,” in Archaeology and History of Medieval and Post Medieval Greece (Ashgate, 2008), explores the role early travelers have played in shaping the research goals of classical archaeologists today. His current research focuses on the phenomenon of spoliation as evidence for individual and local agency in late antiquity. Each summer, Prof. Frey leads a study abroad program in Greece.

University News

Exhibit Explores MSU’s Archaeological Excavations in Greece
Published January 20, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
The current exhibit at the MSU Union Art Gallery captures the excitement and visual appeal of archaeological research while exploring “The Art of Archaeology.” The 27 black and white images that…Read now »
MSU Leading Digitized Archeology Project in Greece
Published July 29, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
His work is a little bit retro, a little bit modern, and all things classical. As the new Director of the MSU Excavations at Isthmia in Greece, Associate Professor Jon Frey has dug deep into content to create a new website for the decades-old archaeology project. In fall 2020, Frey, a classical archeologist in MSU’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, began to oversee the part of the excavations near Corinth, Greece, that had been sponsored by Ohio State University since 1987. Read now »
Digitizing Discoveries: Classical Studies Professor to Lead Legacy Dig in Ancient Greece
Published December 9, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
man with a brown bag walking into a historic building
Jon Frey first encountered archaeology at the site of Isthmia in Greece in 1993 as a study abroad student. He has since returned almost every year to the same ancient excavation. Now a classical…Read now »
2018 College of Arts & Letters Alumni Board Awards Presented
Published April 17, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
close-up of flowers with a blue sky and brick building in the background
The College of Arts & Letters celebrated its outstanding faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments in teaching, research, and community impact at the 2018 MSU College of Arts &…Read now »
Podcast: MSU Digital Scholarship Lab
Published February 22, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
image of 2 women and 2 men posing for picture in the liberal arts endeavor podcast studio
On the latest episode of The Liberal Arts Endeavor, a podcast by the Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters, co-hosts Hannah Bullion and Dean Chris Long discussed the new…Read now »
2017 Alumni Board Faculty & Student Awards
Published April 3, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Linton Hall
In recognition of their outstanding achievements in leadership, teaching, innovation, and community engagement, five deserving individuals were presented with CAL Alumni Board Awards at the…Read now »
Trip to Greece: An MSU Producer’s Experience
Published March 29, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
looking through rocks at landscape
I’m standing on top of a mountain in Greece, watching as a drone zooms through the sky taking pictures, gathering important information for MSU archaeologist Jon Frey. He’s standing next to me, telling me about the history of this place. It’s quite a history.Read now »
Digital Dig: A New Discovery From Ancient Greece
Published March 29, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
a man in a baseball cap looking out on a city from a mountain
Through the careful study of excavation records dating back some 40 years, Michigan State University’s Jon Frey has discovered an ancient gymnasium at the archaeological site of Isthmia, Greece. Frey and his team are performing a “digital dig” of sorts. Rather than using shovels and tools to excavate the site, the researchers are studying a backlog of evidence housed in remote storage.Read now »
Making Virtual Reality Accessible to All
Published January 11, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
a man holding a VR headset on his head
Walking the Great Wall of China or exploring the Parthenon without leaving the classroom may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, however, this futuristic concept is a present-day reality…Read now »
$300K Faculty Summer Fellowship Program Launched by College of Arts & Letters
Published February 9, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
msu red cedar river
The College of Arts & Letters (CAL) at Michigan State University has announced the creation of its Faculty Summer Fellowship Program with a commitment of $300,000 over summer 2016 to pilot the…Read now »