Elizabeth's first job at sixteen was working at a boutique chocolate shop inside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. After graduating from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School on the Upper West Side, Elizabeth began an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As an undergraduate at NYU, Elizabeth developed a passion for classical antiquity. Enthralled with a professor's lecture on Plato (both the content and delivery), Elizabeth asked the professor what she could to "become him". "Start with reading Plato in the original Greek..." Many semesters and exams in Ancient Greek and Latin followed. Elizabeth continued to work at the Met, through college internships and then researching and developing gallery talks for the public, school groups, and special guests. She served as an assistant to Dr. Dietrich von Bothmer, who was an esteemed curator of Greek and Roman art at the Met beginning in 1946.
Elizabeth began graduate school in Classical Art and Archaeology and the Program in the Ancient World at Princeton University in 2004. Travel to European museums, archaeological excavations, and sites inspired Elizabeth's work on the pagan history behind the iconography of the Virgin and Child in Late Antique art. In 2012, Elizabeth changed course, leaving her dissertation and the east coast to put down roots and start a family in the Sonoran Desert. Work as a Waldorf teacher led to entering educational publishing. Today, through Pencil Gate, LLC, Elizabeth strives to bring passion, precision, and cultural competence to the written word as an author and editor of books and other resources for children.
Elizabeth Jane Pustilnik
Owner, Pencil Gate, LLC