Kristin Thompson is a film historian by profession, having received her Ph.D. in cinema studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1977. In 1992, she took a tour of Egypt and became fascinated by the Amarna period and particularly its art. Reading intensively in the subject and eventually presenting papers at the annual conferences of the American Research Center in Egypt, she eventually began to publish scholarly articles on Amarna reliefs. In 2000, Barry Kemp invited Thompson to join the British expedition at Amarna to register stone fragments. She has spent ten seasons at Amarna, not only registering pieces but also making hundreds of matches among the fragments. One pair statue of Nefertiti and Akhenaten that she has reconstructed matches onto a well-known head from the Thutmose workshop now in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin.
Thompson has lectured at the British Museum, the Bolton Museum, the University of Auckland, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where in 2011 she was a Sylvan C. and Pamela C. Coleman Memorial Fellow. She has published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Ancient Egypt, Egyptian Archaeology, and the Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities. She has also contributed to the festschrift for Barry Kemp and has an essay on composite statuary in the catalogue of the upcoming exhibition in Berlin, “Nefertiti at 100,” celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the bust of Nefertiti and the Thutmose workshop.