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Gary Urton

Gary Urton

Harvard professor | Won 2000 'Genius' grant | Class of 1979

Looking back, Gary Urton now realizes how blessed he was to have landed the part-time job he did — even if it meant reporting for work at 9 o'clock on Saturday mornings.

"Rough duty for maintaining an active graduate student social life," says the Harvard professor (MA, ancient history, '71; Ph.D., anthropology, ’79) .

"I started graduate school studying ancient history and was fortunate to get work in the Classics Library. I drew the Saturday morning work detail for much of the two or three years I worked there and would trudge to the top-most floor of the library every Saturday morning" while many of his fellow students were still in deep sleep, "cup of coffee in hand, and spent there many delightful mornings perusing the fabulous collection in the Classics Library and talking to the patrons.

"I later worked for a couple of years in the World Heritage Museum and spent wonderful days in the silence of that space, strolling around the corridors of the museum, studying the collection of spectacular plaster cast replicas, including such sculptures as that of Laocoön and His Sons. These experiences gave me a great love and respect for the Classics and the great artistic works of the Classical and Renaissance worlds.

"Those experiences have stayed with me, in memory, to the present day."