Walter Widrig, professor emeritus of art and art history who taught at Rice for 31 years, died July 27. He was 90.
Widrig, who chaired Rice’s Department of Art and Art History from 1982 to 1985, was a world-renowned archaeologist and art and architectural historian who worked on excavations in England, Libya, Italy, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, the Balkans, Turkey and Tunisia. While at Rice, he and colleague Philip Oliver-Smith focused on the Via Gabina archaeological dig, an excavation of several villas and farm buildings near Rome that ranged in date from 300 B.C. through 900 A.D.
Between the summers of 1976 and 1991, Widrig invited over 100 students to work at Via Gabina, an experience that enriched their lives so significantly many of them later teamed up to establish an endowed traveling fellowship at Rice, the Amici di Via Gabina Fellowship.