Walter Widrig

Professor of Art History Emeritus
Ph.D. (1975) Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
M.A. (1956) Columbia University
B.A. (1951) Yale University

Research Areas

Roman and Early Christian Art and Architecture; Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern Architectural History  

Dr. Widrig’s first archaeological field experience was working with Richard Kautheimer, the author of the Corpus basilicarum christianarum Romae, in 1957. Digging was in the Verano Cemetery of Rome with the goal of finding the foundations of the 4th century century Basilica Maior of San Lorenzo; then an attempt to establish the original plan, again Constantinian, of the Lateran Cathedral.

Dr. Widrig went on to collaborate with Richard Goodchild (the Director of Antiquities of Cyrenaica in Libya) in the excavation of the West Church of Apollonia, and, independently, of two basilica churches at Latrun. All three churches are published in the Papers of the British School at Rome. For two summers Dr. Widrig was the Site Supervisor at the San Rocco, Francolise, villa excavations outside of Capua conducted by John Ward Perkins, Director of the British School at Rome, and Peter von Blanckenhagen of New York University. In 1975 a summer was spent as co-director with Joseph Carter excavating at Metaponto in Southern Italy. A private concession was given to Dr. Widrig for the Via Gabina project in 1976; fourteen seasons of digging followed.

In 1959 Dr. Widrig received a two-year Fulbright grant for archaeological research in Rome. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, England’s oldest academic society, in 1981.

In 2010, Dr. Widrig was awarded the Star of Italian Solidarity by the President of the Republic of Italy, a decoration which bestows the title of "Cavaliere."

He taught in the Department of Art and Art History at Rice University for thirty-one years before becoming Professor Emeritus in the year 2000. He served as department chair from 1982-1985.