Office Artifacts: Ralph Rosen

Discover the stories behind the Vartan Gregorian Professor in the Humanities' favorite office items.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

By Brooke Sietinsons

Photo credit: Brooke Sietinsons

“This is an unusual but much treasured gift from a former graduate student (now distinguished classicist) whose dissertation I directed in the early 2000s. It really was a stroke of brilliance on her part in that it captured our mutual interests in the quirkiness of the natural world. I believe they were cast by a taxidermist in Greenwich Village, and she and her father mounted them on the piece of wood you see in the picture.”

2. “My longstanding obsession with all things coffee: This is my vintage 1987 Swiss-made Olympia Cremina espresso machine, which I found in the early days of eBay. And of course, you can’t pull a good shot of espresso without a good grinder, which stands next to the espresso machine in the picture.”

3. “This is a painting by a New York-based artist named Paul Fabozzi, who did a series during a residency in Rome in which he would overlay archaeological site-plans with geometrical forms. I’m always interested in the ways contemporary artists interact with the classical tradition, and I love the way Fabozzi here brings to life something as static as an architectural plan with the interplay of line and color.”

4. “I have studied the Roman satirist Juvenal for many years—a Roman version of a Jon Stewart or John Oliver—and am also interested in the way earlier centuries thought about him. This frontispiece of a late 17th-century edition of Juvenal says much about how readers then conceptualized him as a poet of many comic, often mischievous masks.”