News Archive 2009-2018

Profile: Claire Lyons ’77 (Bowdoin Magazine) Archives

Claire Lyons '77 (Illustration: Chelee Ross '12)

This profile originally appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Bowdoin magazine.

Bowdoin major: Classics

Hometown: I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 25 years, but still think of Chatham (Cape Cod) as home.

Title: Acting Senior Curator of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum

Personal blog: Curating the Aztec Pantheon

Greatest influence: Teachers, from my grandparents and Dad to professors at Bowdoin and (later) Bryn Mawr-thanks to them, my career has gone down unexpected and very gratifying paths.
Most challenging part of my job: The negotiations that go into organizing international exhibitions can be rather complicated; pulling together the “seamless” installation that visitors eventually experience is the result of coordinating a large team over several years.

Favorite Bowdoin memory: Heading to Monday 8 a.m. Greek classes, with the unforgettable John Ambrose and Nate Dane, and then celebrating the end of the week with walks on Bailey Island.

Coolest job-related “perk”: Travel to see the latest work at archaeological sites around the Mediterranean-my current project recently took us on a marathon trip to Sicily.

I can’t live without: The occasional escape to a place without museums, ideally with long-time companion (and as of September, husband) Joost van Oss. Mexico’s Sea of Cortez has been our destination for the last eight years.

What I wanted to be when I was growing up: As a kid I was fascinated with Egyptology. When Bowdoin first sponsored an excavation in Tuscany, I got involved in fieldwork and never turned back (though my focus quickly switched from Egypt to ancient Italy).

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