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In Memoriam Gloria S. Merker

Sonia Klinger

Editor's notes

This obituary originally appeared in the Israel Exploration Journal 63-2, 2013, and is reprinted here with permission.

Full text

My thanks are extended to Dr. Irwin L.Merker for assisting me in writing this memorial.

1Gloria S. Merker, a well-known and highly respected archaeologist specialising in the classical archaeology of Greece and Israel, who served as an editor of IEJ for over four decades, died on 24 August 2013 in Hightstown NJ.

2Gloria Merker, born in the Bronx (New York City) in 1936, received her B.A. from Queens College (the City University of New York) in 1957. After graduation and following a short stint at Metropolitan Life Insurance, she began work with Gladys Weinberg, then the editor of Archaeology Magazine, helping to produce the first ten-year index. This led her to apply to the University of Missouri, where the Weinbergs were based, and she earned her M.A. in 1963, while working as a museum assistant. That year she married Irwin L. Merker, who would later become a professor of ancient Greek and Roman history at Rutgers University, and they spent 1963–64 and 1966–67 at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Upon their return, she worked as assistant editor for the Archaeological Institute of America at Archaeology Magazine in 1967–68 and served on the editorial advisory board in 1968–79. In 1970 she earned her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr, with a dissertation on the Hellenistic sculpture of Rhodes (published in the Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology series in 1973). She also worked at the American Numismatic Society as international editor with responsibility for their publication, Numismatic Literature, and served as curatorial consultant at the department of Greek and Roman art of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1977, Gloria Merker received an appointment as assistant professor and chairperson of the classics department at Rutgers University, Newark. In 1982 she was promoted to associate professor and in 1998 to professor. She loved teaching and viewed it as a mission ; in 2000, she received the Charles Pine Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Newark College of Arts and Sciences and Alumni Association. Indeed, she once wrote to me to tell me how proud she was of her best students.

3Her publications include the following : “Fragments of Architectural-Terracotta Hydras in Corinth” (Hesperia 57.2,1998) ; The Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore : Terracotta Figurines of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Periods (Corinth 18,4, Princeton NJ, 2000) ; The Cesnola Collection : Terracottas (coauthored by Vassos Karageorghis and Joan R. Mertens ; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2004) ; The Greek Tile Works at Corinth : The Site and the Finds (Hesperia Supplement 35, Princeton NJ, 2006) ; and “The Metal Finds,” in Berlin, A. M. and Herbert, S. C., Tel Anafa II.2. Glass Vessels, Lamps, Objects of Metal and Groundstone and Other Stone Tools and Vessels (Kelsey Museum of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, 2013). More recently, she assisted Susan Katsev in the publication of the Kyreneia shipwreck ; at the time of her death, we were collaborating on the publication of the miscellaneous small finds from the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Acrocorinth.

4Gloria’s link with Israel and the classical archaeology of Israel began at Jalame (University of Missouri and Corning Museum of Glass excavation), where she and her husband joined the Weinbergs in 1964 for the first season of excavation at the site and in 1966. This connection continued with her work at Tel Anafa (University of Missouri excavation) in 1970 and 1973 and at Tel Dan (Hebrew Union College excavation) in 1974 and 1975. She became lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1971 and visiting lecturer between 1974 and 1976.

5From 1974 until 2009, she was associate editor for the Israel Exploration Journal, reading and meticulously editing all articles in the field of classical archaeology, and from 2010 until her death she served as a member of the journal’s editorial advisory board. In 2010, the Executive Committee of the Israel Exploration Society decided to appoint her honorary member of the society, in appreciation of her long-standing contribution to the Israel Exploration Journal.

6I met Gloria in 1971, during my second year as an undergraduate at the department of art history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and I can safely say that she is the one who made me fall in love with ancient Greek culture, Greek artefacts and especially vase-painting. On my first day of her vase-painting class, she entered the room with a basket full of carefully wrapped Greek pottery fragments and placed them on the seminar table. Throughout that semester she made magic with her knowledge and enthusiasm. In 1974 to 1975, she became my M.A. thesis advisor, as well as that of Silvia Rozenberg, and throughout her life she continued to offer advice and valuable criticism to me and others. Gloria Merker will be sadly missed by all those who knew her and appreciated her vast knowledge in classical archaeology.

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References

Electronic reference

Sonia Klinger, « In Memoriam Gloria S. Merker », Les Carnets de l’ACoSt [Online], 11 | 2014, Online since 13 July 2015, connection on 16 December 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/acost/466

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About the author

Sonia Klinger

University of Haifa

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Copyright

Licence Creative Commons
Les Carnets de l'ACoSt est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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