Nobel laureate Martin Karplus ’51 was 23 when he left the U.S. for postdoctoral work at Oxford University in England. Having just completed his doctorate in chemistry at California Institute of Technology under two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, the young scholar felt he’d earned a bit of vacation.
Karplus, the Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry Emeritus and 2013 Nobel laureate in chemistry, was born in Vienna in 1930. But his family fled when Hitler invaded in 1938, and he was raised primarily in America. In his two years at Oxford, he used his breaks to explore Europe, taking the ferry from England and driving around the continent in a Volkswagen Beetle. Along the way, he recorded his travels with the Leica IIIC his parents had given him on the completion of his doctorate, documenting a world that was already changing. A selection of these midcentury photos make up “Remember Yugoslavia?,” showcasing a long-gone multicultural country during a rare time of peace. The exhibit by the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies is on display at the Jacek E. Giedrojć Gallery in Adolphus Busch Hall until Jan. 13, 2020.