My name is Ketty Gottardo. I have graduated in Art History and Heritage Preservation at the University of Udine, then I moved to London, where I got a Ph.D. in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. After holding various positions in museums worldwide such as the Louvre, the Victoria and Albert's Museum and the J. Paul Getty Museum, I have returned to London, where I work as Curator of Drawings at the Courtauld Gallery.
What led you to choose Humanistic Studies?
I have always been interested in two things: foreign languages and humanities. It was hard for me to choose, for a while: at first, I wanted to work in the field of translations, so I tried to get into the High School for Interpreters and Translators in Trieste, but I failed. So, I applied to the University of Udine, this time choosing the course Cultural Heritage. How lucky that it turned out like this! I could not imagine my present otherwise: Art History has changed my life completely – or should I say, it has come to be my life.
Have you ever been abroad during your university education?
I have. In 1992 I won an Erasmus grant, so I spent four months in Caen, Normandy. It was an outstanding experience, in some way a source of inspiration for my future career. After graduating I obtained a Leonardo grant, which gave me the opportunity to do an internship at the Louvre Museum, in Paris. There I learned how to work with fine drawings: that was my first step towards my current occupation.
What role does your humanistic education play in your current occupation?
It played a pivotal role. It has awakened my appetite for Art, which is still not satisfied.
Do you think that humanistic studies could pave the way for various careers?
It is hard to say, for me: my personal experience has been rather straightforward. However, many of my fellow students are now employed in diverse fields.
What would you recommend to young people struggling with the choice of the right study programme?
You have to be willing to walk the path you choose all the way through. Determination and confidence are the key: opportunities for humanistic students are not countless, it is a well-known fact. However, if you are determined and hard work does not scare you, with a little bit of luck you can get wherever you want to. At least, that is how I got where I am.