April 24, 2011

ARCA 2009 Alum: Katherine Ogden on the Images of Art Criminals and Tips for Living in Amelia

Katherine Ogden, ARCA Alum 2009
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, Editor-in-Chief

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Katherine ("Katie") Ogden attended the University of South Florida where she received an undergraduate degree in art history and a Master's degree in Business Administration. Katie wrote in an email for this column: "After a foray into the professional world, I was fortunate to be accepted into the first class of postgraduate students for ARCA's History of International Art Crime program where I was introduced to a more immersive view of the world of art crime. Thus far I have worked as a private collections manager, a marketing specialist, an educator and now as a business analyst. While my background is quite varied, the study of art crime has continued to be one constant in my professional and educational life."
ARCA Blog: Katie, you specialized in dispelling the image of the eccentric art crime criminal. What surprised even you when conducting your research? 
Ms. Ogden: I was most surprised by how easy it is to fall victim to the popular images of art crime criminals reinforced by Hollywood and the media. While giving a presentation in one of our classes in Amelia, I put three pictures on the screen and asked if anyone could choose the art criminal out of the three images. Even while everyone in attendance was there because of our shared interest in art crime, not a single student could correctly identify any of the convicted art criminals I put on the screen. I started to wonder how there could ever be an honest portrayal of a realistic art crime criminal if even the students studying the genre had fallen victim to the sexy allure. 
ARCA Blog: How would you, in one or two sentences, describe a realistic image of an art crime criminal? 
Ms. Ogden: That is very difficult to pinpoint. I'll have to be vague and say unexpected and definitely not Pierce Brosnan. 
ARCA: The third incoming ARCA summer class in art crime will be arriving in Amelia in June. What do you recommend they prepare for to adjust to living in a medieval town in Umbria and what do you miss the most about Amelia? 
Ms. Ogden: The best way to learn how to adjust to living in Amelia is to learn to be flexible. There are certain days when things will simply close down, or days when the heat will be unbearable. On days like this you have to be willing to adjust like the Italians. Living in Amelia will be nothing like living in your hometown; that is after all, part of the adventure. A few bits of advice that took us a little while to figure out: laundry detergent in Italy does not come in brick form, you'll see this on the shelf with a picture of a washing machine, that is meant to clean the machine not your clothes. Nights in Amelia get chilly, pack a jacket. On any given day you can get Ricotta from the cheese maker in the afternoon and mozzarella if you rush in the late morning. He only makes a certain amount and if you don't get there you'll miss out. At Porcelli's get the Italian menu and break out your translation book, there are some fantastic items on this menu that don't make it to the English translation.

And finally, what do I miss the most about Amelia? Absolutely everything. 
ARCA Blog: I would like to add that the brick 'laundry detergent' did clean our clothes pretty well, Katie, or at least I hope so since we used it for a month.
The ARCA blog will feature an article Ms. Ogden wrote about the image of art crime criminals and how  new media outlets have covered art crime differently in the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy.

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