by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-chief
ARCA Blog: What is your academic background and how did you come to commit to a summer in Umbria studying art crime?
Angela: At Florida Atlantic University, I earned a Bachelor of Art History degree with a minor in French and interned for the University Galleries, as well as a local art gallery for which I continued working after graduating. After taking time off to start a family, I intended to return to pursue a master's degree in Liberal Studies followed by a PhD in Comparative Studies only to find that both programs had been eliminated due to budget cuts. Unsure what my next step should be, I remembered reading The Art Thief, by ARCA founder Noah Charney, and recalled there being a website for more information (artcrime.info). I was thrilled to learn about ARCA and the new Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime Studies that was being offered. This part of the history of art was not something that was ever covered in my undergraduate courses. The interdisciplinary approach, the intensive summer-long format and the beautiful, historic location in Umbria all made for an opportunity that I (and my young family) could not pass up.
ARCA Blog: The program culminates in the writing of a publishable article. What area of art crime or cultural protection would you like to research?
Angela: Because it was so lacking in my undergraduate coursework, I would love to develop a survey course in the History of Art Crime for our local university. Certainly, creating an awareness for those already passionate about studying art and its history would contribute to the future prevention of these crimes. Aside from that, I have always been interested in aesthetics and would love to explore how some of these principles might apply to the study of art crime, especially where art institutions, collectors and the art market are concerned. However, I am keeping an open mind. I know very little about criminology, cultural heritage protection laws or security and may decide on a new direction as the course progresses.
ARCA Blog: Do you have a current fascination with an artist or period of art?
Angela: Having studied Art History, I have a great appreciation for all periods of art and the contributions made by the respective artists to our understanding of past cultures and to artistic development. That said, I am very interested in where art is headed and what new developments might be made. Therefore, I am particularly excited about Contemporary Art.
ARCA Blog: Have you traveled or lived in Italy and what would you like to do there when you are not attending lectures?
Angela: I have previously visited Rome, Florence and Venice and had the opportunity to visit Amelia briefly last year. I am looking forward to sharing these great cities with my children and to exploring as many new places as we are able.