|Ariel Kern at the Egyptian Temple of Dendur at The Met|
ARCA Blog: Ariel, what is your academic background and how did you come to commit to a summer in Umbria studying art crime?
ALK: I recently graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where I developed a major in Art and Social History, Law, and Literature. Through college I interned and worked in various fields, including a small museum, a library, an archeological dig, a law firm, and an auction house.
A professor of mine told me about ARCA when I was starting to consider what I wanted to do after graduation. I soon realized that the ARCA Postgraduate program was perfect for me. I am comfortable with the interdisciplinary approach to learning I used as an undergraduate, and this program is the only way I could truly combine all of my interests to find the right career path for me.
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?
ALK: I am interested in researching the social motivations behind those who are involved with art crime. While there are obvious financial reasons, the social reasons are more obscure and not easily quantifiable. It is really an exploration of social perceptions and how those involved with the illicit end of the art world can use that to justify their actions. By understanding that we can begin to figure out ways of changing the ideas the wider public holds and cut down the justifications criminals use.
ARCA Blog: Do you have a current fascination with an artist or period of art?
ALK: It’s difficult to pick a specific artist or period, but I have always been interested in the decorative or practical arts like architecture, clothing and furniture. I originally realized I wanted to work in the art world when I first saw the medieval armor wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I was very young at the time, but my interests have not changed drastically since then.
ARCA Blog: Have you traveled or lived in Italy and what would you like to do there when you are not attending lectures?
ALK: I have not been to Italy before, so I am very excited to see all of the cities and sites that I have been reading about for years. With all of the running around, I would also like to immerse myself in the slower Italian lifestyle, so balancing my travel-bug with my wish to experience the culture will be interesting, to say the least.