ARCA Blog: What is your academic background and how did you come to commit to a summer in Umbria studying art crime?
Kaitlin Murphy: My undergraduate degree is in Art and Art History from Colgate University. During my junior year, I spent a semester abroad studying in Venice, Italy. It was here that I developed a passion for not only the subject matter, but for the Italian culture as a whole. Being surrounded by “floating buildings,” I chose to focus my attention on architectural history for my thesis and continued my education after working for a couple of years to begin a masters program in Architecture at Boston Architectural College. After taking a direct hit from the housing and economy collapse, I took a teaching position at a high school where I taught art and art history. I was able to write my own curriculum and followed my curiosities in art crimes as part of the art history survey course. One of my students came across ARCA and as I checked it out, discovered the postgraduate program. The combination of art history, culture, art crimes, and Italy made committing to a summer in Umbria a no brainer for me.
ARCA Blog: Do you have a current fascination with an artist or period of art?
Kaitlin Murphy: Currently, I love Renaissance art as a time period in world history for the architecture and paintings and in many cases, the combination of the two. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of art in situ because it connects visually with architecture like a conversation. I appreciate the balance and architecture specifically of Andrea Palladio and laugh when I see his influence in American civic and residential architecture. As a bookend to renaissance art, I like to study ancient art as a source or foundation for the evolution of what we have become. It is amazing to see true originality and the “aha!” moment of the discovery of new techniques and materials frozen in the art like a photo.
ARCA Blog: Have you traveled or lived in Italy and what would you like to do there when you are not attending lectures?
Kaitlin Murphy: I lived in Venice (right by Piazza San Marco) in the fall of 2003 as part of my undergrad art history curriculum and have been back two more times since then as a tourist. I have been an amateur tour guide in Rome for my family and friends and a beach goer along the coast. My favorite thing to do in Italy is to sit, enjoy some gelato or local wine, and people-watch. While on the subject of food, I would like to learn a few tricks of the trade and expand my pallet to include some new recipes with fresh and local ingredients. To be able to explore a few towns off the beaten tourist path is also a very attractive use of my down time. My husband (Ryan) will be joining me later in the program and this will be his first visit to Italy so the pressure will be on to know the good places to eat, see, and travel.
ARCA Blog: Amelia has many venues for playing live music. Are you a musician?
Kaitlin Murphy: I am not a musician, but I thoroughly enjoy live music and look forward to these opportunities!