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May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - No comments

ARCA 2011 Student Abigail Nora Clarke: Profile

Abigail Nora Clarke, ARCA Class 2011
ARCA Blog: What is your academic background and how did you come to commit to a summer in Umbria studying art crime?
I am a recent graduate from the University of Arizona with a BA in Art History and Italian/Religious Studies minor. I have worked in a small art studio/gallery and helped curate an exhibit at the Arizona Historical Society. I came across the ARCA program while doing research for a Museum Studies course; it was about different organizations that were attempting to curb art crime. After reading about ARCA I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with. I have been looking into and researching the program over a year before I was eligible to apply! I have never studied abroad before so the fact that this program happened to be in Amelia will offer me an ever more unforgettable experience!
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?
One aspect of art crime and cultural heritage protection that I find interesting is museum security. Throughout history (and especially in these hard economic times) valuable artifacts are preyed upon by many people involved with the criminal element; not just those who appreciate them for their cultural worth. Because of this, there is an ever increasing need to scrutinize museum security to preserve art and the integrity of legitimate works.
ARCA Blog: Do you have a current fascination with an artist or period of art?
One of my favorite periods of art is the Dutch Golden Age! There were so many genres encompassing this period ranging from beautiful landscapes to multiple styles of portraiture. I especially love the banquet pieces produced at this time. They are full of so much symbolism- both obvious and obscure so they are fun to decipher. I like anything Baroque! One of my favorite pieces is Bernini's baldacchino in Saint Peter's Basilica.
ARCA Blog: Have you traveled or lived in Italy and what would you like to do there when you are not attending lectures?
I traveled to Italy once before when I was 16. It was on a very strict and guided tour which really took away the sense of adventure. In Amelia I hope to experience living the Italian lifestyle! I want to try to visit as many museums as possible and become acquainted with Italy at a more leisurely pace. My first trip to Italy was really just to get a taste of the popular tourist destinations. Hopefully now I will be able to venture to some smaller, lesser known places.
ARCA Blog: Amelia has many venues for playing live music. Are you a musician?
I love playing my guitar and singing! I also play a bit of percussion and saxophone. I have been listening to a lot of Italian music to help keep up with the language skills. This way I can communicate with the locals in Italian as much as possible!
ARCA Blog: Welcome to ARCA, Abigail, and thank you for participating in this profile.