Art history undergrad has internship in Germany this summer

Art history undergrad has internship in Germany this summer

calendar icon25 May 2016    

Anika Zempleni
Anika Zempleni
Lincoln, Neb.--Anika Zempleni, a junior art history and advertising and public relations dual major from Lincoln, Nebraska, has an internship this summer at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.

She will be there June 27 until Aug. 5 and will be working with Dr. Jochen Sander, the vice director for scholarly affairs at the museum and an art history professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt. She will assist him with his research.

“I was really happy,” Zempleni said. “I wasn’t sure if it would even really happen. I just wanted to have that experience of working in Germany and also in an art museum and improving my German language skills. It is just really exciting.”

Established in 1815 as a civic foundation, the Städel Museum’s collection offers virtually a complete survey of 700 years of European art from the early 14th century to the present, with focuses on the Renaissance, the Baroque and early Modern art.

“The Städel Museum is one of the great museums for Old Master paintings and prints in Germany,” said Hixson-Lied Professor of Art History Alison Stewart. “It also emphasizes Frankfurt and its history, which means paintings by Holbein, Grünewald and Dürer are included in that collection. Frankfurt was bombed in 1944, and a lot of the archival material I tried to study is no longer there, so Frankfurt is an interesting mix of incredibly modern and old at the same time.”

Zempleni has been working with Stewart on her research of Northern Renaissance German painter and printmaker Sebald Beham through a UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Activity and Research) grant. She asked Stewart if she knew anyone in Frankfurt who might need an intern.

“I’ve met Dr. Sander over the last two summers when I was doing my research in Frankfurt. He’s also contributing an essay to a book I’m editing,” Stewart said. “So this is how I think teaching and research work really well together.”

Zempleni has been assisting Stewart with her research on Beham as part of her UCARE work.

“My research was to take the information in Gustav Pauli’s catalogue of Sebald Beham’s prints and transfer it into a spreadsheet and organize it and make it searchable to help her research,” she said.

Zempleni’s parents are both German, and she will be staying with her grandmother in Geisenheim, outside Frankfurt, this summer.

“I feel like the independence will be really great, just taking the train into the city every day and doing research in this big museum with this amazing collection and working so closely with that is something I’m really excited to do and be my own person,” she said.

Zemplini’s interest in art history began in high school, when she took art classes as part of her International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln High School.

“Part of those art classes was to not only make art, but to also do a little research,” she said. “I realized as I was researching, this was something that was really interesting to me. I really liked making my own art, but there was something about learning the stories behind it that was really fascinating to me, and something I just enjoy doing.”

Stewart thinks the internship will be very beneficial to Zempleni.

“I think it will be life altering for her,” she said. “It’s one of the very well known museums in Germany and has major exhibitions. Prof. Sander is a very well known art historian for Old Master paintings for the Northern Renaissance, Netherlandish and German. So he’s an important person. We’re also going to get Anika into their print collection since she’s been working ad nauseam on Beham prints.”

Zemplini said, “It’s a great opportunity.”