Meet CIMA’s Fall 2018 Interns

Meet Joanna Zotti, Jiayi Gu, and Nicole Boyd, and Silvia Rossi CIMA’s fall 2018 interns.

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Joanna enjoying a coffee canal-side in Amsterdam.

-When was your first time in New York? Was surprised you the most about this city?

JZ: I am from Roseland, in Northern New Jersey, about 30 minutes from New York. I’ve been coming to the city since I was a child, but I still love exploring here. Just the other day I was walking around SoHo and stumbled upon a charming coffee shop that has since become one of my new favorites. No matter how many times I come here something is always new and exciting—that is my favorite thing about New York.

-How did you first become interested in art history

JZ: I first became curious about art history during my sophomore year of high school when I enrolled in my school’s AP Art History course. I found it so interesting to learn about the visual history that surrounded me. It helped that my teacher, someone I keep in touch with still today, made the class so engaging, inspiring me to want to learn more on the subject. I am currently in my senior year at Rutgers University where I major in art history and Italian. Studying these subjects at the University level has been an incredible opportunity, providing me with more in-depth knowledge in both subject areas.

-Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide according to your taste?

JZ: One of the greatest experiences I’ve had was living in Ferrara, Italy last spring. It was incredible putting my Italian-language skills to work in this medium sized Italian city. I loved walking by famous sites and monuments, such as the Castello d’Este, or going on excursions with my art history class to see incredible works in person at the Palazzo dei Diamanti. One of my other favorite Italian cities was Florence, where I enjoyed visiting the Uffizi Gallery, home to masterpieces such as Botticelli’s Primavera and La nascita di Venere. Also in Florence was the Palazzo Davanzati, a 14th century palace containing a fully furnished and restored collection of what would make up a noble Renaissance home. It is one of the most interesting museums I’ve ever been to, and I highly recommend it!

-What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA? What are the things that you are most looking forward to?

JZ: Something I am most looking forward to is learning more about La Pittura Metafisica during my time at CIMA. I am excited to see so many prized works first hand while informing visitors and guests about CIMA’s mission and commitment to Italian art. I also look forward to learning more about the daily functions of an art gallery and getting to know various professionals in the field. Finally, I am perhaps most happy to be benefitting from the increased exposure to the Italian language I’m receiving through interning at CIMA. My time with CIMA has just begun, and I’m looking forward to what the next months have in store!

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Jiayi channeling her inner foodie at a Thai restaurant in NYC.

-When was your first time in New York? What surprised you the most about this city?

JG: I’m from Shanghai, China, a multi-faceted, mesmerizing and mysterious metropolis. Four years ago when I became a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College was the first time I in the city. NYC is dynamic and multicultural like Shanghai; each district has its proper character and charisma. I was, and still am, amazed by the harmonious integration of different cultures and the endless possibilities and opportunities the city offers, in terms of art and entertainment.

-Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide according to your taste?

JG: Three is not quite enough, I’ll go with five: Uffizi, Palazzo Strozzi, Pompidou, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and of course, CIMA!

-What do you like to do when you are not working?

JG: Nothing’s better than visiting galleries and museums where I often find hidden treasures. As an art lover and foodie, I am always on my way to tick off a restaurant marked on the “gourmet map” I made exclusively for my food adventure in NYC. The number keeps growing and the map is now full of colorful tags!

-If you could purchase any painting, which one would it be? Why? And where would you put it in your apartment?

JG: Dynamism of a Soccer Player, 1913 by Umberto Boccioni.  It dates back to my first visit to MoMA during the orientation of freshman year. As I just stepped into college and felt uncertain about what I would study, I ran into this painting for which I’ve never felt so pleased and thrilled. The vigorous color and superimposed forms that demonstrate dynamism and movement appealed to me the most. I could not stop thinking about its vitality after the visit so I did research and wrote about Boccioni and Futurism as my first college essay. In other words, this painting represents my first encounter and connection with Italian modern art. If my apartment were big enough to have a dining room, I would put it there so that I could indulge myself in two of my favorite things, food and art, all at once.

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Nicole in Central Park shot by her friend.

-How did you first become interested in art history? 

NB: During the spring of my freshman year at Wesleyan, I took my first art history class ever: a course on Italian Baroque art. A few weeks into the semester, I read two essays – “What is Baroque?” by Erwin Panofksy and “Fighting with Style” by Philip Sohm – and was tasked with comparing their arguments in a brief paper of my own. In going about this assignment, I was for the first time forced to confront concepts that I had long taken for granted as a viewer of art – namely, notions of period and style – and, by extension, question my own understanding of the past. This inquiry ignited my enthusiasm for art history and art historiography and motivated me over the next few years to seek understudied topics (primarily in the area of Baroque art) that would continue to enrich our narrative/conception of early modern art history.

-Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide according to your taste. 

NB: A difficult question, but I’ll do my best. (1) The Met will always be one of my favorites: not only does it house a really wonderful collection of Italian Baroque and Renaissance paintings, but it also holds a great deal of nostalgic value for me. Throughout middle school, high school, and college alike, I regularly went on field trips to the Met with studio art/art history classes and, on each visit, the interacted the museum’s holdings in new and meaningful ways. (2) The Kunsthistorisches recently stole my heart. I went there two days in a row while in Vienna this past June. The building that houses the museum’s collection is itself really mesmerizing (as I walked through its hallways and galleries, I became dizzy trying to take in every inch of the frescoed ceilings and trompe l’oeil). I also got the chance to observe some amazing works by the painter Guido Cagnacci, whom I wrote my thesis about. (3) The Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna. I spent a lot of time here not only during the art history class I took during my semester abroad, but also during the summer preceding senior year, while doing preliminary research for my thesis. Chockfull of paintings by big-name Baroque masters like the three Carracci, Guido Reni, Guercino, Domenichino, and others, Galleries 22-29 was where I passed most of my time.

-What do you like to do when you are not working? 

NB: going to museums (there’s never enough art history); cooking/eating ragú bolognese; making dessert for my friends/family; watching sitcoms & dissecting standup comedy; running; thrifting.

-What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA? What are things that you are most looking forward to?

NB: Beyond learning more about professions in the art world/ experiencing the day-to-day operations of a non-profit research center and cultural institution, I am really looking forward to learning more about modern visual culture. My undergraduate double-major in Art History and Italian Studies has thus far been applied primarily to the study of Baroque painting, so the prospect of moving beyond my comfort zone and, perhaps, observing how Italian art of the early modern and modern periods connect and diverge is really exciting to me!

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Silvia during a hike at the Grand Canyon.

-When was your first time in New York? Was surprised you the most about this city?

SR: I’m from Milan, Italy, a multicultural, mysterious metropolis that is rich in history. Five years ago I visited with my family for only 4 days but I could see the beauty of this city, it bewitched me. There are a lot of people from different countries, similarly to Milan, both are cosmopolitan, but in New York everything is bigger; each neighborhood has its own character and details and inhabitants that differentiate it from the others.

-What do you like to do when you are not working?

SR: My passion are movies and art in general. I love visiting museums or galleries: and sure enough I’m always looking for a new piece of art. But I’m also a food lover, every time I’m hungry I search for a new restaurant to taste new dishes, New York is perfect for this passion…

-Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide according to your taste?

SR: Only three? Ok, I’ll choose… I love La Cappella Sistina in Vatican City, the National Gallery in London, the Getty center in LA, Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, and the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. That’s more than three, but there are too many that I love!

What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA? What are the things that you are most looking forward to?

SR: What I am most looking forward to during my time at CIMA is learning more about modern art and the thought process and critique behind a work of art. I am excited to see and study so many artists, paintings, and beauty. I’m looking forward learning more about professions in the art world and to experiencing the everyday operations of a non-profit research center and cultural institution.