April 2021 – Drew University senior Amy Zavecz delivered a presentation of her undergraduate research at the virtual SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium earlier this month.
Zavecz, who will be attending Georgetown University as part of their art and museum studies program, has focused her undergraduate research on the intersection of art and law, specifically the repatriation of Holocaust-era looted art.
Wanting to further explore her academic interests for the symposium, she zeroed in on a 2004 Supreme Court case. Her paper, “A New Take on Taking: Analyzing Cultural Property Through Republic of Austria v. Altmann” illustrates how the case reflects the conflicting dichotomy of ownership between cultural nationalists and cultural internationalists in modern restitution claims.
“This presentation felt like a culmination of my time at Drew,” she said.
“While I drew most of my source material from my museum studies and law, justice, and society courses, I also applied several transferable skills—research skills, concise verbal and written communication, time management—that I refined during my internships and part-time jobs while at Drew.”
Zavecz noted Drew mentors and experiences that have been particularly impactful along her academic journey.
“The faculty in the Art History Department—Professor Kimberly Rhodes, Professor Margaret Kuntz, and Professor Rita Keane—shaped my experiences at Drew University,” said Zavecz.
“It was through their art history and museum studies lessons, as well as their guidance and support outside of the classroom, that prepared me for academic successes like presenting at the symposium.”
In addition to academic mentors, Zavecz noted her current internship with the Brooklyn Museum’s Decorative Arts Curatorial Department where she is responsible for researching the provenance of 41 objects in the museum’s Judaica collection.
“The tips on writing a cohesive resume and strong cover letter I got from the Career Center were extremely helpful during the application process,” she said.
“This internship has been invaluable to my Drew experience because it has allowed me to apply my academic theory to practice, and to further explore my research interests,” she explained.
As she heads out of The Forest and towards Georgetown with a skillset she has grown and applied throughout her time at Drew, Zavecz is feeling up to the challenge.
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