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Welcome Class of 2017 Katzenberger Interns!

Posted on Jun 8, 2017 by in The OFI Blog |

2017 Katzenberger interns from left to right: Samuel Snodgrass, Hannah Fitch, Michelle Ibarra, Valerie Kaufmann; not pictured: Michelle Mehrtens and Natasha Orlando 

The Smithsonian Institution is pleased to welcome the 2017 Katzenberger Art History Interns, undergraduates in research and collections projects at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The program is generously funded by the Katzenberger Foundation, which provides six internships each summer.

This year’s Katzenberger class includes:

Hannah Fitch will be interning with Stephen Loring at the National Museum of Natural History’s (NMNH) Arctic Studies Center with the project, “Frozen in Time: the Arctic Imagination of Wilbur Stokes.” She is originally from New Hampshire and now resides in Washington, D.C. earning a Master of Art History from American University. Hannah’s Master’s thesis is focused on seventeenth-century fresco paintings commissioned by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany; however, her other interests include American landscape painting and American Modern Art. In May 2016, she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Management from Long Island University (LIU). During her undergraduate studies at LIU Post, Hannah served as a Photo Lab Assistant, a Student Ambassador for Admissions, an Arts Education Associate at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, and a Curatorial Assistant for an exhibition that was hosted in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition, she organized and produced a day-long arts festival at LIU Post as part of her Honors College Thesis titled Festival of the Arts: Exploring Arts Advocacy through Celebration. She has also studied abroad in Florence, Italy and completed local internships at Americans for the Arts, the D.C. Arts Center, and The Art League Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

Michelle Ibarra will be interning with Anne Evenhaugen at the Smithsonian Libraries branch in the Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery Library with the project, “Art Students League Art & Artists Files.” She is a graduate from Florida State University‘s Art History program with minors in Museum Studies, History, and Anthropology.  This is her second year as a Katzenberger Intern, as she spent last summer at the Center for Folklife documenting their material culture collection.  She has a great love for traveling and Disney, as well as a fascination with Native American history and culture.  Her goal is to become a curator of Native American material culture.

Valerie Kaufmann will be interning with Amanda Moniz at the National Museum of American History (NMAH) with the project, “National Census of Statues of Philanthropists: Building the Framework.” She is a rising senior at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Valerie is a Communications major, minoring in Fine Arts & French. She is just returning from a semester abroad in Paris. Having previously interned for New York State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, she is passionate about serving the community. She is excited to work on a project that combines her love of art & philanthropy. When Valerie isn’t browsing an art museum, she enjoys talking about politics, reading Kurt Vonnegut, and eating chicken over rice- not necessarily in that order.

Michelle Mehrtens will be interning with Charlie Weber at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH) with the project, “Storied Lives: Research and Online Exhibit.” She is a recent college graduate from Brown University, where she studied English and history. At the CFCH, Michelle will be working on a web-based, audio-visual exhibit that features the works of artists, musicians, and performers who explore social issues via an integration of the traditional arts in the modern world.

Natasha Orlando will be interning with Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi at the Smithsonian Libraries branch in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (CHNDM) with the project, “Smithsonian Libraries’ Color Exhibition.” She lives in Rockland County, NY and is a first-generation Spanish immigrant. Natasha is a rising junior at Brown University studying Art History with a focus in post-war and contemporary art. When she’s not writing papers, working her on-campus job, or at extracurricular events, Natasha enjoys cooking mac & cheese for her friends and watching educational YouTube content. Last summer, she interned at Public Art Fund, and she is extremely excited to spend another summer in New York City at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. After graduation, Natasha hopes to merge her passion for art with her business skills as an art advisor or gallerist.

Samuel Snodgrass will be interning with Jacqueline Protka at the Smithsonian Libraries branch in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden with the project, “Modern and Contemporary Art: A to Z.” He is a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Visual and Critical Studies Thesis. He studies Arts Administration, Art History, and Fashion Design. In high school, Samuel was Valedictorian and participated in Chocolate University, in which he traveled to Tanzania taking part in an international business venture to engage in profit sharing directly with a cocoa farmer group in Mababu. More recently he worked as a curatorial intern at Gallery 400 in Chicago and currently gives tours at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. His artwork and designs have been chosen for exhibits around Chicago and his home state, Missouri. You will usually find Samuel on a morning jog along Lake Michigan, eating ice cream, or making hats.