The most valuable thing about the Save Venice internship is the unique privilege of seeing artwork that is not displayed to the general public and most likely never will be. The public cannot open the door in the wall of the sacristy of the 16th-century Church of San Sebastiano, climb the stairs behind the walls to the monk’s loft, and see Paolo Veronese’s frescoes hidden from below by the balcony. We were so close that we could see tracings—even the mistakes in the tracings—made in the plaster by Veronese’s own hand 445 years ago. The public cannot go behind the temporary wall in a room within the Basilica dei Frari to see Titian’s Pesaro Madonna and be so close that the only thing stopping you from touching it is the knowledge that you could damage it.
Venice has some unbelievably dark and violent thunderstorms that come up quickly. On one of our last days there, we were at San Sebastiano for a site visit because the photographer was taking pictures of the plaster sculptures near the ceiling that needed repair. One of those storms hit. We waited out the thunder and downpour in the scaffolding of San Sebastiano, an experience
so magical and extraordinary that just the memory brings back the euphoria of the moment. I cannot think of any other words for that feeling; euphoria
—Genna Asselin ’15
Asselin, a chemistry and art major, and Kayla Metelenis ’15, an art major, interned in Venice last summer. The internship and living expenses are funded by Mary Kolarek Frank ’79 and her husband, Howard Frank. Mary Frank, a member of Lafayette Leadership Council, is vice-president of Save Venice. Diane Cole Ahl, Rothkopf Professor of Art History, helped arrange the program, now in its fifth year.