TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama rising senior Sommer Hallquist has been selected for a highly competitive summer internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Cloisters in New York City.
The Met Cloisters is a museum specializing in medieval art, architecture and gardens, and it is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Hallquist, 20, is a Enumclaw, Washington native who’s double majoring in art history and anthropology. She is one of eight students from across the U.S. to be selected for the internship out of about 140 applicants. The paid internship starts in June.
“I applied for the internship back in January and was notified that I received an interview for a position in late February,” Hallquist said. “I, along with 30 others, was invited to travel to New York City for interviews with the museum’s education department at the beginning of March.
“While at work later that month, I received an exciting call from the museum saying that I had received a position.”
Dr. Jennifer Feltman, assistant professor of medieval art and architecture, said the internship is going to make a major difference in Hallquist’s professional development.
“I’ve been working with Sommer over the past year, she’s taken a couple of my courses,” Feltman said. “She already has a bright future, but this will open up so many opportunities for her. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Cloisters is the premier museum of medieval art in the United States.
“She’ll have the chance to meet curators at the museum where she’ll receive training in museum education. She’ll learn about the collection at the Cloisters, which is housed in a French medieval monastery reconstructed in Manhattan. That’s why it’s called the Cloisters.”
Feltman said Hallquist will conduct gallery teaching at the museum where she’ll use objects in the museum’s collection to instruct participants in the museum’s children’s day camps about various aspects of medieval art and culture.
She’ll also have the opportunity to conduct her own research project focusing on objects within the Met Cloisters’ collection. Specifically, she’d like to focus her research on the 14th century illustrated copy of Cloisters Apocalypse – the Biblical book of Revelation – the museum owns.
“Since the manuscript is owned by the museum and housed there within its galleries, it would be incredible if the Met Cloisters approved of my using the manuscript as the subject of my work,” she said.
Hallquist has been conducting an independent study on the images of the Antichrist in the “Bible moralisée Codex Vindo bonensis 2554, Vienna, Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek,” which is a 13th century moralized French Bible made for the Capetians, a royal family of France.
Moralized Bibles are highly illustrated Bibles created in France in the 13th century that were used to help rulers be ethical.
This French moralized bible is a highly illustrated codex that was created for the Capetian royal family in the early 13th century.
“Commissioned by Queen Blanche of Castile, Vienna 2554 is a codex including 11 Old Testament books of the Bible,” she said. “It is striking, then, that this Old Testament Bible repeatedly employs the New Testament figure of Antichrist within its folios.”
“The Antichrist is depicted in that book as being the beast who comes right before the second coming of Jesus. They have images of the Antichrist in the other Apocalypse manuscripts that I’m comparing to the images of the Antichrist within Vienna 2554.”
Hallquist said the Antichrist mostly appears as a human king with three faces to represent that he is part of the anti-Trinity – the opposite of the holy Trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit – in the illustrations within the moralized Bible Vienna 2554. But in the other Apocalypse manuscripts, he is depicted as a beast with seven heads and 10 horns.
“It’s how he’s interpreted within each that I’m studying,” she said. “There’s no set way in Vienna 2554 of how he was presented by people in those times. No set iconography. In Vienna, he’s wearing a crown most of the time in royal clothing, which goes back to the idea of him being an evil ruler and false type of Christ.”
Hallquist said while much of her work has focused upon these medieval representations of Antichrist within Vienna 2554, an equal amount of her work has focused upon representations of kingship within the manuscript.
At the end of her internship, Hallquist will present the findings of her research project to the general public at the museum.
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