Commemorating the nation’s most successful university-museum partnership, A Lasting Legacy explored the changing roles of conservation and curatorial scholarship over the past 60 years.
For nearly six decades, the University of Delaware and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library have guided two groundbreaking graduate programs—the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (begun in 1952 as the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture) and the Winterthur-University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (begun in 1974). Arguably, no academic programs have had a greater impact on American museums over the last half century. Winterthur-educated museum directors, curators, and professors have transformed institutions, developed landmark exhibitions, and redefined the public’s understanding of American decorative arts and material culture. Winterthur-trained conservators have treated some of the nation’s most famous objects, from the Star-Spangled Banner and Declaration of Independence to the original C-3PO costume from Star Wars and a space suit from Apollo 11.
A Lasting Legacy highlighted the accomplishments of the two programs through a short film and case studies that reveal the extraordinary range and reach of the students during their graduate experience, their many contributions throughout their careers, and the global impact of the programs. Through this exhibition, visitors got to know some of the remarkable people responsible for preserving our cultural heritage and for guiding institutions that share our arts, history, and culture.
View the exhibition video here. Please note that the video file is large and may take a minute to load.
Read the article about A Lasting Legacy that appeared in Antiques & Fine Art Magazine. Courtesy, Summer 2012 issue of Antiques & Fine Art Magazine.
Read related blog posts by current and incoming art conservation students about their summer internships and other art conservation projects.
Image at top of page: Textiles conservator Joy Gardiner (WUDPAC ’88) assisted by Anne Getts (WUDPAC ’12)