This three-year masters level program in art conservation is one of only five graduate conservation programs in North America. Jointly sponsored by Winterthur and the University of Delaware, the faculty is composed of 12 Winterthur conservators in the Conservation Department and five faculty members from the University of Delaware Art Conservation Department. Graduates work with major museums and cultural institutions throughout the United States and Europe.
Students enter with a distribution of course work in chemistry; in cultural context such as art history and archeology; and in studio art and craft practices. They also have at least 400 hours of experience in conservation as a volunteer or technician. They spend their first year at Winterthur rotating through an intensive block of study in each specialty, exploring the fabrication, deterioration, chemistry, preservation, and treatment of each type of material. During the second year, each student chooses a major (and an optional minor), and works closely with the conservator(s) in that specialty while continuing science and elective courses. Their treatment projects and technical studies contribute to the preservation of important objects and the advancement of knowledge in the field. As part of their training, students talk about their work during conservation tours and advise members of the public at the monthly conservation clinics. During the summer and in their final year, students intern at other institutions, ranging from archeological sites in Turkey and leading museums in the US and Europe to Hurricane Katrina damaged institutions on the Gulf coast.
Conservation Student Research & Activities
WUDPAC student seminars held on Wednesday afternoon during the school year are open to the public. During the first semester, students report on their summer work projects in illustrated talks designed for a general audience. The students’ choice lectures during the second semester allow each second year student to invite a speaker of their choice.
Each WUDPAC student chooses an object of interest and performs a complete technical study using the analytical instruments available in Winterthur’s Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory Late in the spring semester, the students report on their results in a half day symposium that is open to the public.
After students complete two years of study at Winterthur and the University of Delaware, they serve a ten month internship at one or more institutions.