The majority of our students have undergraduate degrees in art history, anthropology, archaeology, chemistry and/or studio art. Many students also have Master’s degrees in anthropology, studio art, art history, chemistry, or museum management. We receive approximately 700 inquiries a year and usually have at least 60 applicants who have all of the prerequisites, from whom we interview 24 and select ten.
Information on members of the incoming Class of 2018 will soon join the other biographies of current WUDPAC students available on this page. The collective experiences of the Class of 2018 graduate program at WUDPAC are as diverse as the field of conservation itself. These ten women have gained conservation-related skills on four continents and have worked in both public cultural institutions and private conservation studios in more than a dozen states. Their treatment experience spans a wide range of cultural property including early 20th-century carousel horses, toys from Thomas Edison’s house, a leaded glass vase belonging to President Andrew Jackson, and paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Anthony van Dyck, Joseph Stella, and Norman Rockwell. The students have employed preventive conservation methods to care for collections that included rehousing Chinese embroideries, overseeing the installation of solar shades in the Donald Judd Libraries in Marfa, and creating custom storage forms for fragile Civil War textile artifacts. In addition to their hands-on conservation experiences, the Class of 2018 has conducted advanced scientific and analytical research utilizing x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to study the elemental composition of paintings, photographs, and Egyptian glass; microfadeometry to examine Day-Glo paints on a leather jacket, and x-radiography to study the structure of European silver and Moche ceramics. These conservators-in-training have also created a digital database for the research collection of the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles and participated in the IMLS Recoloring Faded Taxidermy Research Project. The Class of 2018 looks forward to building on these experiences at WUDPAC, where they will expand their knowledge of materials and technology and fine-tune their analytical, research, and hand skills as they continue to preserve priceless cultural property while forming new global partnerships and becoming stronger advocates for artistic, historic, and cultural heritage.