Our commitment to public service is clear and a cornerstone of our education and training at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our commitment to producing preservation ambassadors is accomplished through continued support for travel and scholarship and on-the-job public outreach and advocacy training.
Undergraduate service activities have included a variety of projects at the local, national and international levels. The students have worked with the Newark Historical Society to take on collections care and the creation of policy, aided the Newark African American Community to create a walking tour, helped the
Engineering Department at UD with the treatment of a terracotta wall with salt issues, conserved medieval manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum, and restored artifacts in Lisbon for a new sports museum. These are only a few of the many examples of service activities they have undertaken.
Since 2004, 129 students have graduated from the undergraduate art conservation program, or an average of 12 students per year. To date, the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation has trained 364 professional conservators in the examination, analysis, treatment, and stabilization of art and artifacts, as well as the general principles of collections’ care. WUDPAC alumni are the advocates for respected art and artifacts housed in collections across the country and around the world. Program graduates have been responsible for the preservation of such irreplaceable objects as the Declaration of Independence, multiple drafts of the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Liberty Bell, the Treaty of Paris, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the world’s first photograph, and works of art by Old Masters to contemporary artists—from Rembrandt and Rubens to Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol. In the last decade, 16 of our graduates have been honored with Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards from UD, including induction in the UD Alumni Wall of Fame, and special awards presented by the American Institute for Conservation for distinguished accomplishment.
Our graduates are also responsible for public advocacy, nationwide disaster response and recovery efforts, revisions to professional guidelines and codes of ethics, and current work toward the development and implementation of professional certification. Whether they work in private practice, collaborate with small community museums and archives, or work as team members at institutions, WUDPAC alumni help to minimize risk and deterioration to cultural heritage, while ensuring and maximizing these objects’ long-term benefits to society. Our graduates have worked to guarantee the continued availability of these collections for interpretation, scholarship, and enrichment for present and future generations. Their contributions have helped small Alaskan institutions safeguard important collections by identifying mystery “white residues” through social media [including the blog “What’s that White Stuff - Caring for Alaskan Artifacts”], preserve the legacy of a historically African American community in Newark, DE, and conserve important art collections in museums across the nation.