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During the first year of the master's program, the history of technology of wood and furniture and the analysis and treatment of varnished surfaces are addressed. The Winterthur rooms provide a comprehensive range of furniture and composite organic objects for first-hand study and extensive documentation. Treatment of these objects in the second year allows for curriculum continuity.
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In addition to meeting the general Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) admission requirements, applicants wishing to major in furniture conservation must demonstrate a solid competency in traditional woodcraft. The purpose of this requirement is to both satisfy the general market demand for such skills in a furniture conservator and to free up time in the second year. Time that would otherwise be allocated to developing these woodworking skills is then available to study in greater depth conservation practices that are necessary for treatment of a wider range of wood objects, furniture and surfaces not directly related to wood. It is recommended that the prospective furniture major review the book: Conservation of Furniture by Shayne Rivers and Nick Umney (Butterworth-Heinemann series in conservation, 2005), for additional insight.
Students studying furniture conservation will follow the generally-prescribed WUDPAC curriculum with elective courses focused on connoisseurship, both art historical and technical, of furniture. During the second year, majors treat wooden objects and furniture, as well as objects and materials that are commonly associated with furniture, both historic and contemporary.
Furniture majors are supervised by Mark Anderson and also work closely with Gregory Landrey.