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University of Delaware

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  • E. Melanie Gifford Ph.D., Visiting Lecturer

    Visiting Lecturer
    University of Delaware
    Newark, DE 19716


    ​Melanie Gifford has taught techniques of microscopic paint analysis for the Art Conservation Program since 1981. She is employed as Research Conservator for Painting Technology in the Scientific Research Department of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Her research uses technical analysis of painting materials and techniques to consider the relationship between style and technique in the artistic decision-making process. Her primary focus is on the art of Northern Europe from the 15th through the 17th centuries: her publications include studies of Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Georges de La Tour, Jan van Goyen, and Jan van Eyck. Gifford has also carried out studies on works by other artists, ranging from Veronese to Manet. She earned an M.A. in Art History from Williams College in 1976. She earned an M.A. in Art Conservation in 1979 from the S.U.N.Y./Cooperstown program in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, interning at The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, with additional training in the Scientific Department at the National Gallery, London. From 1979 to 1992 she was a practicing painting conservator at The Walters, specializing in the treatment of European easel paintings on panel and canvas, and carrying out technical research. In 1992 she joined the National Gallery, turning exclusively to research. In 1997 she received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a dissertation on the development of naturalistic landscape in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century.



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  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489