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University of Delaware

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  • William Donnelly, Assistant Preventive Conservator

    Assistant Preventive Conservator
    Affiliated Instructor
    University of Delaware
    Newark, DE 19716


    William Donnelly holds a bachelor’s in fine art degree, with a concentration in sculpture, from the University of Delaware and an MA in Preventive Conservation from Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Shortly after completion of his undergraduate degree, he accepted a position at the Delaware Art Museum as an assistant preparator.  In this position, he was introduced to conservation issues such as framing of works on paper and construction of climate packages for pre-Raphaelite works that were to travel with the ‘Waking Dreams’ exhibit.  He was also part of the team charged with the packing, transport and reinstallation of the entire permanent collection to a temporary venue during a complete renovation of the museum’s facility.

    From the Delaware Art Museum, William took an art handling position at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.  This new position honed his skills in object handling and packing for transport. In addition, William gained valuable experience developing logistical solutions related to the large-scale movement of collection objects and crates as an installation courier for traveling exhibitions and loans, as well as, the experience of representing Winterthur as a guest in other institutions. In this position, he had his first experience teaching as trainer for new employees in the museum’s object handling methodology.  In 2008, William joined the conservation department as a Conservation Assistant. While based out of the textile lab, he was to assist other labs, the exhibitions team and the registrar’s office with installations and storage-related issues on an as-needed basis.  His primary focus in the conservation labs related to surface cleaning, storage housings, care in handling, exhibition mounting solutions for textiles, monitoring and maintenance of both the low temperature and low oxygen treatments for pest eradication.

    For the WUDPAC program, William assists Dr. Joelle Wickens with a storage housing and Collection’s Emergency exercise during the 1st year preventive blocks and consults with 2nd year preventive majors/minors on various assignments and research projects as needed.  William also assists Textile Conservator Laura Mina during 1st year Textile block with exercises focused on issues surrounding the care for and the mounting of textiles. William has also lead seminars for 2nd year students, e.g. Brush/Spray Lacquer Seminar, Pest Eradication Using Ageless in Anoxic Treatments and Sealed/Climate Packages for Paintings and Works on Paper.



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