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Nylah Byrd (WUDPAC 2022) uses a spatula to carefully turn the pages of a scrapbook from the University of Delaware’s David Fox Nelson Scrapbook Collection (Image Credit: Evan Krape, University of Delaware). 

All applicants who reach the final stages of evaluation will be invited for a virtual interview. At that time, they will present a studio portfolio of both two- and three-dimensional objects that demonstrate their art and crafts skills and their conservation experiences (see Portfolio Requirements List below). During the interview, applicants will also be given two questions; they are to choose one to answer in 30 minutes. The questions are designed to get a sense of the applicants' thoughts on overview/debatable issues in the world of conservation, art, artifacts, museums, libraries, etc. such as "what do you consider the pros and cons of visible conservation treatments—treating works in front of the public?"

All applicants invited for interviews will take in advance an online essay examination that connects the fundamentals of general and organic chemistry to the structure, deterioration, preservation, and analysis of cultural heritage. 

Conservation and Studio Portfolio Requirements

Only those students who receive a formal letter of invitation from the Director of the Art Conservation Program to attend interviews will be required to present portfolios of conservation and studio work at the interview.  Instructions for submission of the portfolios will be included. 

The conservation portfolio will be used by the Admissions Committee to evaluate the applicant's level of preparation for conservation work. At the interview the applicant will give a 20-minute PowerPoint or Prezi presentation of their conservation work. 

For the Conservation Portfolio, please submit three reports in PDF format that will help demonstrate the depth and/or breadth of your experience and your professionalism. For each file sent there is a size limit of 150GB. There is not a specified page limit and images can be included, however longer reports may not be able to receive in-depth review. 

  • One must be a conservation treatment report (including an object description, treatment proposal, and treatment report) or a conservation project report (see listing below) of a project that you will include in your interview presentation.
  • The other two can come from any of the categories below and may be from the same category. Select these reports to help illustrate parts of your experience you want to emphasize with the admission committee.  Please note that all categories will be given equal weight whether done on-site or remotely.  For all reports, where applicable please note collaborators and/or supervisors 
    • Conservation treatment report
    • Conservation project report (storage project, environmental analysis, pest monitoring and eradication, survey)
    • Report on historical and/or social context research
    • Scientific analysis report 
    • Report on remote internship project
    • Comprehensive annotated  bibliography
    • Summary of outreach activities
    • Publication or poster (a sole author or major contributor)  

The studio portfolio will be used by the Admissions Committee to judge the craftsmanship, artistic sensitivity, and manual dexterity of invited applicants. For the Art Conservation Studio Art Portfolio, please submit:

  • Nine full-page pdfs of images of examples of your studio art work due three working days in advance of your interview. The contents of the admission portfolio must consist of the following:
    • 1 representational drawing of the human figure or a still-life subject drawn in perspective using any of the following: charcoal, crayon, pastel, pen and ink, brushed ink, silverpoint, or pencil.
    • 1 free-hand representational painting using any of the following: oil, acrylic polymer, egg tempera, casein, or watercolor.
    • 1 print, intaglio, woodcut, lithograph, serigraph, or a black-and-white photograph that you have printed.
    • 1 textile object, ceramic, metal, stone, or wooden hand-made object, representational if possible.
    • A copy, reproduction, or reconstruction of an original art work or artifact by a known artist or maker plus provide an image of the original.
    • 4 examples of the artwork or reconstructions that you feel best display your competence in studio skills.​

     For each page, please list:

    • Title (if any), medium and support (include materials and techniques), year created, and size. 
    • A brief description of the course associated with the object's creation or if it was independent work.
  •  A drawing of a still life composition that you create yourself to be submitted to the attention of Susan Behrens ( by March 15, 2021. 
    • Please choose 6-8 kitchen or dining room items and arrange them on a cloth of some sort.
    • Carry out a monochromatic drawing using any one or combination of these media: graphite pencil, charcoal, Conte crayon on a paper support of your choosing -- size ranging from 8 1/2 x 11" to 24 x 30".
    • Please take no more than one hour to complete this drawing. 
    • Please share a photograph of your still life arrangement in addition to a full-page pdf image of your resulting still-life drawing and submit by March 15, 2021.   

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