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The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) is pleased to highlight the accomplishments of our incoming first-year students, the Class of 2026. The WUDPAC Class of 2026 brings to the program a passion for equity, accessibility, and sustainability in the field of art conservation. Their wide-ranging knowledge and skill sets have prepared them well for the preservation, examination, and treatment of cultural heritage.
The 10 Fellows of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) Class of 2026 each bring unique combinations of pre-program experience, community outreach, and scientific research to the WUDPAC program. They have lived, studied, and worked across the continental United States, as well as Asia, Europe, and the Bahamas. Their extensive conservation work, diverse backgrounds, and broad interests equip them with the necessary technical and theoretical skills to tackle the many challenges presented in the ever-changing field of cultural heritage preservation.
The members of the Class of 2026 have gained conservation and collections care experience in 40 different institutions, including museums, cultural centers, libraries, and private practices. Their treatment experiences are similarly varied; they have completed treatments on paintings, outdoor sculptures, silver, ceramic, bronze and stone objects, paper, photographs, textiles, archival materials, and historic buildings. Treatment highlights include treating and mounting Abraham Lincoln's assassination garments, preparing the Apollo 8 flight plan for exhibition, surface cleaning and consolidating 12th-century Jain manuscripts, cleaning a Tiffany & Co. Goelet cup, and working on pieces by Vincent van Gogh, Kara Walker, and Marcel Duchamp. Many have also employed analytical techniques such as cross-section analysis, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to delve into materials research. Some have additional experience in research outside of conservation science, using temperature programmed-infrared spectroscopy (TP-IR) and temperature-programmed desorption-mass spectroscopy (TPD-MS) to analyze solvent interactions with metal-organic frameworks and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to study photolysis rates of organic compounds and natural organic matter.
Away from the bench, Fellows have continuously engaged with the conservation community and general public through museum union organizing and social media outreach. They remain active members of local and national conservation associations, volunteering their time and presenting talks through the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), International Institute for Conservation (IIC), Philadelphia Area Conservation Association (PACA), Washington Conservation Guild (WCG), New England Conservation Association (NECA), and Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC). Many of the fellows have career-long goals to uplift and center historically marginalized groups and their material culture, at the institutional level, advocating for object repatriation and governmental funding for conservation projects, or at the local level, working to increase the accessibility of conservation treatments and supporting community-centered treatment approaches.
Outside the realm of conservation, the 10 Fellows enjoy a wide variety of hobbies. They remain avid artists and makers in various artistic and craft techniques, including wheel-thrown ceramics, woodworking, enameling, sewing, embroidery, painting, and knitting. They can also be found inside reading, cooking, or playing Dungeons and Dragons, and outdoors, camping, gardening, and playing spikeball.
The members of the Class of 2026 enter their graduate studies in art conservation with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. They have worked as theater crews, clinical laboratory technicians, educators, artists, and gallery attendants; these experiences have contributed to their individual career goals and perspectives on material culture and community. The 2026 Fellows are excited to expand and bolster their conservation education under the guidance of the WUDPAC faculty and extended professional network to grow into conscientious stewards of cultural heritage.
Please join us in welcoming the incoming WUDPAC Class of 2026: Zoe Avery (North Carolina State University), Sam Callanta (Ursinus College), Luca Denegre (Carnegie Mellon University), Daisy Diamond (Bates College), Caitlyn Fong (Messiah University), Sam Lee (Seattle University), Binh-An Nguyen (Temple University), Taryn Nurse (Fisk University; University of the Bahamas), Leah Faith Palmer (University of Florida), and Tatiana Shannon (Hampshire College). The Class of 2026 looks forward to learning from the WUDPAC faculty and visiting professors, and to collaborating with fellow students in order to preserve cultural heritage for years to come!
Class of 2024 Download PDF (in Spanish)
Class of 2025 Download PDF (in Spanish)
Class of 2026 (bios to come)