In the second year, students focus on their specialty of choice with the objective of continuing to develop: basic hand skills, a thorough ability to examine and document the condition of cultural property, problem solving and ethical decision making in treatments, and an understanding of the care and preservation within the specialty. Course emphasis can be tailored for students with strong interest in analytical work, collections care, or in various sub-specialties within their major specialty. At the end of this year, students should be able to work efficiently under supervision.
During their second year, students may also spend time studying a second specialty or minor concentration to increase their knowledge of and breadth of exposure to a wider range of materials and techniques. Science courses concentrate on instrumental analysis techniques and the completion of a technical study, which is presented at the end of the year. Electives in the history of technology, art history, anthropology, archaeology, preventive conservation applications, cleaning techniques, and independent study topics can be pursued in this year. At monthly clinics held at Winterthur Museum, the students participate and practice object assessment and public outreach skills with objects brought in by members of the public.
During this year, students prepare a portfolio of work and interview at several prospective internship sites for third-year placement. A qualifying examination for the second year is given in the specialization, minor specialty, preventive conservation, and science.
After completion of the second year, students should demonstrate the following:
- Increased proficiency in implementing conservation activities including examination, documentation on both detailed and quick assessment levels, treatment, hand skills and preventive care practiced within the major specialty
- Ability to investigate the causes and changes in an object's condition and/or to evaluate techniques, methods, and materials to be utilized in conservation treatment.
- Knowledge of the history and current philosophies, principles, practices, methods and techniques of the relevant conservation specialty
- The development of appropriate hand skills for implementing treatment procedures.
- Basic familiarity with and understanding of instrumental and chemical analysis methods as they relate to the activities of conservation, including examination, documentation, treatment, and preventive care
- Relevant connoisseurship skills
- A basic understanding of and appreciation for the complex issues relating to preventive care, including appropriate environmental conditions, handling and maintenance procedures for storage; exhibition packing, transport, and use; integrated pest management; and emergency preparedness, response, and mitigation
- Ability to formulate, design, and conduct a scientific technical study of cultural materials, and present the information in a professional manner
- Skill in communicating and presenting information on preservation to colleagues, allied professionals, and the public
- Basic familiarity with fundraising and professional advocacy
- Efficient planning, implementation, and time management practices
- Ability to work neatly and efficiently in the lab, demonstrating proper safety and laboratory maintenance procedures