Delegation from UD, Winterthur to conduct cultural exchange with Cuban experts
With the support of
a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a team
from one of the country’s leading art conservation programs will arrive
in Cuba this weekend as part of a historic educational trip.
On April 21, NEH Chairman William D. Adams announced the $30,000 grant
to the Winterthur-University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation
(WUDPAC), while he was in Cuba on a cultural mission with other
government officials and artists from the United States as part of the
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities’ official U.S.
delegation to Cuba.
The WUDPAC delegation will arrive in Havana on Sunday, Nov. 13. They
will spend three days visiting Cuban cultural institutions and meeting
with conservators to learn more about Cuban conservation practices,
focusing on the conservation of paper, photographic materials and
The team plans to visit and meet with their counterparts at la Casa
de las Americas, la Biblioteca Nacional (National Library), el Consejo
Nacional para el Patrimonio Cultural (National Council for Cultural
Heritage), el Archivo Nacional de Cuba (National Archive of Cuba) and el
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts).
“The lives of Cubans and Americans have been connected for many
years and in many ways, but nowhere more powerfully than in the cultural
sphere — in our mutual appreciation of our literature, music, art and
history,” Adams said. “Now we have the opportunity to renew and deepen
our cultural ties in ways that will contribute to the future well-being
of our countries.”
The University of Delaware is home to one of the foremost art
conservation programs in the country, due in part to the University’s
partnership with Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, which provides
graduate students with hands-on experience preserving valuable cultural
Leading the eight-person delegation of students and professors
visiting Cuba will be Debra Hess Norris, Unidel Henry Francis du Pont
Chair in Fine Arts and chair of the Department of Art Conservation, and
Jocelyn Alcantara-Garcia, assistant professor of art conservation, who
is a bilingual conservation research scientist.
“I think that there is so much to be learned from this significant
opportunity,” Norris said. “My hope is that it is just the beginning of a
much longer and richer cultural exchange where we will make connections
with conservators and collection care professionals in Cuba.”
NEH has awarded grants totaling $2.5 million to scholarship and
projects focused on Cuba. For many years, NEH has encouraged the
continued exploration of Cuban history and culture by funding projects
focused on topics including contemporary Cuban literature, the letters
of Ernest Hemingway and the history of Cuban jazz.
Follow the trip at #CubaVisit. See more about the work in Cuba on this Storify site.
UDaily article orginally seen here.