We recognize that pre-program candidates to the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation may no longer have access to in-person classes or internships during these tumultuous times. The Association of North American Graduate Programs in the Conservation of Cultural Property (ANAGPIC) has compiled a list of suggestions, in no particular order, of possible ways to enhance your preparation for graduate study while sheltering in place. You can access a PDF of that document in English and Spanish.
The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation is committed to addressing social equity in conservation education and to reduce barriers to our graduate program. Working with our faculty, student, alums, and other professional colleagues we aim to make our educational experiences more diverse and by extension, our profession.
To that end, we are reevaluating our admissions requirements for January 2022, recognizing that there are multiple ways to demonstrate a sustained commitment to the cultural heritage sector while also learning whether graduate conservation education is the best path forward. In the meantime, recent academic and experiential requirement revisions, effective January 2021, are detailed below.
We are committed to mentoring across all career stages, especially potential applicants. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns to Theresa Slusser (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will direct your query immediately and appropriately.
Please note the following revisions to the admissions requirements for January 15, 2021 applications to the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation:
Applicants to the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation must complete prerequisite coursework in art and cultural history/anthropology, studio art, and chemistry, as outlined on our Admission Requirements page, here. Owing to the global pandemic, and its impact on the availability of in-person courses and internships, the following amendments to our admission requirements will be in place for applications due January 15, 2021. The Department recognizes that making similar and other changes permanent would be a step toward providing equitable access to graduate study in art conservation. Permanent changes require multiple administrative steps that are underway. In the year ahead the Department aims to take these steps.
(A) Online Coursework. In all cases, including STEM laboratory requirements, accredited online courses will fulfill all academic course requirements.
(B) Studio Art Coursework. In the case of studio art, applicants may substitute formal studio courses taught at museums or other community centers for formal academic coursework. These experiences can be enriched with additional hours at home or independently in studio, as necessary and feasible. The goal for each studio art course is 72 hours of supervised or concentrated studio/at-home work. While a distribution of at least one course in drawing, painting, and three-dimensional design is preferred, we will consider favorably an alternate combination of studio coursework.
(C) Conservation Experience. Four hundred (400) hours of documented conservation experience under the supervision of a conservator are required, which may include involvement in supervised collection care projects such as collection assessments, rehousing, and exhibition design, as well as examination and treatment of individual artifacts. We recognize that access to on-site experiential opportunities is limited. Distance learning or remote experiences, such as the compilation of bibliographies prepared in collaboration with a supervisory conservator, the creation of a draft emergency preparedness plan, and other activities outlined in the ANAGPIC document Preparing for Graduate Study While Sheltering in Place will be considered toward the required hours and should be documented accordingly.
(D) Portfolio Format and Interview. 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). 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.
UPDATE: September 21, 2020—Due to COVID-19, the Department of Art Conservation is waiving the GRE requirement for our graduate program this year. If you wish to apply without a GRE score, please enter a future GRE exam date into the application when prompted. This need not be an actual exam date. Entering any future date will allow your application to be sent on to our review committee where it will receive full consideration. Reporting your scores is entirely optional. If you chose to not submit a GRE score, this will have no bearing on the competitiveness of your application. If you have any questions regarding this process, email Theresa Slusser (email@example.com).