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Kiera Hammond setting down lifting paint on a diorama owned by Tuskegee Legacy Museum showing Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre. Photo credit: Joyce Hill Stoner
The University of Delaware (UD) and the Alliance of HBCU Museums and Galleries (the Alliance) have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The award will support significant expansion of a popular conservation summer program by UD's Department of Art Conservation with the goal of increasing diversity in the profession.
The six-week course will include two weeks of cohort training on conservation fundamentals at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library led by Nina Owczarek, assistant professor of Art Conservation, with assistance from UD and Winterthur conservation faculty members. Students will then work in pairs as they intern in conservation departments at Winterthur, the Brooklyn Museum, Fisk University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Yale University. Examination and treatment projects selected during the onsite internships will include activities centered on public and community engagement and outreach.
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Student Meaghan Hall (middle back) with colleagues consolidating raised and flaking paint on a Korean War Scene by Jimmie Mosely owned by HBCU University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Photo Credit: Evan Krape.
Unlike courses held in a traditional classroom setting, this summer internship program allows students from historically Black colleges & universities (HBCUs) to work closely in conservation laboratories with professionals in the field and to apply their newfound scientific and artistic knowledge and skills to the preservation of cultural artifacts. This summer internship program introduces and deepens the students' knowledge of cultural heritage preservation, thereby supporting increased representation in art conservation and related professions.
Ten advanced students enrolled in or recently graduated from HBCUs and other minority serving institutions (MSIs) will be recruited for the program each year. African American, Hispanic and Native American students are eligible to apply. UD has offered this course and two other multi-week courses in partnership with the Alliance since 2017. The grant will more than double the number of students in the course.
Students Matthew Fields (front) and Devin Davis (back) with teaching assistant Julianna Ly discussing the 1619 diorama of enslaved peoples arriving in Virginia, owned by Tuskegee Legacy Museum. Photo credit: Joyce Hill Stoner
The Alliance of HBCU Museums and Galleries is a non-profit organization comprised of 12 member colleges and universities classified as historically Black colleges and universities, each of which maintains and operates a museum or gallery and associated collections of art. The Alliance's primary goals are to contribute to the diversification of the museum and art world through the preparation and training of outstanding students and recent alumni from our member HBCUs in museum studies, art conservation, archives, and artistry, and to support the preservation, sustenance, and operations of our member museums and galleries and their collections and staff.
Bank of America Charitable Foundation develops strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility and social progress in low- and moderate-income communities. The Foundation focuses on improving the lives of individuals and families by investing in basic needs, workforce development and education, and strengthens broader community vitality by addressing needs related to affordable housing, small business, and neighborhood revitalization. Through partnerships, the Foundation supports vulnerable populations, including working families, youth and young adults out of school and work, seniors, individuals living with disabilities, veterans, and those impacted by the criminal justice system – enabling them to move forward toward their goals. In response to the ongoing challenges that people and communities of color face, the Foundation continues to work to advance racial equality and economic opportunity throughout many of our partnerships.
The University of Delaware Department of Art Conservation values empathy, cultural identity, inclusion, and social connection as integral to the care of material culture. The department is committed to educating professionals skilled in the analysis, treatment, and preservation of cultural artifacts by connecting disciplines in the arts, humanities, and sciences. The department offers programs at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels. UD undergraduate degree in art conservation is one of a kind – no other program in the United States has professional conservators as permanent faculty with real-world experience caring for collections. Through the jointly sponsored master's-level Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC), one of four such programs nationally, graduate students study the history, technology of cultural heritage and its preservation. The Preservation Studies Doctoral Program prepares students to pursue advanced research in any of the traditional conservation specialties in addition to urban planning and historic preservation of the built environment.