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Material Culture

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Vivan Barnett dresses a mannequin in a costume from the Netflix show The Crown with Laura Mina, Textile Conservator at Winterthur Museum and Affiliated Assistant Professor for the upcoming Costuming the Crown exhibition at Winterthur.

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Material Culture 

Material culture is a term used to describe the objects produced by human beings and refers to the physical objects, resources, and spaces that people use to define their culture.  

We require that you take two introductory courses in material culture for the major and at least 4 other upper division courses. Courses should be selected from offerings from art history, anthropology, material culture studies or a number of other departments, as long as the courses are focused on material culture as opposed to non-material culture.  

It is highly recommended that students planning to apply to art conservation graduate schools double major in either art history or anthropology.  

If you wish to pursue museum studies, curation, material culture, or public history graduate studies, then you might consider a history major or minor.

If you are interested in historic preservation, which focuses on preservation of the built environment, take a course or two from UD’s Center for Historic Architecture & Design.

Typical introductory historic preservation courses include:

ARTH 153/154 Art History Surveys

ANTH 103, 104 Intro to Biological Anthropology and Archaeology

ANTH 105 Intro to Historical Archaeology

Related Majors and Minors

Material Culture Studies Minor

Art History Major 

Art History Minor

Anthropology Major

Anthropology Minor

History Major

History Minor​​

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Material Culture
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu