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Undergraduates Hannah Blank (left) and Miriam-Helene Rudd treating a painting as part of an internship led by Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Image Credit Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur).
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Undergraduates in the Art Conservation program at the University of Delaware are encouraged to pursue summer and winter internships in order to cultivate a familiarity with the museum field. Undergraduates undertake a variety of educational experiences across the United States and globally. From the documentation and treatment of dresses from the early twentieth century to participating in the operation of an art gallery in Italy, students have explored the endless avenues of opportunity that cultural, historic, and artistic institutions can provide to those eager to learn. Whether gaining pre-program experience for graduate studies in art conservation or pursuing a career in collections management and other museum-related positions, students develop the valuable skills necessary to be responsible custodians of cultural heritage through their active participation in the care and preservation of material culture.
Two internships are required to be taken for credit for the major. We recommend your first internship experience is ARTC 464, an in-house internship with one of our faculty members on campus or at Winterthur Museum. The second internship can be in-house with another faculty member or at another institution. If an internship for credit is undertaken during summer or winter breaks at a museum or conservation center outside of UD, then you must sign up for ARTC 464-015 and select a faculty sponsor in order to receive credit. Be sure to speak to your advisor in advance if you plan to do this.
More than two internships are needed in preparation for graduate school. We encourage students to undertake internships on their own (not for credit) in addition to the two that are required. Be sure to document your internships with photos and written documentation to use it in your portfolios!
Admission into art conservation graduate school requires a minimum of 400 hours of conservation internship experience. In recent years, the students in incoming WUDPAC classes have averaged 2,000 internship hours!
See listings for internships
Anna-Colette Haynes created this beautiful box with drawers to house fossils during a summer internship at the Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia.
Francine Mancuso interned with the Historical Odessa Foundation in Delaware studying conservation techniques and practices under the guidance of the institution's head conservator, Betty Fiske.
Yulimar Luna Colon acted as a teaching assistant for the Photography Preservation Workshop in Puerto Rico alongside Debra Hess Norris.
Sara Leonowitz performed XRF analysis on Victorian-era cloth-bound books as part of a research project led by Winterthur's library conservator Dr. Melissa Tedone.
Kelsey Marino treated painting as part of an internship led by Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner at Winterthur Museum.
Rachel Dunscomb worked on research on dye complexes with chemists Dr. Alcantará-García and Dr. Cecil Dybowski (Francis Alison Professor of Chemistry, UD).
Annabelle Fichtner interned in the preservation laboratory at Arizona State Museum on Tucson with Dr. Nancy Odegaard, object conservator and professor.
Emma Heath worked in UD's Chemistry Department on research.
AnnaLivia McCarthy was a service-learning intern with Winterthur Museum's youth education outreach program called Terrific Tuesdays/Thrilling Thursdays.
Philip De Paola worked with Laura Mina (Associate Conservator of Textiles and Head of Lab, Affiliated Assistant Professor) and Dr. Melissa Tedone (Associate Library Conservator and Affiliated Assistant Professor) at Winterthur Museum.
Olivia Reiff spent the summer of 2018 taking classes in the San Gemini program in Italy.
Nell Weaver worked on an excavation at the Kaymakçı Archaeological Project in Turkey with Dr. Caitlin O'Grady (Assistant Director of Conservation at Kaymakçi and Lecturer in Conservation, University College London).
Nova Starchio, Kirsten Gobb, Annalivia McCarthy, and Raychelle Osnato worked with Roberto Nardi (mosaic conservation expert at the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica, Rome) on an excavation of a Roman Villa north of Rome.
Riley Thomas worked with Dr. Jocelyn Alcantará-García (Conservation Scientist and Assistant Professor of Art Conservation) in the Conservation Science Lab. She also worked in the Scientific Lab of the Library of Congress.
Archaeology Conservation Center (CCA) in Rieti, Italy
Many of our students participated in a summer internship with conservator Roberto Nardi and his team in Italy every other summer (odd numbered years). The work varied from the conservation of life-size stone warriors from Sardinia to the excavation of early Roman villas, mosaic restoration, and wall paintings. The program has been suspended for the 2021 season due to COVID-19.
Raychelle Osnato (left) and AnnaLivia McCarthy (right) both from the Class of 2019 participated in the Archaeological Conservation Institute field school in the summer of 2017.
Study Abroad Student Experiences
Archaeology Conservation Center (CCA) in Rieti, Italy (2013)
While in Italy, the honors undergraduate students blogged about their experiences. Read about it here: Art Conservation in Italy
Art Conservation Study Abroad: Peru
Study Abroad visit to a Weaving Collective, Chinchero, Peru
January 3 – February 4, Winter Session 2011 University of Delaware, Institute for Global Studies
We had exciting adventures in exploring the ancient and living artistic traditions of Peru. Our journey started in Lima, where we visited important archaeological sites, museums and conservation labs. From there, we headed to Arequipa, Peru's second largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The historic center of Arequipa, with its robust walls, archways, vaults, courtyards, and intricate Baroque facades made of white volcanic stone, was our base for class time and practical work. Our final stop was Cuzco, the Inca capitol, where we explored the living textile customs in weaving communities and the unique painting traditions of the Altiplano.
We had a weekend excursion to the stunning Colca Canyon to learn about indigenous life, ancient forms of terrace agriculture and mestizo architecture. Our trip culminated in the Sacred Valley and ruins at Machu Picchu.
The program included two courses that offered an overview of the history & techniques of Peruvian painting and traditional textile production with an introduction to basic conservation methods. The courses included lectures, museum and archaeological site visits, demos, tours of indigenous communities and ruins. We had hands-on experiences in the production of textiles and wall painting reconstructions using traditional techniques. We had practical skills in textile and painting conservation.