When considering an Art Conservation undergraduate program keep these questions in mind:
1. How many professional conservators are full-time faculty
and teach in the undergraduate program?
conservators are your most important mentors to prepare you for the competitive
nature of art conservation graduate programs. They help you connect the
dots between art, material culture, and science. Professional conservation
faculty are here to help you network within the field and provide hands-on
learning experiences. There are 4 fulltime conservation faculty members on-site
at the University of Delaware. Additionally,14 affiliated art conservation
faculty members, associated primarily with the graduate program, often provide internships
and courses for undergraduate students. Undergraduates at UD have an
average of 6 courses with professional conservators throughout the course of their
studies. The UD Art Conservation Program is unique in providing this level
of mentoring and personalized learning.
2. Does the program provide all the required courses
needed for applying for conservation graduate programs?
Because US conservation graduate programs have
prerequisites, be sure that the undergraduate program you select provides all
of these. Entry into the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art
- At least 18 semester credits (6 courses) in a variety of cultural artifact traditions
- At least 16 semester credits (4 courses) in chemistry for science majors are required and taking another additional science course
- At least 12 semester credits (4 courses) in Studio Arts
- At least 400
hours of conservation experience with professional conservators
undergraduate curriculum provides all of these courses and more!
3. Does the program offer in-house and outside
internships with professional conservators?
UD offers several in-house conservation internships each
semester. Additionally students receive help finding outside internships. UD’s
winter session affords a great opportunity to study abroad or hold an outside
internship. Our students have interned in many institutions across the United States
and around the world. This past summer UD students interned at Winterthur
Museum, with Roberto Nardi (Centro di Conservazione Archeologica) on Roman
mosaics in Italy, and with Dr. Caitlin O’Grady (University College London) at Kaymakçı Archaeological Project, an archaeological site in Turkey, to name a few. See
our list of recent internships.
4. Can you double major or minor in related areas?
Conservation is by
nature an interdisciplinary field. At UD we encourage art conservation students
to double major, often in art history, anthropology, or chemistry, and select
from a variety of minors too. This provides students breadth, giving them
the opportunity to explore related interests while combining technical
conservation with soft skills, maximizing the time they spend at UD.
Examples of minors commonly-chosen by art conservation
Africana studies, anthropology, art history, Asian studies, chemistry, fashion history, fine art, global studies, history, the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, interactive media, Islamic studies, languages, Latin American studies, material culture studies, materials science, museum studies, public policy, and wildlife conservation.
training takes a village! At UD we have the most well-developed village—after
all we have been training pre-program art conservation students since
1971! A third of our students go on for conservation-related graduate
training. Even if they choose not to continue in conservation, most stay
in museum-related fields, bringing a deep understanding of conservation
processes and ethics to all they do!