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Students in the Winterthur/University of Delaware
Program in Art Conservation (from left) Victoria Wong, Madison Brockman
and Emily Farek study works on paper in a conservation lab at Winterthur
Museum and Library.
The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) will receive almost $600,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a collaborative project with two other programs in the area of library and archives conservation education.
The foundation awarded a total of $2.1 million to the State
University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo State, which will distribute the
funds. Sharing the grant will be Buffalo States Patricia H. and Richard
E. Garman Art Conservation Department, WUDPAC and the Conservation
Center at New York Universitys (NYU) Institute of Fine Arts.
Over the eight-year grant period, beginning in October 2017, WUDPAC
will receive $598,000 to support such educational activities as student
fellowships, specialized workshops and travel among the participating
The grant is intended to further a collaborative project that will
address the preservation needs of library and archives collections
across the U.S. and educate the next generation of conservators.
Library and archives conservation education, known as LACE, includes a
focus on works on paper. Conservators work with materials such as rare
books, manuscripts, maps, historical documents, photographs and archival
materials and often hold positions in libraries, archives and
We are extremely grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their support
of this consortium, said Patrick Ravines, director of the Garman Art
Conservation Department. I am deeply honored by the foundations
ongoing trust in our commitment to educate the next generation of
conservators. Even as our society grows more digitized, we need to find
effective ways to conserve the tangible books, maps, documents and
photographs that comprise our collective history and cultural heritage.
Debra Hess Norris, Unidel Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts
and WUDPAC director at UD, also thanked the Mellon Foundation for what
she called an inspired investment in the LACE consortium. The
foundation, she said, has generously supported the shared effort since
Our LACE curriculum will be intentional, strategic and
collaborative, Norris said. Working with exceptional colleagues at
Buffalo State College and New York University, we will build a strong
cohort of emerging conservators prepared to better address the demanding
preservation challenges facing libraries and archives worldwide.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Second-year WUDPAC student Victoria Wong examines a book in the conservation lab at Winterthur Museum and Library.
Melissa Tedone, who is book and library conservator at Winterthur and
a WUDPAC affiliated faculty member, said the generous funding from the
Mellon Foundation recognizes library and archives conservations place
among its sister specialties in the art conservation training programs.
Our students will benefit from this cross-pollination across
specialties as well as the collaborative, inter-institutional training,
On behalf of the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts,
New York University, I wish to express my excitement in the official
formation of the LACE consortium, said Margaret Holben Ellis, chair and
Eugene Thaw professor of paper conservation at the Institute of Fine
Arts at NYU. We have successfully partnered in this endeavor for many
years and are heartened by the Mellon Foundations endorsement of our
Lauren Hackworth Petersen, interim associate dean for the humanities
in UDs College of Arts and Sciences, described the LACE collaboration
as an exemplary inter-institutional program of study [that] will be
instrumental in training future conservators dedicated to preserving
libraries and archives worldwide.
The three conservation programs involved, she said, have long been recognized as leaders in the field.
The University of Delaware extends its gratitude to the Andrew W.
Mellon Foundation and to the collaborating institutions for this unique
and important opportunity for our graduate students, Petersen said.
Internationally recognized, WUDPAC is a three-year program that is
one of only five graduate programs in art conservation in North America
and one of only two jointly sponsored between a university and a museum
Students, who earn a Master of Science in Art Conservation degree,
make use of the resources of both the University and Winterthur Museum
and Library, in what has been described as a seamless partnership.
Each student specializes in a conservation area, including furniture,
objects, paintings, paper, photographic materials, textiles, and library
and archival materials.
The curriculum is designed to educate and train conservation
professionals who can carry out the examination, analysis, stabilization
and treatment of art and artifacts, speak to general principles of
collection care and have a broad academic background in science and the
WUDPAC alumni work in prestigious institutions across the country and
the world, preserving important cultural and historical works.
The programas well as numerous other programs throughout UDhas
benefited from the Mellon Foundations generosity in many areas,
including support for graduate students and programs in which UD
conservators work internationally with students and professionals in
fields such as photograph conservation. In addition, a Mellon grant in
2011 helped launch UDs curatorial track for doctoral art history
students, one of only a handful of programs in the country to prepare
future curators for careers in specialized historical art fields.
Article by Ann Manser, with information from SUNY Buffalo State College; photos by Evan Krape