Preparing future curators
Grant supports new curatorial track doctoral program in art history
2:33 p.m., June 17, 2011--A generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help launch a new curatorial track for doctoral art history students, making the program one of only a handful in the country to prepare future curators for careers in specialized historical art fields.
The $678,449 grant from the Mellon Foundation will support the first cohort of six art history students over a period of six years, beginning in 2012. The Department of Art History plans to award two Mellon Fellowships each year to students with the greatest merit and potential to succeed.
“Our goal is to educate the next generation of informed, well-trained curators and serve as a model for curatorial education,” says Nina Kallmyer, professor and chair of art history.
While the job duties of modern curators have expanded to include advanced research expertise and managerial skills, most graduate programs in art history train students for work in academe, teaching critical theory and the social history of art.
In addition to rigorous art historical training through graduate seminars, UD’s new curatorial track will expose students to a range of interdisciplinary areas that fall outside traditional art history education, including courses in museum studies, art conservation, public engagement and business and nonprofit management.
Students will also gain real-world curatorial, exhibition and publication experience through internships with four partner museums: the Delaware Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
“This program’s core curriculum, which requires courses in art history as well as conservation and administration, will attract excellent students from across the nation and world,” says Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “I often meet students who wish to pursue a career in museum work but are frustrated by the lack of similar curatorial track Ph.D. programs.”