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Art Conservation

Kirsten Gobb ’20 cleans a Wedgwood creamware basket with deionized water during the senior capstone course in art conservation (ARTC 495). Image by Madeline Hagerman.
Kirsten Gobb ’20 cleans a Wedgwood creamware basket with deionized water during the senior capstone course in art conservation (ARTC 495). Image by Madeline Hagerman.

Preserving Global Heritage

 

The Department of Art Conservation is an international leader committed to educating professional conservators skilled in the examination, analysis, treatment and care of cultural heritage. The department consists of an undergraduate and master’s program in art conservation, the latter in collaboration with Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Preservation Studies.

Connecting the arts, humanities and sciences, an undergraduate degree in art conservation prepares students for graduate-level study in the preservation of material culture, historic preservation, museum studies, library science and other related fields. This program, one of only five in the nation, offers students the opportunity to work with leading conservators and scientists while studying a range of cultural materials from archaeological to indigenous and contemporary from the UD Special Collections & Museum and collecting repositories worldwide.  Since 1971, our graduates have preserved iconic treasures from the Declaration of Independence to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the decorative interiors of the Forbidden City and most recently the George Floyd Memorial. Their work engages communities, strengthens cultural understanding and fosters knowledge and joy.  

Areas of Study

  • Art History
  • Art Studio
  • Anthropology
  • Museum Studies
  • Preventive Conservation 

Career Options  

  • Art conservator (with master's degree in art conservation)
  • Art handler in museums or galleries
  • Collection manager
  • Historic preservationist
  • Museum technician
  • Preservation librarian
  • Registrar

What’s special about this program?

 

We are the only university to offer courses taught by multiple conservators at the undergraduate level. On average, our undergraduates have six conservation professors. This mentorship is vital for entry into competitive art conservation graduate programs. We have specialized courses in both theory and practice. Our faculty offer conservation-specific courses and in-house conservation internships in a variety of media. We also help students find outside internships. UD's Winter Session affords a great opportunity to study abroad or get hands-on experience through a short internship. Students have interned in many institutions across the country and abroad — from the National Museum of American History, to the Arizona State Museum, to the Archaeology Conservation Centre (CCA) in Rieta, Italy. Our undergraduate degree is truly interdisciplinary and makes the most of a liberal arts education.

Get Involved

 

Undergraduate Research

Material Culture Living Learning Community

Art Conservation, Art History and Anthropology Clubs

National and International Internships

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Sample curriculum

ARTC101

 

First Year Experience

ARTC185

 

Color Mixing and Matching

ARTC280

 

Drawing in the West
ENGL110

Seminar in Composition

 

MATH114

College Mathematics and Statistics

 

100-300 Level

 

Intro Art History/Anthropology

 

 

Visual Acuity
 

University Breadth Courses

 

 

Foreign Language Course

 

ART243/250/281/290

Introductory Art Course

 

ARTC301

Preservation of Cultural Property I

 

ARTC302

Preservation of Cultural Property II

 

CHEM103

General Chemistry I

 

CHEM104

General Chemistry II

 

 

University Breadth Courses

 

 

Art History/Anthropology Course

 

 

Foreign Language Course

 

 

Minor Requirements

 

  Elective Course

ART243/250/281/290

 

Introductory Art Course

ARTC210

 

Color Science

ARTC390

 

Art and Forensics

ARTC464

 

Conservation Internship

ARTC480/488/489/490

 

ARTC Studio

ARTC485

 

Studio Color Mixing Matching

CHEM321 & CHEM325

 

Organic Chemistry I with Lab
CHEM322 & CHEM326

Organic Chemistry II with Lab

 

 

Art History/Anthropology Course

 

 

Minor Requirement

 

 

 

Elective Course

ART243/250/281/290

 

Introductory Art Course

ARTC464   

 

Conservation Internship

ARTC480/488/489/490

 

ARTC Studio

ARTC495

 

Senior Capstone (Fall semester only)
 

Additional Science Course

 

 

Art History/Anthropology Course

 

 

Minor Requirements

 

 

University Breadth Courses

 

 

 

Elective Course

Go Global at UD

This major is eligible for the following programs:

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