The Winterthur Program emphasizes interdisciplinary study of ideas, objects, and contexts using the extraordinary collections of the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library and field study of landscapes, buildings, decorative arts, and design to create a truly peerless education in material culture.
WINTERTHUR FELLOWS EXPERIENCE
FROM THE DIRECTOR
Welcome to the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture.
Objects and ideas drive the Program. What was radical about the Program at its founding in 1952 was the inter-institutional commitment to treat cultural objects as critical forms of empirical evidence for many different scholarly disciplines and to teach in the Museum’s collections. Those values continue to shape the Program today.
To learn about objects requires disciplined looking, inductive reasoning, careful recording, and sometimes scientific testing. All Winterthur Program students have the rare privilege of handling objects in the collection because studying things requires access to objects not just forms of representation.
The scale and depth of Program resources support a wide range of research and study over many different time periods and regions. Fellows now are as interested in the modern era as in the seventeenth or eighteenth century periods the Museum’s collections are renowned for. The core components of the curriculum are taught at the Museum, primarily during the first year of study, but all fellows have the opportunity to work with all University resources and students—formally and informally.
Finally, the Program’s small size, funding commitment, and cohort model permits us to offer an unparalleled level of mentoring and experiential learning, preparing our students for exceptional careers for more than 60 years.
Interim Director, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture
BEING A FELLOW and LIVING IN NORTHERN DELAWARE
COST OF LIVING COMPARISON
THE FELLOWS’ BLOG — MATERIAL MATTERS
By Erin Anderson, WPAMC Class of 2020
One of the oldest desks in Winterthur’s collection is a beautiful walnut slant-front desk in the William and Mary style. Slant-front desks are essentially an evolution of older forms of furniture. Desk boxes, also called “Bible boxes” were semi-portable writing surfaces. These were followed by the desk on frame which essentially fitted a desk box onto a standing frame, elevating it to a height at which one could sit and write comfortably.
Despite being three-hundred years old, this desk still had some secrets left to be revealed … imagine my surprise upon opening up one of the secret drawers and finding a hidden note!
By Emily Whitted, WPAMC Class of 2020
Catching a historical object in a state of incompleteness is rare: it seems counter-intuitive to preserve something that technically isn’t finished, especially when its original maker isn’t around to complete it. When trying to determine which object in Winterthur’s collection I should choose to spend serious quality time with during my first fall, I paused at a set of five unfinished appliqué quilt squares from the mid 1800s, three of which are signed by their makers. I was immediately attracted to their state of unfinishedness. Who were the women who made them, and why didn’t they find their way into a finished quilt?
By Anastasia Kinigopoulo, WPAMC Class of 2020
By mid-morning, the class warmed up in a cafe housed in the Assembly Rooms in Bath (UK), a building by architect John Wood the Younger which served as a dance hall and gathering place in the late 18th century. Never one to ignore an open door, I found myself drawn away from the admittedly enticing smell of coffee and into the building. I passed through the massive rooms, greeted by soft hues and controlled ornament of restored Neoclassical plasterwork. As much as I enjoyed the moldings, it was the chandeliers, designed by William Parker and Jonathan Collet, that captured my attention.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT THE PROGRAM CAN OFFER YOU
Registration is currently available for all four fall 2019 Visit Days. Please select a date for more information. We look forward to your visit!
APPLICATIONS ARE DUE MONDAY, JANUARY 06, 2020
The Winterthur Program application process is holistic and welcomes applicants from varied disciplines.
The Winterthur Program admissions committee looks forward to reviewing your application materials.