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.
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 RJ Lara, WPAMC Class of 2019
Amongst the smell of hot dogs and the sound of well-hit baseballs cracking off wood bats, ballparks offer a relaxed and low-stakes setting where I get to take part in two of my favorite pastimes: watching baseball and connoising.
With popular baseball culture and the vernacular architecture of ballparks rooted in the twentieth century, the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and abundance of connoisable tangible objects also offer the opportunity to study material culture from a different time period than what WPAMC fellows typically examine on our field studies. With Fenway veteran and baseball savant Greg Landrey (Director of Academic Affairs at Winterthur) by my side, I spent nine innings marveling at the park’s material culture.
By Alexandra Rosenberg, WPAMC Class of 2019
One of my favorite aspects about classes at Winterthur is their hands-on nature. However, what I love even more is actually getting out of the classroom and museum in order visit other historic sites. The American Interiors class I am taking this semester enabled me to do just that, by requiring all of the enrolled students to visit a site, other than Winterthur, that has a furnished interior.
On a rainy Monday morning I decided to make the drive from Delaware to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to visit the Hans Herr House and view its interior. Built in 1719 by Christian Herr, this stone house was continuously occupied through the 19th century but remained primarily unoccupied during the 20th.
By Eliza West, WPAMC Class of 2019
As a craftsperson myself, I’m always intrigued by how other makers solve their problems. Connoisseurship classes at Winterthur provide me endless opportunities to explore this by analyzing some of the more technical aspects of the objects we study.
Since September, we’ve been meeting with curator, Josh Lane, and learning the ins and outs of furniture construction, style, and of course, wood identification.
APPLICATIONS ARE DUE SUNDAY, JANUARY 06, 2019
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.