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

INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING

INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING

Students engage

in both coursework

and field study

in all public humanities.

HANDS-ON STUDY

HANDS-ON STUDY

Students have access to renowned

public & private collections,

university and special collection libraries,

scientific laboratories, and multimedia design studios.

FACULTY MENTORING

FACULTY MENTORING

Students build

life-long relationships

with distinguished museum

and university thought leaders.

PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP

PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP

Students contribute to

ground-breaking scholarship

in public humanities

and material culture study.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Students are exceptionally well-prepared

for careers in academic teaching,

art and antiques markets, consulting,

historic sites, museums, and preservation.

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's Signature

Ritchie Garrison
Director, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture

SOUTHERN US

Mid-June, second-year Fellows spend a week experiencing southern decorative arts, material culture, & ethnic communities.

Chief Vann House

Chief Vann House, GA

NORTHERN US

In August, second-year Fellows spend a week experiencing four centuries of social, cultural, environmental, and political material culture.

Peabody Essex Museum

Students learning about export silver

Unparallelled Hands-On Learning Beyond the Classroom

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UNITED KINGDOM

In January, first-year fellows spend two weeks in London & surrounding areas, experiencing British design influence on American decorative arts.

The Crescent

Fellows in London at The Crescent

US URBAN CENTERS

In January, second-year fellows spend several days experiencing urban landscapes & material culture, with a focus on Americana, auction houses, & antiques.

Hispanic Society

Students at Hispanic Society of America

BEING A FELLOW and LIVING IN NORTHERN DELAWARE

100%

of accepted M.A. students receive a generous fellowship and full tuition grant for their entire 22-month course of study.

90%

of graduates were employed or pursuing a PhD within 4 months of graduation in 2018, 2017, and 2016.

25 – 50%

of Fellows also earn professional museum experience and a graduate certificate in museum studies or historic preservation, in addition to their M.A.

80%

of current Fellows live within a 15-minute commute of renowned museums and cultural sites including Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum of Art, Hagley Museum & Library, Mt. Cuba Center; Nemours Estate; Read House & Gardens, and of course Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. The other 20% choose to live within a 15-minute commute of all major Philadelphia museums, archives, libraries, cultural sites, urban parks & gardens.

COST OF LIVING COMPARISON

Northern Delaware
Boston MA
Washington DC
Manhattan NY

THE FELLOWS’ BLOG — MATERIAL MATTERS

Material Matters is a hub of innovative material culture research—the study of objects and what they reveal about individuals and societies. Material Matters is independently managed and written by the Fellows.

VISIT MATERIAL MATTERS

A BAKERY FOR THE MODERN WOMEN OF 1930s WILMINGTON

Federal Bake Shop, Photo by Sanborn Studio

By Kate Budzyn, WPAMC Class of 2019

In preparation for an upcoming student-curated exhibition on shop interiors at Winterthur, each student researched a set of photographs from the Delaware Historical Society’s collection of historic images of local shop interiors. I was assigned to a gorgeous, Hopper-esque set of 1930s black-and-white images of Federal Bake Shop, a popular Wilmington business that remained open from the 1920s through the 1980s […] thanks to a business strategy centered on both female clientele and female workers.

READ FULL POST @ MATERIAL MATTERS

NATIONAL CYLINDER WELDING GOGGLES

Paperboard box for welding goggles c. 1936-1947

By Elizabeth Humphrey, WPAMC Class of 2019

While browsing the shelves and glass cases at The Annex on Second, I noticed a bright red “National Goggles” box nestled next to mourning pendants, hair-work jewelry, and velvet gloves. Molly, the store’s proprietor, mentioned that she had found the goggles in her grandfather’s workshop. When I peered out of the lenses, I could barely see anything…the tint was extremely dark. My initial impression? These goggles are cool. Naturally, I wanted to identify the materials and techniques used to create the paperboard box and the goggles.

READ FULL POST @ MATERIAL MATTERS

FROM THE GROPIUS HOUSE TO OUR HOUSE

Gropius House in Lincoln, MA

By Carrie Greif, WPAMC Class of 2019

By the time the Northern trip rolled around, I was deep in the thick of researching modernism in America for my upcoming thesis project on the previously undocumented mid-century modern furniture collection at Winterthur. I’d been cycling through a slew of influential texts that herald the philosophical and sartorial splendor of modernist design. Strangely the text that stuck in my mind the most, and the one whose clever prose made me tear up with laughter, was Tom Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to Our House.

READ FULL POST @ MATERIAL MATTERS

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE MONDAY, JANUARY 06, 2020

The Winterthur Program application process is holistic and welcomes applicants from varied disciplines.

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The Winterthur Program admissions committee looks forward to reviewing your application materials.

APPLY NOW