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 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.
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.
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.
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.