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 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.
By Rachel Asbury, WPAMC Class of 2018
I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend at the National Museum of American History. It was a chance for museum professionals, researchers, chefs and cooking enthusiasts, and the general public to come together in a dialogue about the current state of food history and critical foodways scholarship in America.
Francis Lam, host of public radio’s The Splendid Table, moderated the first panel and introduced the idea of “chewy” words – topics that are a mouthful to address and take a lot of work before they are satisfyingly manageable to consume.
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.