The Art Conservation Department
offers an undergraduate degree in Material Culture Preservation that prepares students for graduate-level study in conservation, historic preservation, museum studies, library science, or other allied fields. Material Culture includes objects made or modified by humans, such as photographs, archival documents, decorative and fine arts, clothing, domestic possessions, toys, tools, machines, motion pictures and videotape, ethnographic materials, archaeological remains, and architecture.
is an interdisciplinary field that builds upon a strong foundation in chemistry, studio arts, art history, history, and anthropology. We encourage students to double major or minor in related disciplines including, Anthropology, Art History, History, Chemistry, Foreign Languages, and Material Culture Studies to better understand our material past.
To be a practicing conservator it is necessary to have a specialized graduate degree. Our undergraduate program helps to prepare students, but does not guarantee entry into the conservation graduate programs . Following graduation, our Material Culture Preservation undergraduates will be able to:
- Apply basic chemistry to the understanding of art and artifact deterioration
- Evaluate and apply essential preventive conservation strategies to collections
- Understand the ethics involved in preservation-related professions
- Advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage
- Write thorough condition reports for art and artifacts
- Gain exposure to conservation treatment strategies and techniques through two required internships.