Winterthur Institute is a two-week immersive experience that includes lecture-discussion, workshops, research opportunities, and access to the specialists, gardens, and historic architecture of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

Participants will be part of a select learning cohort that engages in daily, hands-on examination of Winterthur’s expansive collection, with contextualization in the history of American decorative arts, object materiality, and techniques of museum stewardship. Additionally, during Winterthur Institute participants have badged access to the Library and Archives to complete a research project.

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Photo, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Upon completion of Winterthur Institute, participants will have gained:

  • historical knowledge of the decorative arts and techniques of cultural analysis, which define the relationship of an object to its time.
  • competency in handling collections objects, and preservation best practices that benefit
    career skill sets.
  • an understanding of sense of place while studying at the former du Pont family
    historic home and estate.
  • 70 hours of professional development in key skills and knowledge for cultural heritage study.
  • the support of the Winterthur Institute learning community.
  • a Certificate of Completion.

Winterthur Institute learners:

  • Photo, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

    seek to deepen their knowledge of the history of decorative arts in America.

  • want to further develop their professional skill set through unparalleled hands-on exercises in object identification and care within a museum context.
  • have academic or experiential credentials that prepare them to participate in advanced study.
  • appreciate in-person instruction supplemented by small-group seminars with a Winterthur curator or staff expert, as well as self-study via virtual resources.
  • desire to study objects beyond their traditional
    narratives, while participating in comprehensive inquiry and conversation.
  • engage in a collaborative and inquisitive learning journey with the cohort, as part of an immersive experience that is respectful of each participant’s perspective and identity.

Sessions of Winterthur Institute April 8–19, 2024, are weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm and include:

  • morning presentations by Winterthur specialists and experts in cultural heritage in the
    Museum Rotunda.
  • afternoon small-group seminars with curators and staff professionals in the rooms of Henry Francis du Pont’s former 175-room home, conservation lab, library and archives, or classroom.
  • tours highlighting the museum exhibition galleries and estate.
  • a unique Create-Your-Own-Experience session with a Winterthur resource.
  • optional handicraft workshops and guided walks through Winterthur’s 60-acre naturalistic garden.
  • professional networking opportunities with the Winterthur Institute cohort, past and present.

The weekend emphasizes experiential learning that explores the relationships between the visual arts and defined spaces, including: