Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant creates new Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art at HAM

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Harvard University has been awarded a $506,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for use by the Harvard Art Museums to establish a new Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art (SITSA). The program, designed for graduate students from art history programs across North America who are interested in broadening their experience with object-focused technical inquiry, methodologies, and instruction, will begin in June 2017. It builds on the accomplishments of the Summer Institute in Technical Art History (SITAH), developed by and conducted at New York University over the past five years.

The new Institute will emphasize holistic interdisciplinary training by providing access to the robust collections of the Harvard Art Museums and neighboring institutions’ collections, as well as the expertise of curatorial and conservation staff, faculty, living artists and others whose knowledge may be relevant to specific themes of the workshop. The curriculum is designed to reveal the intrinsic power of art—through close looking at artworks in local collections, a variety of demonstrations and hands-on experimentation with artistic materials and techniques, lectures and discussions, and visits to artists’ workshops.

“The Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art will expose emerging scholars and aspiring museum professionals to meaningful object-based experiences, and will help them establish a professional network committed to interdisciplinary collaboration in the areas of conservation and physical history of art,” said Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums.