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

Renzo Piano designed atrium at the Harvard Art Museum. ©Paul Geffen CC BY-NC 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

CAMBRIDGE - Harvard University has been awarded a $506,000 (£405,000) 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 programme, 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 neighbouring 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 art works in local collections, a variety of demonstrations and hands-on experimentation with artistic materials and techniques, lectures and discussions, and visits to artists’ workshops.
Approximately 15 participants will be admitted each year to the program, which will take place over two weeks in the summer. The institute will be administered by the museums’ Division of Academic and Public Programs (DAPP) in collaboration with the Straus Centre for Conservation and Technical Studies, the birthplace of art conservation and conservation science in the United States.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been a long-time supporter of both Harvard University and the Harvard Art Museums. The Foundation has provided the museums with critical funding for conservation science and education, publications, as well as fellowships for scholars.
To learn more about the Institute and the Harvard Museum please visit:
http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/