We are Material Matters, a site run by the graduate fellows of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Based at the Henry Francis duPont Winterthur Museum in Delaware, U.S., this unique Master’s program trains eight students in object analysis ranging from prints and paintings, metals, books, furniture, clothing and textiles, to architecture. As the program teaches students how to understand individuals and societies by analyzing the objects that they make and use, this site will follow the studies and adventures that the fellows pursue. With interests spanning the 17th century to the contemporary world, students bring to life the significance of material culture from a wide variety of geographies and time periods. Follow these students through their studies in Delaware and as they embark on fantastic trips visiting collections, collectors, and cultural sites in London, England, New York City, the Southern United States, and New England.



The University of Delaware and the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library established this program in 1952 to promote the study of American material culture and the decorative arts at the graduate level. The program continues to lead museum and academic scholarship, and graduates hold key positions in academic institutions, government, libraries, museums, and preservation organizations.

Material culture scholars study the history and philosophy of people and their things. The Winterthur Program’s special niche is its emphasis on the interdisciplinary study of ideas, objects, and contexts using the extraordinary collections of the Winterthur Museum, and field-based study of landscapes, buildings, decorative arts, and design. No other program offers the same range of hands-on study of objects at either a Master’s or Doctoral level.