PhD student Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth has been invited as a Visiting Research Fellow to the Wintethur Museum and with the University of Delaware in America this Spring. The Winterthur Museum was founded by art collector and businessman Henry Francis du Pont and has an incredible collection of American and European decorative art, boasting over 90,000 objects.
An Arts and Humanities Research Council (White Rose Consortium) funded PhD student Caroline will be taking up the Fellowship from April to June 2017. During this two-month residency, she will be working closely alongside Senior Curators to assess and research the French decorative arts collections held by the Winterthur, with a particular emphasis on ceramics.
Having worked previously as a curator and an art consultant for a private collection of decorative arts, Caroline will be helping the curatorial team to better understand the objects they have in the Winterthur collection. She will carry out provenance research, authenticate objects, and build descriptions and bibliographic references for the objects’ records which will be used by future curators, academics and students. Ultimately, this research will enable Winterthur to identify gaps in their French decorative art collection and indicate where they may consider collecting in the future.
Based in the Centre for the Study of the Art and Antiques Market, Caroline’s doctoral research examines the concept of ‘Sèvres-mania’ and the history of collecting Sèvres porcelain in Britain between 1802 and 1882. One of the requirements of Caroline’s funding is to take one month away from her PhD research to complete a research employability project. Whilst at Winterthur, therefore, Caroline will be expected to produce various tangible outputs including presenting research lectures to curators and academics, giving lunchtime seminars to MA students from the University of Delaware, as well as writing reports and short articles for a scholar’s blog and Winterthur newsletter.
Caroline said, “This two-month research fellowship will be of great benefit to my professional development as it unites curatorial and academic research practice together. I am looking forward to increasing my international links with scholars and curators working in the histories of collecting and decorative art history fields, and cannot wait to spend two months in such a rich learning environment.”
Centre Director, Dr Mark Westgarth, commented, “It is fantastic that Caroline has been invited to work with colleagues at The Winterthur, and a testament to the importance of her current doctoral research. The opportunity to undertake research on the collections at Winterthur and have dialogue with the curatorial team at the museum will significantly enhance the depth and breath of Caroline’s experience. I was at Winterthur last year as part of a research project on the history of the antique trade, so this new development further embeds the already well eatblished connections between Winterthur and the Centre for the Study of the Art and Antiques Market. I’m very much looking forward to hearing about Caroline’s visit, and we hope that she will run a Centre workshop on her discoveries when she returns.”