Finkel Fund for Graduate Students

Thanks to the generosity of Peter D. Finkel and Susan R. Finkel and their endowment of the Finkel Fund in Support of Cultural Internships, the Center for Material Culture Studies is able to offer financial support, typically up to $3,000, for eligible University of Delaware undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a material culture-based internship. Funds are to be used for transportation, lodging, food, and research materials.

Two graduate students from the University of Delaware have been awarded the Finkel Fund:

Madison Brockman  —  2017
Winterthur / University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation

“This summer I will be learning from Consuela (Chela) Metzger, head of conservation and previous WUDPAC faculty, and tackling a range of interesting treatments on fascinating objects from the Library’s special collections. Projects include the repair of leather-bound children’s books from the 19th century, well-used maps from the 19th and 20th century, and a truly unique creation of mid-century American material culture: an oversized scrapbook of photographs and other ephemera compiled by the UCLA Marching Band Club. In addition to regular circulating collections material – books that students and researchers can check out and take home – these special collections materials are snapshots into the lives and times of those who made them. Preserving those material artifacts preserves the legacy of the human stories within them.”

Second year art conservation graduate fellow Madison Brockman at her 2017 summer internship at the UCLA Library Conservation department. There she worked on a large scale reformatting project to make the contents of this large 1960s marching band scrapbook both safer and more accessible to researchers. Photo: Chela Metzger, Head of Conservation, UCLA Library

The inaugural recipient is Spencer Wigmore, who interned at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Spencer writes:

“This summer I will be interning in the curatorial department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. I will be participating in a fall 2016 exhibition, Thomas Eakins: Photographer. Consisting of over sixty photographs and three finished paintings, the exhibition explores the extent of Eakin’s involvement with photography. Eakins personal collection included numerous self portraits, mementos of social events, friends, and animals, studies of the nude and of landscape, and more. They indicate the constant material presence of photography in his life – as an integral component of his painting and teaching practices, its importance to domestic life, and its role as a medium for the exploration of gender and artistic identity. As a Finkel fund-supported intern, I will help edit wall labels, conduct object research, and organize event programming.”


Circle of Eakins, Female model spinning while man watches, ca. 1882, Albumen print 4 3/4 x 3 7/8 in., Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Charles Bregler’s Thomas Eakins Collection, purchased with the partial support of the Pew Memorial Trust, 1985.68.2.713

The deadline for applications for Summer of this academic year is March 15. We will accept applications beginning one month before the deadline. To apply, prepare a one-page statement, a brief budget, and a current CV. Please indicate other funding you anticipate or are applying for in support of this work.  Also, please arrange to have your advisor send a letter of reference to

Preference is given to students whose focus is on preservation, conservation, administration, collections management, exhibition, research, and services of museums. Awardees agree to submit a one-page report within one month of completing their internship and no later than the end of the academic year in which the funds were disbursed. Preference shall be given to students who are advanced in their studies.

Send application materials to with “Finkel Fund” in the subject field. In accepting a grant the awardee allows CMCS to use any original materials they submit (such as a report and images) for promotional purposes, which could include posting to the website.

Please note new terms for CMCS awards effective as of the 2020 grant cycles:
  • Funding caps: doctoral students are eligible to receive a maximum of $3500 in CMCS awards (excluding DELPHI fellowships) over the duration of their degree programs; masters students are eligible to receive a maximum of $2000 in CMCS awards (excluding DELPHI fellowships) over the duration of their degree programs.
  • Acceptance of CMCS awards: awardees are responsible for checking and confirming their eligibility to accept and hold a CMCS award free of conflict, and concurrently with, any other department, program, or university awards.