Woman working to preserve a painting

New Bader Chair to Help Queen’s Become a World Leader in Art Conservation

“Art is a window onto the struggles, ambitions, hopes,and ideals of people living eons ago, just as it is for people today.”

A new research and teaching chair at Queen’s University is going to help the next generation of art conservators better preserve our history and heritage. 

“Art is a window onto the struggles, ambitions, hopes, and ideals of people living eons ago, just as it is for people today,” says Dr. Norman Vorano, head of the department of Art History and Art Conservation. “It allows us to understand each other, and who we are as a nation.”  

“If Canada is serious about protecting our cultural heritage and who we are in the world, it has to train the best art conservators in the world. So the new chair is not only exciting for Queen’s, but for the country.”  

Queen’s is announcing a $3-million (USD) gift from Dr. Isabel Bader, LLD’07, to establish the Bader Chair in Art Conservation that will help students and researchers become world leaders in imaging science, an emerging field that is revolutionizing art conservation. 

“Art conservation is seeing a technological shift and imaging science allows us to look below the surface of paintings and other works of art in ways that were never previously possible,” says Dr. Vorano. “The new Bader Chair will put our students on the forefront of training in this field. Very few places around the world will be able to offer the kinds of training and experiences that a student can get at Queen’s.” 

The university recently received a $1-million gift from The Jarislowsky Foundation, giving it several pieces of cutting-edge technology that can examine art at the atomic and molecular levels. It allows researchers to better understand how art is deteriorating and come up with better conservation techniques. In North America, the technology is found in only a select few institutions, such as Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  

The gift from Dr. Bader will allow Queen’s to recruit a top art conservation scholar to the university and create unparalleled opportunities for research and teaching. The new chair will help the Master of Art Conservation program open up a fifth stream of study, imaging science, which will complement painting conservation, paper conservation, object conservation, and conservation science. The new chair will also give the program the ability to accept more students, allow Queen’s to work toward expanding graduate and undergraduate offerings in art conservation, and help the university access new opportunities for grant funding.  

Dr. Vorano sees the new chair as an innovator, growing not only the department but helping the university become an international leader in conservation imaging and helping to preserve Canadian history. 

Queen’s Announces Investments in the Arts 

The gifts to the Department of Art History and Art Conservation from The Jarislowsky Foundation and Dr. Bader are among a number of philanthropic investments Queen’s is announcing in support of the arts this month. Follow Queen’s Alumni social media for the latest news.