Patricia Smithen, Associate Professor

Patricia Smithen

Associate Professor

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Patricia Smithen started as Assistant Professor (Paintings Conservation) at Queen’s University in July 2017.

Patricia graduated from of Queen’s University, Kingston (1993) with a Master’s in Art Conservation, specialising in paintings and painted surfaces, following an Honors B.A. in Art History and Critical Theory from the University of Western Ontario.  After working as a paintings conservator at the Canadian Conservation Institute, in private practice in Montreal and at the Detroit Institute of Arts, she joined the Tate conservation department as Conservator of Modern and Contemporary Paintings in 1999 and assisted in the preparation of works for display at Tate Modern’s opening in 2000.  Patricia organised the “Modern Paints Uncovered” conference in 2006 and was the conservator for the Tate AXA Art Modern Paints Research Project undertaking surface cleaning studies and treatments on acrylic paintings from the Tate Collection.  She has studied and treated key paintings by Anselm Kiefer, Salvador Dali and Mark Rothko, among others.  In 2007, Patricia became the Head of Paintings Conservation at Tate, then Head of Conservation, Programme in 2010 where she planned Tate Conservation strategy for exhibitions, displays and loans out and, together with the Head of Conservation, Collection, co-managed a team of 50 specialist staff.  She left her role in 2015 to take up doctoral research into the development and impact of artists’ acrylic paints in the United Kingdom through the Collaborative Doctoral Awards Programme at the Courtauld Institute of Arts and Tate Gallery.  She plans to submit her thesis for consideration in 2019.