Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Queen's University Queen's University
    Search Type

    Search form

    News Release - The National Gallery of Canada’s new Internship Program in Art Conservation to increase diversity in the field

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021

    The National Gallery of Canada (NGC)’s Diversity Internship in Conservation and restoration is aimed at engaging Indigenous and Black students, and students from other cultural communities from across Canada.

    Initiated by Stephen Gritt, Director of Conservation and Technical Research at the NGC, and in partnership with Queen’s University Art Conservation Program, the internship allows four students to prepare for their studies after their acceptance into the Queen’s Art Conservation Program.

    Patricia Smithen Director of the Master of Art Conservation Program at Queen’s University believes that increasing diversity in the art conservation profession is incredibly important to make the field more equitable and increase the voices of under-represented communities when working with cultural belongings. When presented with an opportunity that would support future Black and Indigenous conservators at the entry level, she jumped at the opportunity.

    “The goals are to give students a unique and welcoming entry into the field of conservation, provide mentorship which would support them throughout their careers and give them the best opportunity for success at graduate school and beyond,” said Professor Smithen (Art Conservation and Art History).

    “Like many professions within the museum field, conservation is a discipline which can greatly benefit from different perspectives from various fields of study, and different voices from diverse backgrounds and cultures,” said NGC Director of Conservation and Technical Research, Stephen Gritt. “The National Gallery of Canada is happy to partner with Queen’s University in this effort. This is a natural fit.” Interns will have the opportunity to become familiar with some of the complexities of conservation and restoration work, including research, technical examination, and the historic and ethical dimensions of interaction with art and artefacts. From three to five months they will be paired with various experts from the National Gallery’s Restoration and Conservation Laboratory and will follow them in their daily work as observers. They will also be introduced to Conservation Science and broader heritage preservation issues at the Canadian Conservation Institute, also in Ottawa. The students will also visit Queen’s for a week of activity – most likely to have them work on a mini-project.

    Queen’s offers the only Master’s program in Art Conservation in Canada. Each intern will be provided with a $25,000 bursary and a placement in Ottawa in the summer prior to their first semester at Queen’s University. The internships are funded by an anonymous philanthropist.

    For more information, please contact:

    Julie Brown
    Media Relations Officer
    Queen’s University


    About Queen’s University

    Queen’s University has a long history of scholarship, discovery, and innovation that has shaped our collective knowledge and helped address some of the world’s most pressing concerns. Home to more than 25,000 students, the university offers a comprehensive research-intensive environment with prominent strengths in physics, cancer research, geoengineering, data analytics, surveillance studies, art conservation, and mental health research. Welcoming and supporting students from all countries and backgrounds to a vibrant, safe, and supportive community is an important part of the Queen’s experience. Diverse perspectives and a wealth of experience enrich our campus and our community. A core part of our mission is to engage our students, staff, and faculty in international learning and research, both at home and abroad.

    Queen’s University is ranked first in Canada and fifth in the world in the 2021 Time Higher Education Impact Rankings. The rankings measured over 1,200 post-secondary institutions on their work to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



    Related Experts