Interests: Collections, museums and conservation
Cathy Stewart is Manager of Conservation at the ROM. In addition to her involvement in the day-to-day operation of the Conservation unit, she is actively engaged in the development of conservation policies, practices and guidelines for the care and preservation of the Museum’s collections. Cathy has a special interest in museum facility planning, especially as it concerns the housing and use of collections, and is closely involved in space issues at the ROM. She completed a comprehensive study of ROM collection storage in 2010.
Cathy’s career began at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1972 while she was still studying fine art and art history at the University of Manitoba. With short breaks for graduate school, and for a stint at the Canadian Conservation Institute, she has worked in museums ever since. Starting with the development of a summer studio program, then direction of an active year-round studio programs department for the gallery in Winnipeg, Cathy went on to work in preparation, education, and curatorial at the WAG.
Returning to school in 1979, Cathy received her Masters degree in Art Conservation from Queen’s University. She worked as assistant paintings conservator at the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canadian Conservation Institute. From CCI she moved to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, as Head of Conservation, then Head of Collections Services, overseeing Conservation, Registrations, Preparation, and the Library/Archives .
Along the way Cathy undertook a variety of special projects including a conservation a study of the materials and techniques of David Milne with the CCI; surveys of collections at the Canadian War Museum and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; facility preparation for, and move of 100,000 drawings from Cape Dorset to the McMichael; and project management of the McMichael’s very popular Carr, Kahlo, O’Keefe exhibition. As a private consultant Cathy was also involved in facility program planning for the Canadian Museum of Nature, and produced a long term conservation strategy for the Kitchener/ Waterloo Art Gallery.
Cathy has been actively involved, in board and committee roles, with both the Canadian Association for Conservation and the Canadian Association of Private Conservators, for whom she is currently a Board of Examiners Standing Member.