Meet the Conservators

Conservation Staff Gridlist

Maureen Del Degan

Conservation Technician

As Conservation Technician, Maureen Del Degan assists AGO conservators in preparing objects from the collection for storage, exhibition and travel. Maureen has a degree in Art History and Criticism and has worked for local art institutions and private collections as a mount maker, exhibit coordinator, installation manager and consultant.

Lisa Ellis

Conservator, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Lisa holds B.A.s from McGill in English Literature and Art History, M.A.s in Art Conservation (Queen's) and Art History (U of T) and has studied arts and crafts, spending a year in OCA's glass program. She completed internships at numerous museums in Canada and abroad: at Parks Canada, the Redpath and McCord Museum in Montreal, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Getty Museum, Historic New England, and the MFA, Boston, and spent time with archaeological material at the Agora Excavations in Athens, Greece, and at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology labs in Bodrum, Turkey.

Meaghan Monaghan

Conservator, Paintings

Meaghan Monaghan is responsible for the conservation of paintings in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. She earned a BA in Fine Arts with minors in Biology and Art History from Mount Allison University. In 2010 she received a Master of Art Conservation from Queen’s University. Before joining the AGO Conservation Department in 2017, she served as Assistant Conservator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada; Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Samuel H. Kress Fellow at Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark; and Post-graduate Fellow in Painting Conservation at the Yale University Art Gallery. Meaghan also held internships as part of her conservation studies at the Canadian Conservation Institute, Australian Museum, and Owens Art Gallery.

Maria Sullivan

Head of Conservation

Maria Sullivan is currently responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day activities of the AGO Conservation Department. She worked as a painting conservator at the AGO for a number of years prior to taking on her current position. Maria has family connections to three generations of art restorers/conservators and fell in love with the profession while working in The Netherlands with her uncle and cousin. She has an undergraduate degree in art history and received a master's degree in conservation, specializing in paintings, from the State University College at Buffalo in 1995. She pursued internships and fellowships in painting conservation at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Intermuseum Conservation Association, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. She first came to the AGO in 1997 on a fellowship from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. In 2002, Maria served as Getty Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Painting Conservation at the State University College at Buffalo.

Sjoukje van der Laan

Conservator, Contemporary Art

Sjoukje van der Laan has been with the Art Gallery of Ontario since 2016 as the Assistant Conservator, Contemporary Art. She holds a Master’s degree and a Professional Doctorate (PD. Res.) in Modern & Contemporary Art Conservation from the University of Amsterdam, and a Bachelor degree in Art History from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Previously, she worked in the conservation studios of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), Stedelijk Museum Aktuele Kunst (S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium) , and for the modern and contemporary art collection of the Dutch government. Prior to coming to Canada, she had a private conservation studio in The Netherlands, specialized in contemporary art conservation. Her specialization gives her a strong familiarity with the conservation of a wide variety of modern (synthetic) materials, kinetic art, electronic art and complex contemporary art installations.

Sandra Webster-Cook

Conservator, Emerita

Sandra Webster-Cook completed studies in Honors Science (Chemistry specialization), Art History and Studio art before graduating from the Queen's University Art Conservation program. She became an employee of the AGO in 1987 and is currently responsible for the conservation of the historical and modern paintings in the collection of the AGO.

Her work on the Canadian Historical collection includes research on the paintings of Cornelius Krieghoff and Tom Thomson. She carried out the research and major conservation treatment of Chardin’s masterpiece, Jar of Apricots, 1758. Her work on the 17th C Dutch collection includes the research and conservation of Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Lady with a Lap Dog and, Portrait of a Lady with a Handkerchief from Rembrandt’s studio, with the support of members of the Rembrandt Research Project.

She has recently completed the research and conservation treatment of Rubens, The Raising of the Cross, 1638, oil on paper which is the modello for the engraving and based on the triptych in the great Cathedral of our Lady in Antwerp, painted in 1610.

She is currently working with a team on preparations for a future multi-disciplinary exhibition on Picasso’s Blue Period with the support of Imaging Scientist John Delaney and the scientists of Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago (NU-ACCESS).

Joan Weir

Conservator, Works on Paper

Joan Weir has a BFA in fine art from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1981) with a specialization in printmaking. Post-graduation she was a scholarship recipient of the Banff Center School of Fine Arts – Winter Cycle Studio Programme 1981-83. Joan graduated from Queen’s University Art Conservation graduate program (M.A.C 1989) with a specialization in paper objects. In 1999/2000 she was selected to participate in a Canadian/Chinese cultural technology exchange in Beijing, China where she lived and worked for four months. She has worked as conservator/consultant in private practice, a project coordinator and a registrar for numerous Canadian institutions and private collections. Joan first came to the AGO during the Stage Three project as Deputy Registrar on contract in 1991-2. In 2002 she joined the AGO Conservation Department as Conservator of the varied collection of historic, modern and contemporary works of art on paper.

Katharine Whitman

Conservator, Photography

Prior to coming to the AGO in 2007, Katharine was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Advanced Residency Program at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. Her work there culminated in the paper, The History and Conservation of Glass Supported Photographs (2007). She has published and lectured on the conservation of photographs on glass and co-taught workshops internationally. She will be continuing her research on photographs on glass as a Conservation Guest Scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, in 2018.

Looking for a Conservator?

You may locate a conservator in your area through one of the following professional organizations:

Do-It-Yourself Repair and Restoration: Why not?

  • The AGO does not recommend that you attempt to treat works of art by yourself.
  • Please take the object in question to a qualified conservator.
Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.