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Bio & C.V.

Ria began her conservation career after studying studio art (Painting and Photography) at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. After graduation, she became the conservation technician in paintings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. She pursued her avid desire of entering a Master’s Program in Conservation, by gaining experience in treating privately owned paintings from local collections, under the supervision of Nelson-Atkins Museum’s Chief Conservator Forrest Bailey, in addition to her duties as technician (treatment photography of museum collection paintings, x-radiography, lining and stretching paintings, etc.). Ria entered the Master’s Program in Conservation at the State University of New York, College at Buffalo in 1991.  


During her third year of study in the Masters Program in Conservation, she followed her interest of working with modern and contemporary paintings by studying with painting conservator James Bernstein in San Francisco, CA. After receiving her Masters Degree in Art Conservation and Certificate of Advanced Study; fueled by her interest in the unique challenges of often ephemeral and unorthodox materials, she continued her study of modern and contemporary artists and materials with two year fellowships at SFMOMA (Getty/NEA Fellow) and the Art Institute of Chicago (Mellon Fellow).  


Upon her return to San Francisco, Ria opened her private practice in painting conservation in 1998. She was interim Painting Conservator at SFMOMA from 2005-2006, and is currently on staff at SFMOMA as Conservator on Call. In addition to modern and contemporary works, Ria works with traditional paintings on canvas and panel from the 17th through the 21st century. 


Between studying studio art at UMKC, and her conservation work, Ria was Preparator at Smith Kramer Fine Art Services in Kansas City, MO (1984-1988), where she designed and fabricated crates, packed artwork, as well as transporting regional exhibits throughout the Midwest. This gave her a thorough understanding of packing, handling and transporting of artwork, as well as archival methods of matting and framing. At Smith/Kramer Fine Arts Services, Ria matted and framed over 1000 works on paper by Thomas Hart Benton, for the collection of the United Missouri Bank.  


Ria holds Fellow status in the American Institute for Conservation, and is a member of the International Institute of Conservation (IIC), Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC), and the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild (BAACG). Her work strictly adheres to the AIC and IIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. 


For more detailed information click here for her C.V. 

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