Job title: Director of Undergraduate Studies

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5917


Research: See Joan Smith on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Originally from Dundee, Joan Smith graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA (Hons) Fine Art degree in 1987 and went on to gain a postgraduate MFA from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) two years later.

Joan trained as a painter and printmaker, is a lecturer in the School of Art, and Director of Undergraduate Studies at ECA.

Joan has taught at ECA for over 20 years, working with Painting - BA (Hons) undergraduate students and lifelong learners. She teaches painting, as well as courses in ‘Anatomy and Art’ and ‘Drawing People’.

Research interests

Joan's research focuses on links between art and science, with particular reference to objects in anthropological and medical collections.

She is currently working on ‘Traces’, a collaboration with other artists, anthropologists and cultural researchers across Europe examining contentious collections which are housed in European museums and institutions. This wide-ranging project has been funded by a Horizon 2020 research grant and will run over three years (2016 - 2019).

In connected but separate projects, Joan is currently planning and developing work inspired by collections at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) Medical School, Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh (with artist, Susie Wilson) and the anatomy collection in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.

She is a member of the Bones Collective, which is based in the Department of Social Anthropology at UoE.

Harries, John, Linda Fibiger, Joan Smith, Anna Szöke, and Tal Adler. 2017. “The Ethics Of Making, Sharing And Displaying Photographs Of Human Remains”. Human Remains And Violence.
Smith, Joan, John Harries, Linda Fibiger, Tal Adler, Anna Szöke, and Maria Teschler-Nicola. 2016. “This Is Not A Snapshot”. Traces 1.
Smith, Joan, John Harries, Joost Fontein, and Linda Fibiger. 2014. “The Bones Beneath The Face”. In Association Of Social Anthopologists. Surgeons Hall Museum.
Rhind, Susan, and Tobias Schwarz. 2014. “The Bone Library”. Exhibition Which Was An Output Of The Ptas Funded Art And Veterinary Science Collaboration, 'where Art Meets Science'. Edinburgh International Science Festival.
“In A Jiffy”. 2014. Society of Scottish Artists.
Schwarz, Tobias, Joan Smith, Richard Collins, Catriona Bell, Andrew Gardiner, Eoghan Clarkson, Jessie Paterson, Brian Mather, and Susan Rhind. 2014. “Where Art Meets Science: Development And Evaluation Of Innovative 3D Models For Undergraduate Education”. In .
Smith, Joan. 2012. “Smugglerius Art And Anatomy”. In Artefacts Conference. Artefacts.
Hare, Bill. 2012. “Cast Contemporaries”. Artists Respond To The Completion Of The Cast Collection Project At Edinburgh College Of Art. Arts and Social Sciences Academic press, Northumbria University.
“Big Print Small Print”. 2012. Wroclaw Academy of Fine Art.
Smith, Joan. 2011. “Eastwood Park Exhibition Of Ssa Professional Members’ Work”.
Smith, Joan. 2011. “The Analysis Of Beauty: Art, Anatomy And The Cast”. In Cast Collection Conference. ECA.
Smith, Joan. 2011. “Society Of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition”. Society of Scottish Artists.
Smith, Joan. 2010. “Smugglerius Unveiled”. Georgian Gallery, Talbot Rice Gallery.
Smith, Joan, and Geraldine Prince. 2009. “Pushing Myself Harder, Listening Differently: The Student Experience Of Reflective Practice”. In Cauce 2009 (Canadian Association Of University Continuing Education) Conference. University of British Columbia Vancouver.
Smith, Joan. 2009. “Eastwood Park Exhibition Of Ssa Professional Members”.
Smith, Joan. 2008. “What Lies Beneath: Exploring The Affective Presence And Emotive Materiality Of Human Bones”. In Articipation In Conference Organised By The ‘Bones Collective’ In The Social Anthropology Department Of The University Of Edinburgh. University of Edinburgh.