Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Card Game, Before and After

The treatments are finished!  This is the third in a 12-part series on selected conservation treatments of artwork and photographs.  "Preserving a Family Collection" concludes on August 31.

The Fight by Art Price.

My father witnessed
a fight aboard ship
while serving in the
Navy (1944-1947). 

He attempted
to capture
it twice,
first in this
monochrome version:

And later
in color:

The Fight by Art Price.

Marion Verborg, 2010-2011 N.E.A. Fellow at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, treated the first version, a study done with washes of transparent black watercolor and opaque white gouache.  This one needed lots of care.  The paper was torn in several places and area along the top edge was severely weakened by
Back of paper, before treatment.
creases.  Marion worked to flatten the upper areas of the paper by applications of ethanol and weights, as well as to strengthen it with many strips of Japanese paper* applied to the paper with wheat starch paste.  A final episode of humidification and flattening returned the artwork to good form at last.

Back of paper, after treatment.
From the front, the difference isn’t that visible (it’s much more apparent from the back) but the strengthened paper should significantly contribute to the long-term preservation of the piece.

* Usually made of kozo fibers, Japanese paper is known for its extremely long fibers that are both flexible and strong, making it ideal for a conservator to use for mending losses and tears.

The Fight by Art Price, before treatment.

The Fight by Art Price, after treatment.

© 2011 Lee Price

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