Ah, sweet pets. Faithful companions and goofy entertainers, they add spice to our lives and their mark on our possessions. Vases shattered by tail wags, papers personalized with unspeakable body fluids, painted canvases used as agility hoops: these are a few of their favorite things. I had recent cause to be grateful for one particular pet mishap because it brought a William McElcheran Businessman my way, one of a series that the artist created over several years. Most businessmen are cast in bronze, so a full-color Paper Mache example is of special interest. Sporting overcoats and trilbys, McElcheran’s businessmen are
Textiles can be decorated and embellished in countless ways. Something many of these embellishments have in common is sensitivity to water. They include water-soluble dyes, threads that were insufficiently rinsed after dyeing and can therefore stain adjoining threads and fabric, degraded silks, metallic threads wrapped around paper cores, gelatin or cellulose nitrate sequins, easily corroded metal components, and matte or loosely bound pigments.
Tests may identify sensitive materials before treatment, but not always. A particular worry surrounds samplers, in which threads of even the same colour might come from different dye lots and sources. Spot tests can easily miss the one
Anyone who has renovated an old house or been saddled with a leaky condo knows all too well that dreadful things can hide behind the smooth-faced surfaces of plaster and drywall. The same is true of framed art – who knows what evil lurks behind that plain brown dustcover?
If your art was framed before 1980, you can be pretty darn sure there are some conservation no-no’s like acidic matboard, cardboard, and horrible paper staining tapes in there. Even with more recent framing jobs, it’s quite possible that cost-consciousness and/or ignorance have put your art in a less than optimal environment.
Mailing and Shipping always involves some risk, but this can be greatly reduced by following a few commonsense practices. Later in this post I describe a method of packing flat items that has worked well for me over the years but first - a few words about Carriers, Insurance and Customs.
Each carrier has their own size limitations. If your item is on the large side, check the maximum dimensions your carrier will accept before packing.
Whichever carrier you choose, make sure to get a tracking number
Canada Post and USPS offer express services and economical customs clearance. They also
Picture Framers: US and UK
Frame and Artgallery II
Framed In Tatnuck
Parrish Fine Framing and Art
Rimrock Art and Frame
Creekside Framing and Gallery
State of the Art
Haverstock Creative Designs
Holland Frame Shop
Innovate Frame and Design
Get the Picture Framing
The Frame Workshop
Amy McCray, framing and photo restoration
Prints and Maps
Conservators in Private Practice, British Columbia
Andrew Todd 604-947-2617 Andrew Todd Conservators
David Harrison 604-224-5736 Harrison Art Services
Denise LeBeau 604-374-6659 Restoration of Art
Conservation Organizations – Canada and the US
Canadian Association of Professional Conservators
Canadian Association for Conservation
Canadian Conservation Institute
American Institute for Conservation
Western Association for Art Conservation
Conservation On Line
Conservation Materials and Supplies
Archival Conservation Preservation Restoration Materials and Supplies
The following organizations offer grants that can help institutions in British Columbia and Canada meet their conservation goals. If you are aware of other agencies offering conservation assistance, please contact me and I will add them to this list.
Canadian Museums Association: Preserving Canadian Treasures
Canadian Heritage: Museums Assistance Program
Heritage BC: Heritage Legacy Fund
The following organizations offer grants that can help institutions in the United States meet their conservation goals. . If you are aware of other agencies offering conservation assistance, please contact me and I will add them to this list.
American Association of Museums: Museum Assessment Program
Foundation of American
photo by permission of Tucker Walsh
The flooding of Florence in 1967 ushered in a new awareness of the need for disaster planning and preparation. 40 odd years later, major disasters and dangers around the world (both natural and man-made) have shown that recovery is always better when a formal plan of action is in place. The resources listed below will help you get started on your own personal plan for Disaster Preparedness and Response.
Section 6, Risk Management, MRM5 Museum Registration Methods 5th Edition, American Museums Association
Identifying Features of Effecitve Emergency Response Plans, Journal of the American Institute For Conservation , Spring/Summer
His intention was to buy a lottery ticket. But, en route he popped into the local thrift store for a quick looksee and decided to buy a print instead. Once home, he unframed it for a closer look and discovered that he may have hit the jackpot after all. The "print" was an original watercolour, and a peek under the window matte revealed a signature that looked an awful lot like "M Emily Carr."
Unattributed "Emily Carr" watercolour before conservation treatment, with window matte removed showing adhesive residue and fragments from first and second window matting
After conservation treatment
Enter art appraiser Kathleen Laverty.
Most of the conservation research regarding treatment options for Fe(II) catalyzed oxidative damage, sometimes displayed as discoloration and foxing in paper is focused on stabilizing iron gall inks in archival collections. As a conservator, my aim is to apply the findings of this research to address problems posed by iron contaminants that may be scattered throughout the paper sheet and develop an effective cleaning and stain reduction system whether the paper contains iron or not.
Treatment steps in such systems might include the following. Some modification may be necessary to protect sensitive media or paper surfaces, and in some cases treatment