Stuttgart Academy paper conservation thesis abstracts 2012

Marie-Louise Frank: Electrostatic surface cleaning for the diminishment of mould infestation on albumen photographs. The project concerns treatment of mould-damaged albumen photographs focussing on mould removal. The photographs, dating from the 1850s to 1860s, were mounted on cardboard. Both the albumen prints and the cardboard had been damaged earlier by storage in a damp basement, which resulted in mould growth. Microbial attack had caused the deposit of spores, conidia and hyphal fragments on the photographs‘ surfaces, as well as staining. The weakened paper had sustained tears and losses. Some prints are partly lifted off the mounts because the adhesive had been destroyed. The photographs were to be cleaned from the fungal surface contamination, were to be mechanically stabilized and re-housed. Instead of pursuing known manual dry surface cleaning methods that involve a significant risk to the fragile and chemically sensitive surfaces of the photographs, a newly engineered technology of mechanized eletrostatic cleaning was tested for its applicability in the cleaning of photographic surfaces in cooperation with the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim at the Studienrichtung Schriftgut, Buch und Graphik und das Mikrobiologielabor an der Fakultät Erhaltung von Kulturgut (U. Hähner, K. Petersen). The machine features an automated system that lifts off surface dirt by bringing an electrostatic foil in contact with the object’s surface, which replaces manual time-consuming, mechanically abrasive and potentially uneven cleaning procedures. Two photographs were surface cleaned. They were investigated by light microscopy, SEM/EDX and microbiological methods, as well as visual evaluation. The results showed that the technology is fundamentally suit- able for removing microbial contamination from photographic prints and their cardboard mounts. Cleaning the surface four times with electrostatically charged films reduced the microbial contamination by up to 70%. The surface of the albumen print, which is sensitive to abrasion, was not harmed, and its characteristic features were not changed. The photographs, which were partly delaminated from the cardboard support and the mechanically weakened cardboard, could be treated without creating any additional damage. Subsequently, the photographs were stabilized by repairing edge tears and were rehoused in archival paper folders and clamshell boxes. Publication: M.-L. Frank, Julia Schultz, Ernst Becker, Ulrike Hähner, Karin Petersen and Irene Brückle, Electrostatic Removal of Loose Particulate Surface Contamination from Historical Photographs, Restaurator, 34, 3 (2013): 227–258.

Hanka Gerhold: Well presented well and secured. An overview of book supports used for opened books in exhibitions. The thesis presents an overview and evaluation about different kinds of book supports (book cradles) for exhibition display focusing on book cradles used for opened books. Books are very popular exhibit displays because they offer various thematic possibilities as information carriers, artistic, craft or historical objects. Due to the popularity of book exhibitions the expectations concerning attractive book displays have increased over the last years. The design of an exhibition has to meet conservation requirements to protect the objects. Finding appropriate forms of presentation that also offer appropriate protection for book structures can be a challenge for exhibition designers, curators and conservators. In recent decades, a variety of book cradles have been designed in different institutions. Only a few of these are published. The thesis presents an overview and an illustrated guide over principle forms of book supports. It also discusses the primary requirements of a book support design. The book cradle must present the book and minimize risks of damage. To a large extent, the choice of support depends on the binding structure, its dimensions, weight, and condition of the book. It also depends on the specific element of a book which is to be highlighted. The book can be opened or closed, set down horizontally, at an incline, or even vertically. Eighteen designs of book supports were gathered from 32 international institutions and individuals and built or purchased for evaluation. The book supports are described with regard to their manufacture, use, advantages and disadvantages. Significant variations possible with some designs are included. The survey is structured according to the different materials of which book cradles are constructed, including cardboard, textiles, plastics, and metal. In addition main options for securing books on their supports with bands, clips and magnets as well as techniques to protect the opened text block are described. The thesis also compiles a glossary of the most common specialized terminology for presenting books and constructing book supports. Publication information

Maike Schmidt: Treatment of two large losses in the sketch „The three Graces, study for ‘The City of Paris’“ by Robert Delaunay at the Museum Albertina. The case, a collaboration with conservation department of the Albertina, Vienna, illustrates core questions of loss integration: defining and refining the treatment goal; developing a minimally invasive method for loss integration that respects potential future treatment desires; creating a visual match for an unevenly discoloured, machine-made paper. Delaunay’s large oil sketch (Albertina Inv.Nr. GE29DL) had been restored after the artist’s death (1941). The torn painting had been lined on canvas and mounted on a strainer. Aqueous treatment had caused mottled discolouration. Significant visual distraction resulted from two large, dark-brown discoloured wood pulp paper inserts that filled historic losses. The old inserts had been pasted onto the lining, overlapping the edges of the original. As removal of the old inserts would not have provided any advantage for the preservation of the artwork, that was to be kept in its current mounting condition, new inserts were overlaid on the old ones. They were adhered along the perimeter with starch paste, minimizing the area of adhesion. The inserts remain removable in the future, leaving the artwork easily accessible in its pre-treatment condition. A thick Japanese kozo paper (Paper Nao, 106 g/m2, K14) was chosen due its dimensional stability, even water absorption capability, uniform surface quality and bulky structure compressible in thickness. The paper achieved a close visual match of the original machine-made paper because it shared its smooth, shiny surface characteristic. The inserts cut to the approximate loss shape were toned stepwise to colour-match the original. From a selection of colorants tested on the insert paper following DIN-EN-ISO 105-B02, the tested Schmincke products achieved the required light stability. The paper was tinted with Schmincke acrylic colours by with a spray gun. The mottled toning of the original was imitated by local airbrush and paintbrush applications of Schmincke AeroColor Professional colourants. The insert fitted to the exact shape of the loss. The larger insert was lined verso with a kozo paper prepared using Lascaux 498HV heat-activated adhesive. The lining makes the insert paper more dimensionally stable. The adhesive and application method were chosen on the basis of tests conducted with mock ups lined with either starch paste, methylcellulose or Lascaux 498HV and exposed to cycles of fluctuating humidity (50-95% RH). With the old inserts covered, the prominent visual distractions are eliminated, allowing a less disturbed viewing of the painting. Removal of overlapping edges of the old inserts revealed brushstrokes that clarify details critical to understanding of edges of the design. Key to the success was the continual interdisciplinary consensus building in which preservation and aesthetic concerns were communicated within the team in a differentiated way. Compensation of other small losses in the drawing will be decided when the treated painting undergoes final evaluation. Publication: M. Schmidt, Eva Hummert, Elisabeth Thobois, Irene Brückle, Removable Loss Integration in the Re – Treatment of Robert Delaunay‘s Three Graces, Study for „The City of Paris“ at the Albertina, Vienna. In: Paper Conservation: Decisions & Compromises, Extended Abstracts presented at the ICOM-CC Graphic Document Working Group Interim Meeting Vienna, 17-19 April 2013, eds. L. Watteeuw and C. Hofmann, 69–72.

Josefine Werthmann: Conservation, Preservation and Storage of Fans: A Concept for the Fan Collection Castle Friedenstein in Gotha. The conservation, preservation and storage of fans is a demanding task for both institutional and private collectors. A preservation concept focusing on stabilization and optimized housing was developed for the fan collection at Castle Museum Friedenstein in Gotha. It comprises 800 individual fans from the museum’s own collection of Duke August of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and the permanent loan collection from the Foundation Ute Michaels. A survey among private collectors of historic fans in Germany identified typical damage patterns of paper fans in the form of torn folds, broken sticks, distortions, discoloration and damage resulting from historic restoration as primary preservation concerns. Five fan collectors and members of the „Fächerfreunde“, an association of private collectors in Germany, granted insight into their collections and storage systems. Adequate storage for sometimes very extensive collections of highly delicate objects was also identified as a concern, as well as limited financial resources. Storage solutions for an institutional fan collection and the surveyed private collections were compared in defining their advantages and drawbacks. Four paper fans featuring the most typical destabilizing damage patterns were treated to illustrate approaches to treatment. In addition, a new cardboard enclosure system was developed. A sturdy corrugated cardboard box (prototype constructed in cooperation with Klug Conservation) contains seven narrow single boxes constructed either of thin corrugated board or thin paperboard, each offering an inclined support surface on which the closed fan can rest and a concertina-foldable cardboard strip that can be inserted to fill any empty length of the box and thereby prevents the fan from sliding within the box. The covers of the single boxes are either made of Mylar, offering a view of the fan in its box, or of cardboard. The new boxes are recommended for use in both fan collections at the Castle Museum Gotha.