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Subject: Paintings


From: Sarah Spafford Ricci <sarah>
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000
Holly Chase <hchase [at] byugate__byu__edu> writes

>I would like to know what techniques and materials are appropriate
>for backing paintings on canvas. What we normally use is Fome-Cor
>cut to the size of the work and then screwed into the back of the
>stretcher bars to prevent any damage to the vulnerable back. We also
>cut out a small triangle (usually 1 1/2 inches tall)  in the
>Fome-Cor for a ventilation hole

I have worked in/with medium-sized galleries and prefer to use
Coroplast (also known as Cor-X,Tenplast) which is a corrugated
plastic board.  This is easily available in Canada, since it finds
wide use in sign-making (it is even available in 4 x 8 sheets and
larger from hardware stores), but is not as widely available in the
United States.  Coroplast has been shown to outperform Fome-Cor in
controlling the RH in an enclosed space behind a painting.  From a
practical standpoint, I have always found Fome-Cor a bit too thick,
rigid and cumbersome as a backing board.  The Canadian Conservation
Institute has an excellent technical note that describes attachment
of a backing board to the verso of a stretcher.  I would recommend
not cutting a ventilation-hole in the backing, because a tight
air-seal is important to maintain relative humidity control and to
prevent vibration of canvasses.

I would recommend continuing to use non-archival self-adhesive
pressure sensitive labels on the backings.  From a practical
standpoint, the backing board does not require archivally approved
labels, and office-type labels can be easily purchased and printed
on your computer.  If you wish to identify the stretchers/frames as
well, just write the accession number of the work on the
stretcher/frame in graphite pencil.

Sarah Spafford Ricci, Conservator of Fine Art
Fraser Spafford Ricci Art and Archival Conservation Inc.
2276 134 Street
South Surrey, B.C.
Canada  V4A 9T9
Fax: 604-536-2937

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:48
                  Distributed: Friday, March 24, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-48-015
Received on Thursday, 16 March, 2000

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