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Subject: Batting in backs of framed paintings

Batting in backs of framed paintings

From: Sara Rowe Hignite <sara_hignite<-a>
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2005
Thanks to everyone who responded to my question regarding batting.
Your advice has been invaluable. Per requests, here's a brief
summary of what was recommended:

All conservators who responded stated that it is wise to fill the
space between the backing board and the painting with an appropriate
material to support/protect the painting and prevent the canvas from
"flapping" during transport. [This is good practice especially for
large paintings, fragile paintings, and unlined paintings.] Some
conservators prefer to use polyester batting and others prefer

It's universally recommended that the material be attached to the
painting's backing board to secure it (with double-sided tape or hot
glue). According to most, the material should not touch the canvas
(at least +/-3 mm away has been suggested).

Some people raised concerns about possible bunching or expanding
when using batting, which could cause damage to the painting. In the
same vein, it is important to use the correct thickness of batting
to avoid bulging. It has been suggested that these concerns could be
avoided by using Ethafoam instead of batting. A suggestion for
avoiding batting slippage or bunching is to cover the batting with
PeCap attached around the perimeter with BEVA film.

For more information on this topic, per Michael O'Malley, see the
following article:

    Marion Barclay.
    "Some Structural Solutions to the Question of Preventive
    Conservation Care for a Major Travelling Exhibition..." (pp.
    225-230), published in the 1993 ICOM CC Preprints (Washington,

Thanks again to all who offered advice,

Sara Rowe Hignite, Registrar
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Sam Fox Arts Center
Washington University in St. Louis
One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1214
St. Louis, MO 63130
Fax: 314-935-7282

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:5
                  Distributed: Saturday, July 9, 2005
                        Message Id: cdl-19-5-002
Received on Thursday, 7 July, 2005

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