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Subject: Retouching


From: Mark D. Gottsegen <mdgottsegen>
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2006
Andrea di Bagno <adibagno [at] mfah__org> writes

>PVA or MSA paints as suggested by Mark Gottsegen are not a viable
>choice if you wish for reversibility as the solvents needed to
>remove them would damage the original paint layer.
>Acrylic paints may be a godsend for artists but for conservators
>they are the true nightmare and I can't help but wonder what it will
>be like a couple of centuries down the line.

Thank you for the correction regarding using PVA or MSA paints for
this procedure.

At the recently concluded (yesterday, May 19, 2006) Modern Paints
Uncovered Symposium at the Tate Modern, multiple difficulties with
the treatment of acrylic dispersion paints were discussed--and many
excellent scientific papers were delivered--but few practical
answers were provided to practicing conservators.  Inpainting paints
were only glancingly touched upon, and most favored gouache or
watercolor as I recall.

One conservator touched on surface coatings and commented that
varnishing was not an option.  Mark Golden and I later discussed
this and wondered why?  The stronger solvents needed to remove a
cross-linked coating from an oil painting are carefully monitored so
as to avoid solubilizing the oil paint films; why could there not be
the same theory applied to the cleaning of a varnished acrylic
dispersion painting?  It has been amply demonstrated that acrylic
dispersion paint films are easily penetrated by dirt and moisture
and are therefore especially difficult to clean.  Wouldn't giving
them a "protective" coating make the cleaning easier, as long as the
solvents and solvent checks were closely controlled.  I'd like to
see comments on this--they would be of help to me and manufacturers
like Golden in making recommendations to artists.

Speaking of the MPU, several conservators expressed frustration at
the lack of practical direction the conservation scientists seemed
to provide, and I challenged one to develop a list of research
questions she'd like to have answered in a practical way.  Then I
jumped the gun and began developing one of my own.  If anyone would
like to see it (it's a Word.doc), feel free to send me an off-list
email.  You can comment on it, too, and add to it or subtract from
it, as you wish.

Mark D. Gottsegen
Chair, ASTM D01.57
Associate Professor
Department of Art
UNC Greensboro
1203 NC 62 East
Climax  NC  27233-9183
Fax: 336-334-527 0

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:60
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 15, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-60-001
Received on Saturday, 20 May, 2006

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