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Subject: Framing


From: Kim Andrews <kandrews<-a>
Date: Monday, May 19, 2008
Amber Morgan <morgana [at] warhol__org> writes

>I am hoping some conservators out there might help a registrar out.
>We have heard conflicting things regarding the use of spacers in
>frames, particularly for oversized works on paper.  Some
>conservators have encouraged the use of spacers as a method of
>keeping the surface of the print away from the glazing.  Others
>prefer no spacers, saying that the backing board alone isn't enough
>to support our oversized works and the pressure of the glazing on
>the mat is necessary to keep the object from bowing outwards.  Is
>there a preferred method among the conservation framing community?

The surface of a paper-based object should always be kept away from
the glazing.  Condensation on the glazing, even in a sealed package,
can damage materials in contact with the glazing, and most glazing,
especially acrylic, can actually abrade the media from ambient
vibrations.  Silkscreens, like Andy Warhol's, are especially
vulnerable to damage from this subtle abrasion.

Admittedly, the backing board must be very rigid to bridge the large
spaces created in oversized objects without bowing toward the
glazing. Honeycomb board like Tycore is extremely rigid, very light
weight and made from 100% cotton rag fiber.  Many of our oversize
housings are lighter in weight than smaller framed objects because
Tycore is so efficiently rigid. FYI, Tycore is not buffered.

Frames for objects housed with spacers and Tycore (almost 1 inch
deep) must be custom made, however, or the backs built up on
commercial moulding, because the entire housing package can measure
2-3 inches" in total depth.

Another important consideration in the housing of oversized objects
is the mounting method.  Objects must be slip hinged at the top
(through the backing board) with additional accordion hinges at the
bottom and sides to lightly restrain the paper, or perimeter hinged,
to ensure a secure mount that doesn't allow the object to "drift"
toward the glazing through gravity or static charge.  V-hinges used
in a classic float are not strong enough for this type of housing.

Framed, oversized objects with spacers demand extra care in framing,
storage, installation and travel.  They must never be turned face
down, and so must be attached into their frame while held upright or
on an easel.  They must travel and be stored upright or with their
face up, and never tipped on their sides, so packed oversized
objects must be clearly labeled and art handlers fully trained.

The Conservation Center treats, houses and frames many, many
oversized objects (maps, drawings, artistic and scientific prints,
architectural renderings, et al) every year, with very successful
results using these protocols.

Kim Andrews
Preservation Services Officer
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
264 S. 23rd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103
Fax: 215-735-9313

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:62
                  Distributed: Saturday, May 24, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-62-002
Received on Monday, 19 May, 2008

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