Volume 5, Number 3, Sept. 1983, pp.2-3

Meetings & Conferences in Review: Liner Refresher Course

by Yvonne Szafran

The FAIC Paintings Refresher Course "Recent Developments in Lining Techniques" was held at the Williamstown Regional Laboratory in Williamstown, Massachusetts, July 18-22. The course guides were Albert Albano, conservator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Perry Huston, conservator at the Kimbell Art Museum. Sarah Fisher, conservator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, organized the course. There were 17 participants, including WAAC members Inge-Lise Eckmann, Teri Oikawa-Picante, and myself. During the week long course, numerous aspects of lining were discussed, including lining supports, lining adhesives, and lining ethics. While it is virtually impossible to present in this short essay all of the information presented during the week long seminar, I found the following to be especially interesting.

Al Albano demonstrated the new suction table and humidification chamber he has developed with Bill Maxwell. This new equipment was displayed in the supplier exhibition area at the AIC conference earlier this year in Baltimore, and Al presented a paper to the AIC Paintings Speciality Group during this same conference, "Development of a top-table humidification/suction system for the treatment of paintings." The equipment allows for extremely controlled humidity treatments and also functions as a suction table in low heat, low pressure linings.

Al Albano also demonstrated a technique using flocked BEVA. By spraying BEVA with an excess of air pressure, one can flock BEVA onto the lining support, creating a substantial layer of the adhesive. By allowing air spaces throughout the adhesive layer, this flocked BEVA can act as a cushion for any reverse topography on the back of the painting (e.g. seams).

Emil Bosshard, conservator at the Swiss Institute of Art Research in Zurich, Switzerland, demonstrated a nap-bond lining using Plextol, an acrylic adhesive first introduced by V. Mehra in the early 70's. The adhesive is applied to the lining support through a screen in an even layer. After drying, a nap-bond lining can be achieved using low pressure and low heat. (Plextol 360 at approximately 110 deg F, and Plextol 498 at approximately 130 deg F.) These adhesives can also be used cold by activating the dried layer with solvents (toluene or isopropyl). These are pure acrylic dispersions thickened with polymethacrylate, and available in the USA through Fine Arts Stretchers, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Emil Bosshard also demonstrated a technique of mending tears, using polyamide resin in powder form. The resin is carefully applied to the tear from the back and "soldered" with a small tacking iron.

Yvonne Szafran
J. Paul Getty Museum
Paintings Conservation

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