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Seeing in Different Ways: A Liz Magor Backpack Project
Seeing in Different Ways:
A Liz Magor Backpack Project

Why Paper Discolours (Part 2)
Why Paper Discolours (Part 2)

Why Paper Discolours (Part 1)
Why Paper Discolours (Part 1)

Mending a Tear in an Aboriginal Drum
Mending a Tear in an Aboriginal Drum

Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 3)
Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 3)

Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 2)

Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 1)

After treatment
Oscar Cahén: Innovative Conservation
for an Innovative Artist

Rigid Water Gels: New Treatment Options for Paper Conservators

Structural Remedies for Canvas Paintings

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 4: Digital-based Material

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 3: Photo-based Material

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 2: Paper-based Material

First Steps
Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 1: The First Steps

Natural Dyes
The Use of Natural Dyes in Textile Conservation

A Relocation Project

Challenges of Preserving Contemporary Artwork

Preserve Your Investment through Art Conservation

A Project Completed: Heritage Preserved

Old and New Methods for Cleaning Paintings

I Can See Clearly Now – Or Can I? Part 2

I Can See Clearly Now – Or Can I?

The E.J. Hughes Mural: An Expanded Project

Is She or Is She Not an Emily

Treating Art with Sensitive Media

Malaspina Mural: An Update

For the Artist: Testing Your Materials

Conservator as Art Historian

Alum Sizing and the Art of W.J. Phillips

Treatment of an Elizabeth Keith Wood Block Print

Structural Treatment of an Emily Carr

The Treatment of a Monumental Wall Hanging

Changing Images

Preserving a Rare Record

Gold Leaf: Imitation and Genuine

The Case Against Canvas Backings

Heritage Colours: Research Discovers Original Colours

Lighting Your Art: Balancing Seeing and Protecting

The Double-Sided Emily Carr Painting

Choosing a Period Picture Frame

How to Identify a Picture Frame

Stretching Canvas and Restretching Artwork

Mounting Textiles

Aging Paintings:
Some Causes and Effects

Chine Collé Prints

What's Your Favourite Color?

Backing Removals

Rips, Holes and Tears

Filling in the Gaps

DIY – Preventative Care of Paintings

Frame it Right

Fire, Water and Smoke-Damaged Paintings

Inherent Vice

Saturated Problems:
A Water-Damaged Painting

Moldy Paper

Conserving Time

Conserving Paper: Dos and Don'ts

Repair of Textiles

Conserving Wood

Rescuing Endangered Murals

Repairing Acid-Matte Burn

Art Services & Materials
Exhibition Openings & Events

Conservation Corner Back

I can see clearly now – or can I? Part 2

by Rebecca Pavitt

This is the second half of a two-part article on picture frame glazing. In the last issue of Preview we covered glass materials; in this issue acrylic glazing is discussed.

Acrylic is generally used when size or weight is a concern. The larger the frame, the more risk there is, to art and person, from broken glass. Acrylic is much more impact resistant than glass, and about half the weight. These are important considerations when framing oversize art!


Shadowbox with regular acrylic on left, and antireflective Optium Museum on the right

Acrylic has lower thermal conductivity than glass, so it is much less likely to have condensation issues. This makes it possible for items like textiles to come in direct contact with the glazing, as in pressure mounting techniques. Acrylic can also be solvent-joined and heat-bent to create three-dimensional mounts and display boxes.

Acrylic does have two drawbacks however; it bows, and it scratches. The thicker the sheet, the less it bows, but the more it weighs. Bowing issues and weight considerations need to be taken into account when designing oversize framing systems. The impact resistance of acrylic makes it an attractive option for use in public spaces, but its soft surface mars easily from abrasion and solvents, making it a favourite target for vandals.

Much of the product used by the framing industry is made by Cryo Industries, with the trade name Acrylite. Acrylite products most commonly used in framing are:

  • FF-3 plain clear
  • P-99 clear etched (to reduce glare by scattering reflected light) and
  • OP-3, which has UV filtering built into the sheet (not a coating).

FF-3, P-99 and OP-3 are also available with an abrasion and chemical resistant coating on both sides and are designated by ‘MR’ (mar resistant).

  • Acrylics reflect 8% of light (like glass)
  • FF-3 and P-99 filter 66% UV light
  • OP-3 products filter 98% UV light but have a slight yellow cast

Tru Vue, a major supplier of frame glazing, markets FF-3 as Premium Clear, P-99 as Reflection Control, and OP-3 P 99 as Conservation Reflection Control. Tru Vue also supplies some unique glazing materials:

  • Optium Acrylic FF-3 MR with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The combination of MR and optical coatings increases UV filtration to 93%.
  • Optium Museum Acrylic is OP-3 MR with a proprietary anti-reflective coating on both sides. UV filtration is, like other OP-3 products, 98%.
  • The anti-reflective coatings on Optium products reduce glare to less than 2%.

MR products are anti-static, making them safe to use with friable media such as unfixed pastels. Optium products are also anti-static. Under certain lighting conditions (natural daylight) Optium Acrylic can show a pink cast, so it should be tested in situ before using.

Uncoated acrylic products must be cleaned with acrylic cleaners or alcohol/water solutions (rubbing alcohol is the most usual). MR products must be cleaned with glass cleaning products, or alcohol/water solutions. Optium products must be cleaned with alcohol/water solutions. The solution should be spritzed onto a clean microfibre cloth, not directly onto the acrylic.

Previously: I can see clearly now – or can I?
Next issue: Old and new methods for cleaning paintings


 Sat, Jun 13, 2009