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CURRENT COLUMN

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

Structural
Rigid Water Gels: New Treatment Options for Paper Conservators

Structural
Structural Remedies for Canvas Paintings

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

Photos
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

Butterfly
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

Joe Average, Space Ship Go Bye Bye (1995), acrylic on canvas, after conservation treatment

Joe Average, Space Ship Go Bye Bye (1995), acrylic on canvas, after conservation treatment

The Conservation Treatment of Joe Average’s Space Ship Go Bye Bye

by Nadine Power
nadinepower@hotmail.com

After many years on display in a departure lounge at Vancouver International Airport, Joe Average’s large acrylic painting Space Ship Go Bye Bye had sustained significant damage. Unprotected by any glass, the work, made up of four canvases spanning about 6 metres (20 feet) across, had hung above a row of seats, leaving it wide open to curious hands and marauding snacks.

Accretions such as fingerprints, pen and pencil, and food and drink particles had left the surface appearing severely dirty and uneven, altering the artist’s original intent. The accretions were apparent throughout the whole piece but largely concentrated in the lower half of the canvases, especially along the bottom edge. Blows to the work from the front had also caused many large circular cracks that disfigured the image.

To return the paintings to their original appearance, the works were cleaned and the cracks were reduced. To remove all the loose dust and grime from the surface of the paintings, the pieces were first vacuumed with a soft brush and then cleaned with an absorbent smoke sponge to remove fingerprints and other ingrained surface dirt. A solution of water and organic solvents was then used to clean more stubborn stains such as pen and pencil marks and food and drink splatters.

To flatten the circular cracks, the areas around the cracks were lightly humidified to allow a very controlled application of water to the canvas. The cracks were then treated with sturgeon glue, set with heat and left under weights. In several areas, the cleaning had uncovered paint damaged by corrosive food and drink and disfiguring cracks and abrasions. These areas were inpainted with gouache media to match the colour and gloss of the original paint.

To protect the painting once it was returned to the airport, backing boards were installed to reduce vibration, slow changes in environmental temperature and humidity, and prevent blows to the canvas from the back during transport and installation. Acrylic glazing was installed in front of the painting to prevent further damage from the “departure lounge elements.”

Space Ship Go Bye Bye before conservation treatment

Details of Space Ship Go Bye Bye before conservation treatment

Previously: Disney Artist’s Legacy Lives On
Next issue: Fixatives in the Treatment of Textiles

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 Sat, Nov 9, 2013