LINING ADHESIVES: THEIR HISTORY, USES AND ABUSES
Caroline K. Keck
ABSTRACT—Each painting must be treated according to its special needs which are, in part, a result of its history. To determine this history is difficult due to the lack of reliable records. Changing attitudes towards deterioration and towards preservation, changes in fashion, and, of course, the type and quality of the treatment itself have affected a painting's structure and appearance. Two other important influences on the care of pictures have been the unfortunate view that the lining process is separate from the rest of the treatment procedure, and the pressure from dealers and collectors to have a painting appear to be undamaged. If a picture is to be properly cared for, its surface appearance cannot be the only consideration. If a painting is not structurally secure, it will not survive. The present move to eliminate the lining process ignores such structural problems as inner cleavage and the additional stress put on pictures today by subjecting them to travel. Of all the methods of lining and the adhesives available, not one is suitable for all paintings. The choice must be based on each painting's particular structural problems and on a knowledge of the effects of the method and material over a period of time. The advantage of wax-resin linings is that, when properly used, the adhesive penetrates and consolidates the structure. Furthermore, this process has been in use for a long time and most paintings so treated have shown a good survival rate.