A SEMI-RIGID TRANSPARENT SUPPORT FOR PAINTINGS WHICH HAVE BOTH INSCRIPTIONS ON THEIR FABRIC REVERSE AND ACUTE PLANAR DISTORTIONS
THE USE OF synthetic materials as lining supports is well documented, although not time tested. The earliest description of a rigid transparent support, one employing a vinyl resin co-polymer, was given by S. Keck in 1940.1 Nearly 20 years later, A. Boissonnas introduced the use of glass-fiber fabric as a lining support, clearly an advance.2 Although the advantages of glass fabric for lining paintings are familiar to many painting conservators, this material is an insufficient support for deterring return of planar distortions in severely distorted surfaces. One option developed by G. Berger to surmount this problem uses Mylar, glass fabric, and Beva,3 in a sandwich construction.4
All too often the presence of severe planar distortions has dictated selection of a semi-rigid or rigid remedial system which inevitably sacrifices transparency and proves both cumbersome and costly to employ. A solution to this situation presents itself in the form of a glass fabric impregnated with a clear synthetic resin which provides a support both semi-rigid and transparent. The resin used for impregnation, Akemi (transparent flowing polyester resin),5 has the desired viscosity for convenient application and penetration into the glass fabric.
This resin cross-links sufficiently as it cures to form a stable, rigid, transparent and lightweight composite with the glass fabric.6 The results combine the mechanical advantages of each component.