A SEMI-RIGID TRANSPARENT SUPPORT FOR PAINTINGS WHICH HAVE BOTH INSCRIPTIONS ON THEIR FABRIC REVERSE AND ACUTE PLANAR DISTORTIONS
SOME PROBLEMS WITH the system need further attention. Air trapped in the resin during application can only be removed from the center out through the edges during the squeegeeing process. Small amounts of air pockets in the cured resin, however, will not interfere with the effectiveness of the lining support. Nominal shrinkage of the material which occurs during curing can result in a slight curl. It is important to place the painting on a stretcher at least ⅛″ larger in dimensions than the cured resin area, for the resin impregnated portion will not bend over to form a requisite tacking edge. The resin has a slight yellow cast both before and after curing which does not, however, interfere with its transparency.
As the least amount of vacuum pressure necessary to achieve desired results is always preferable during a lining, it is important to bear in mind that as in the case of lining on a solid mount, elimination of excess lining adhesive is difficult. Therefore, only a relatively thin, even application of wax-resin is needed if this adhesive is used. Both Beva 371 and PVA heat seal produced excellent results when used as lining adhesives.
All three mentioned adhesives produce totally transparent linings used in conjunction with the described lining support. Adhesive testing is continuing with Densil silicone pressure sensitive adhesive10 and Tetko polyester monofilament bolting cloth.11
This lining system, although requiring care in preparation, can be mastered through experience. As is true of other lining systems, it possesses its own inherent disadvantages in both preparation and employment, but these can be minimized or circumvented by improvements and variations resulting from the development of individual proficiency in its use. Many of the variations and improvements described here were devised during lining of nearly a dozen oil paintings on canvas using this method. Continued use will undoubtedly suggest further refinements for the method described.
I WOULD LIKE to thank Laurence Pace, Cooperstown Art Conservation Graduate Program Intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for practical suggestions which proved valuable, and for considerable time in continued testing of the lining support system.