TREATMENT AND MOUNTING OF CERES, A LARGE MURAL PAINTING ON FABRIC BY JOHN NORTON
1 ORDER OF WORK ON “CERES” MURAL
In Spring Grove Studio:
- Construct two self-supporting cylinders and temporary work table to roll and unroll painting horizontally during cleaning prodedures.
- Grime and varnish removal.For grime: chemical soap plus xylene.For varnish: 10 ml acetone; 10 ml ethyl alcohol;1½ml morpholine; 1½ml nn-DMF;1½tsp. of chemical soap (;Triethanolamine, 4 parts; Oleic acid, 10 parts).
- Repair of tears on front side with “Jade 403.”
- Removal of layers of thick plaster and 2 layers of white lead paint at rear with heavy bodied paint remover paste.“ACE hardware” Heavy Body Paste, containing: methylene chloride; acetone; methanol; toluene; and wax paste.
- Repair of tears at rear side with “Jade 403.”
- Construct upright portable stand for cylinders in order to roll and unroll painting vertically to perform inpainting and varnishing.
- Varnishing and inpainting.Paint losses were compensated by filling with “Liquitex Gel” and inpainting with “Liquitex” Acrylic Emulsion paint as an underpaint. Final inpainting was performed with “Bocour's Magna Colors,” isolated with “Bocour's Magna Varnish.”In Chicago Board of Trade Building:
- Assemble aluminum panels; tap screw holes into iron bars and attach screws.
- Degrease rear surface of aluminum.
- Attach cotton duck fabric to rear surface:4 parts “Jade 403” plus ½ part water.
- Apply three coats of Acrylic Laytex gray paint on cotton duck.
- Panels flipped over by steel workers, balsa side up.
- Size balsa with diluted “Jade 403”:3 parts “Jade 403” plus ½ part water.
- Attach two cotton duck fabrics to balsa wood with “Jade 403”:4 parts “Jade 403” plus ½ part water.
- Size cotton duck with B67 acrylic varnish, thinned with naphtha.
- Attach painting to panel with “Jade 403”: full strength.
- Inpaint seam and edges where necessary with “Bocour Magna” acrylic colors.
- Apply final varnish of “Soluvar Matte” by brush
Entire weight of panel and painting was slightly over 1000 lbs., comprised of the following material:
- 8 assembled aluminum panels, with seven steel bars: ¼″ × 2″ × 111″.
- Individual panel tolerances: length & width: 1⅙″
- Squareness: difference in corner diagonal measurement not to exceed ⅛″.
- 384 sq. ft of end-grain balsawood, ¼″ thick.
- 24 yards of cotton duck fabric.
- 15 gallons of “Jade 403.”
- 3 gallons of B67 in Naphtha.
- 1 quart Soluvar varnish.
THIS CONSERVATION PROJECT required the cooperation of numerous individuals representing differing concerns: the CBOT; insurance brokers; the manufacturer of aluminum support; construction company carpenters; the project expediter; building management; two architectural firms; steel workers; loading dock personnel; numerous secretaries; and picture frame manufacturer. Each in their own way made important contributions to this undertaking.
Of utmost significance were the volunteer assistants without whom this project would not have been successfully realized. They were: Elizabeth Buschor, Maria Giavonnoni, Barbara Hall, Gary Hulbert, Beverly Perkins, Gregory Peterson, Else Pomerantz, Lorette Russenberger, Marie-Helene Guggemheim Satter, Ann Shaftel, Steve Starling, Stan Schmidt, Rick Strilky, Faye Wrubel, Aneta Zebala. To each of them I express my deep gratitude.