THE METHODS AND MATERIALS OF MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE
ELIZABETH LETO FULTON
9 VARNISHES AND FRAMES
Since few original varnishes exist on the paintings, and those that do proved difficult to analyze, it was impossible to determine Heade's general preference for varnish. However, results from a painting whose coatings are believed to be original tested as a thin application of a natural resin, most likely a dammar. Several paintings from the early 1860s also seem to have had an original oil varnish, based on solubility tests. It is safe to say that Heade wanted his paintings to be varnished. Several of the paintings studied are in their original frames (Stebbins 2000), and a few of these paintings were displayed in original shadow boxes.