BEVA 371 AND ITS USE AS AN ADHESIVE FOR SKIN AND LEATHER REPAIRS: BACKGROUND AND A REVIEW OF TREATMENTS
LISA KRONTHAL, JUDITH LEVINSON, CAROLE DIGNARD, ESTHER CHAO, & JANE DOWN
The literature on adhesive repair treatments using BEVA 371 was reviewed to provide an overview of the broad range of applications that the adhesive has had with skin and leather objects over the years and the many variables that can affect the outcome of the treatment. Understanding the physical and chemical properties of BEVA 371 solution and film has allowed conservators the ability to manipulate the adhesive and its application methods to accomplish the needs required by a wide range of materials. Comparing results of the literature survey to actual assessments on collections has provided insights into how the repairs actually respond over time to these variables as well as to external forces. In the rare cases where failures were observed, it was concluded that these were due to poor treatment decisions and an underestimation of the bond strength required to withstand handling, not to chemical deterioration of the adhesive. A CCI-AMNH collaborative project is planned to further investigate the properties of BEVA 371 film used in contact with acidic skins and leathers.
The authors would like to thank those conservators and conservation scientists who have published their experiences and research concerning the use and properties of BEVA 371 in paintings, textiles, and objects conservation. Making these results available has allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of this material.
In addition, the following colleagues who reviewed this article and provided useful comment are gratefully acknowledged: Debra Daly Hartin of the Canadian Conservation Institute, Elisabeth Forest of the Centre de conservation du Québec, and Monika Harter of the Adelhauser Museum in Freiburg, Germany. Most especially, we extend our appreciation to Gustav Berger for the development, introduction, and analysis of an adhesive very useful to the field.