Periodically there are projects that cross my path which pose a special challenge. Recently, a beautiful lithograph by the Russian-French early Modernist Marc Chagall arrived at my studio. The client’s daughter had been given this lovely piece as a gift by the owner of the art gallery she worked in. Unfortunately, the lithograph, which had been printed on high quality Japanese paper, had been folded into quarters by a prior owner at some point. The image was bisected by two creased folds.
In the image, you can see elements of Symbolism and Fauvism. Its dreamlike beauty brings the artwork to life, but the creases through the center of the image distract from its beauty. It was my job to conserve the artwork so that it can be fully appreciated once again.
After careful deliberation, research and consulting with a colleague, I settled on using a Dacron fabric restraint drying technique. After the artwork was washed to reduce acidic degradation products, and treated with chelators to reduce staining, it was laid on top of a piece of Dacron fabric that had been adhered to a flat surface. It was then dried under tension, and the creases were progressively reduced during the drying process. The following is a video demonstrating the process of lifting the treated artwork away from the Dacron lining:
This restraint drying process worked beautifully, and now the artwork is ready to be placed in an archival frame at Penland Custom Framing.
Chagall was truly a pioneer of Modernism, and an incredible contributor to the world of Fine Art. It was an honor to preserve this small piece of his legacy for future generations.
If you require assistance with preserving your artwork, feel free to submit an inquiry via the contact form on my website: