Paper paintings and mounting issues



We have learned while specializing in the field of conservation of cultural property (more specifically art, in the present discussion), about the specific type of material that should be used while mounting a painting on paper. The technique also matters a lot. One common technique of mounting involves creating ‘hinges’ on the mount board at the back.
We come across paintings that have been mounted by this approved technique, but wrong type of material and missing some fundamental considerations like removing the old hinges before sticking new ones.

Considerations for making hinges

  • Old hinges or their remains should be removed
  • Adhesives used must be easy to remove at a future date, and must neither stain nor darken with age.
  • Pressure sensitive tapes, such as SellotapeTM and masking tape have no place in conservation framing. They cause permanent damage to the picture by staining and become difficult or even impossible to remove.
  • Paper used should not be thicker that the original work of art.


Mounting without adhesives and hinges

Mounting without adhesives can be done with corner supports or edge strips.

Small as well as bigger corners of chemically stable plastic (polyester film) or archival paper are commercially available for mounting.


Author: namitajaspal
Namita Jaspal, with inherited skills of art and aesthetics and passion for science, opted to pursue post- graduation in ‘Conservation of Cultural Property’ after her graduation in Science from Delhi University in 1992. Four year intense training at National Museum Institute provided the right foundation to start a career in Conservation. She is currently practicing conservation consultancy for Heritage property including monuments and collections. She has been doing independent research in conservation techniques and procedures in Indian context. She is currently working on the conservation of wall-paintings of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden temple at Amritsar. The project is nearing completion and getting a lot of appreciation for the organized and ethical treatment it is providing. It is for the first time in the history of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden Temple) that wall painting conservation and preservation is being done in a scientific manner, keeping the codes of Ethics into consideration while decision making. Another project just completed is of the Conservation of Krishna Temple at Kishankot, Gurdaspur, Punjab. In her private Conservation Laboratory, she is not only providing onservation services, but also mentoring young aspiring conservators and archaeologists by the way of training and paid internships. She has been a guest lecturer at DIHRM (Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management). With all the updated knowledge database and innovative practical approaches relevant to the Indian conditions, she could successfully do curative and preservative treatment of very old textiles like a nine feet long flag from nineteenth century that is regarded as priceless memorabilia of second Dogra regiment at Chandi Mandir, and four hundred years old (seventeenth century) Chola Sahib Ji of Sixth Guru of Sikhs, Sri Hargobind Sahib Ji. Apart from this she has done conservation of Photograph collections, archival records, numerous paintings, manuscripts and other cultural objects. She is also involved in preparation of up-gradation proposals for museums and such organizations. Her expertise includes Conservation and preservation technologies and procedures for conservation of varied material like wall paintings, paper, photographs, textile, ceramics, stone, metal and archaeological objects.

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