Its our experience that insects that damage books are mainly attacking spine. This is because the spine receives liberal amount of adhesive while book making. After eradicating all the various stages of insects thriving in the books, book conservators repair damaged and deteriorated bound materials. We treat them further so that readers/researchers can consult them without further damage. Artistic features of a book, such as … Continue reading Bookworms love spines of books and hate anoxic environment
This black powdery sheet (!) is not burnt paper, but, paper eaten by fungus. Cellulolytic microorganisms are hiding nicely all around us and are much more destructively powerful than we can expect from the tiny spores. Storage enclosures that were designed and created for protection turned out to be actually working with the deteriogens (deteriorating micro-organisms), by providing them not just the ideal and … Continue reading Paper burnt or eaten?
In paper conservation literature, there are many ways and materials advised to be used to remove foxing or at least lighten its scars. Here i am not going to suggest what to use, but would like to mention the importance of a thorough knowledge of chemistry and physics too apart from the deep appreciation of the art work and its technique! The conservator must know … Continue reading Removing Foxing is doable, but needs thorough understanding and patience too…
One of the miniature paintings we came across last month was showing some signs of biological degradation, but no active microbes were visible on the surface. This was unlike other miniature paintings of the same lot, which had visible mold on surface, specially at the back of the painting. This painting had no mold visible even at the back. But, at a closer look and … Continue reading Some deteriogens are very nicely hidden
When a conservator gets art works like the above miniature painting, it is not just the damages that interest him/her, it is also the history/mythology and story depicted in the painting that attracts the conservator. Story/history/mythology apart from the technique and place in timeline/age, would scale the importance of the painting. We study a painting for following aspects before going for actual conservation: Story/interpretation /mythological importance/historical … Continue reading Brief record of miniature painting’s assessment and conservation
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 … Continue reading Paper paintings and mounting issues