Background research

The first day of our second week was spent conducting background research on art conservation, storage, and handling. The sources we used today were books obtained from Rice’s Fondren Library.

Ting read Conserving Paintings: Basic Technical Information for Contemporary Artists, which covers processes ranging from how paintings are produced to how they are stored. This book also contained a photo and explanation of the device closest to what we intend to produce: a handling frame.

Emily read about the history of frames and their relationship to the artworks they surround in The Gilded Edge: The Art of the Frame. She learned about many of the woods that have been used to create frames from the Italian Renaissance to the present, as well as the different types of joint employed to assemble frames.

After looking over the information we found last week about materials, Quique’s main goal was to research the structural integrity of paintings. Given the absence of any useful information on the subject, he has determined that the best way to go about this research is to examine wood itself, for which there is data.

In the book Conservation and Exhibits, Hannah researched factors we must take into account regarding past and potential damage to paintings, which one of our main concerns in designing frames. She found a series of disaster scenarios resulting from negligence and human error, as well as the parameters of condition reports (damage, insecurity, and deformation), which should be on file for each piece and help us evaluate its individual needs.

We are all looking forward to going behind the scenes at the MFAH tomorrow!

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