Boeijink, Boekel, Van der Knaap Painting conservation studio
Paintlayer and groundlayer problems
Preventive conservation


Preventive conservation is the improvement of storage conditions of art objects in order to avoid the necessity of restoration.
The storage/environmental conditions consist of all the factors around or surrounding the art object or collection. These elements should not be allowed to influence an art object or collection in a negative way.
The consequences should never be underestimated. A great deal of the damages shown on our website are the result of conditions as mentioned above.
Circumstances of storage have been widely investigated in order to reach an idea of ideal conditions of storage. It's a field of knowledge in development, with the realisation of new equipment and techniques, the increasing knowledge of materials used in art and the sharing of practical experiences. The knowledge we have of conditions of storage is increasing every year.

Natural aging of objects can never be stopped, only slowed down.



Practice:

It is through our experience with many institutions and private collections that we know that ideal storage conditions can rarely be reached. It is possible though to make improvements after having analysed the situation.

We can offer advice on preventive conservation as to the use of equipment for air conditioning, lighting, integrated pest management, measuring light and climatological circumstances, regenerating and calibrating of measuring equipment and we reframe paintings in such a way that they are better protected.
measuring light intensity
Measuring light intensity
 
calibrating of thermohygrographs
Calibrating of thermohygrographs
 
reframing panels and paintings on canvas support
Reframing panel
 



A list of examples of damage to paintings caused by storage conditions:

peeling, flaked paint, cracks and cupping, damage caused by wrongly tuned climatising equipment or measuring equipment, the development of fungus, oxidation, damage by shrinkage, expansion and bending (bursting) of hygroscopic material, blue haze.

Delamination, peeling of paint layer and paint loss
Delamination
Blanching of varnish and paintlayer caused by water after fire extinction
Blanching (by firewater)
Cupping, deformation of canvas support and layers, oilpaint on canvas
Cupping
Schilderij met vernis aantasting, blauwe waas
Blue haze
Paint layer peeling by copper oxidizing
Peeling by copper oxidizing
Warped panel caused by too low relative humidity
Warped panel
change of color - fading
Discoloration of pigments in paintlayer, left part not protected by frame
Discoloration blue pigment
Discoloration of green pigment in the paintlayer
Discoloration of green pigment
Discoloration (fading) of cotton, part not protected by stretcher
Discoloration of cotton


scorching of the paint (e.g. by a lamp), damage caused by a relatively low level of atmospheric humidity (e.g. because of central heating), damage caused by candles burning near to the painting
fracture in the hanging system, damage to the edges of the framework, dents by dirt between frame and linen, growth of fungus and damage by dirt, breaking of a panel by too tight framework
they cause growth of fungus and oxidation (dust attracts humidity), damage by soot (from candles) and deposit of nicotine, splashes of dirt like candle-grease, wine, masonry paint, plant spray, dents caused by dirt between frame and linen
Stains in unvarnished paintlayer, damage caused by use of plant sprayer
Stains (damage by use of plant sprayer)


excrements of insects and birds - holes caused by woodworm, silver-fish
Spider excrements on varnishlayer of painting on panel
Spider excrements
Damage by woodworm from stretcher onto linen, groundlayer and paintlayers
Damage by woodworm from stretcher onto linen
Damage by silverfish (Lepisma saccharina)
Damage by silver fish


damage at the front and back of the painting - damage by weather-stains
Growth of fungus on dirty paint surface and black pigments.
Growth of fungus on dirty paint surface
Growth of fungus from dirty paint cracks
Growth of fungus from dirty paint cracks
Growth of fungus on insect excrements
Growth of fungus on insect excrements

Fungus at the back of linen and stretcher, caused by dirt and high relative humidity
Growth of fungus at the back of linen and stretcher
Growth of fungus from dirty woodworm holes of stretcher
Growth of fungus from dirty woodworm holes
Growth of mycelium on the back of frame caused by leakage of rainwater
Growth of mycelium on the back of frame


damage caused by acids in wood (oak or chipboard) or cardboard, damage caused by softeners in plastics, damage caused by oxidation of materials
Cotton support damage by rusting pushpin
Damage by rusting pushpin
Damage by rust, rusting spring steel clip from framing
Damage by rusting spring clip


damage caused by shortage of space, damage because of acids or oxidation in racks or shelves, damp and water from leakages
Leakage of a waterboiler, damage and contamination by splashes of water and dissolved plaster
Damage from leakage of a waterboiler


draught, large changes in temperature and degree of humidity, bad isolation, damage by roof leakages or overflowing drainpipes, entering of dust and insects
Fungus caused by water leak from damaged roof
Fungus caused by water leak from damaged roof


dents caused by pine-needles between frame and linen, deformation caused by patches on the back of the linen, dents by numbers applied to the back of the linen (by auctioneers), vandalism, mechanical damages caused by bad storage or tranportation - damages caused by cleaning activities on or near the painting, peeling after cleaning with water, damages caused by cleaning attempts with halved potatoes, breadcrumbs or dusters, bad restoration
Melting of plastic air cushion foil into varnish
Melting of plastic foil into varnish
Incorrect storage of artifacts often causes mechanical damage
Bad storage
Deformation by patch with a closed system
Deformation by patches
Numbers chalked by auctioneers, deformation by pressure
Numbers chalked by auctioneers
(on back)
Dents by chalked numbers on front caused by pressure
Dents by chalked numbers
(on front)
Painted sea chest, flaking and loss of paint caused by mopping of the floor
Loss of paint caused by mopping of the floor
Cracking and flaking paintlayer caused by tapping keys
Cracking and flaking paintlayer caused by tapping keys
Broken keys through too much force
Idem (backside): broken keys
Transport damage, incorrect handling and packaging
Transport damage


fire, theft, vandalism
Damage to varnish and paint, caused by fire
Damage to varnish and paint, caused by fire
Vandalism (spectacles added with felt pen)
Vandalism (spectacles added with felt pen)
Damage caused by fall of a unstable defect ladder
Damage caused by fall of a defect ladder


All examples mentioned above belong to the damages that occur most often, as we have assessed, but doubtlessly there will be many more. Handling objects of art e.g. transport, storage, exposition) can cause much damage, but damage can also occur when nothing is done. Apart from preservation and restoration of art objects it is of the utmost importance to see to it that they are properly stored where environmental factors can not cause damage in such a way that they have to be treated anew.
Conservation studio
Tingietersweg 87
2031 ER Haarlem

T. +31 (0)23 5514993
E.info@schilderijenrestaurator.eu
W. schilderijenrestaurator.eu

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