|Porcupine, 1951, woodcut by Leonard Baskin|
Paper made from wood pulp, as much was from the 1840s onwards, included lignin, an acidic light-sensitive substance which eventually turns the paper brown and brittle, while certain methods of sizing paper, and bleaching it, have also caused susceptibility to damage.
Hanging and storage. Because of their delicate nature, works on paper need to be protected from bright light of any kind and from extremes of humidity and temperature: 50-60% relative humidity and 20-220C is ideal. Protection from ultraviolet light with special window film can be a worthwhile investment.Valuable works should never be photocopied. Pollution in the air, and condensation inside a picture frame (causing foxing) are further risks.
|Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Paris Dancer, charcoal on paper|
or chalks, and it is important to bear in mind that it attracts dust and is easily scratched.
|The Old Welsh Bridge. Watercolour by Paul Sandby 1715-1809. Shrewsbury Museums Service|
fillet to separate them. Sticking a picture down on a backing board, and dry-mounting are to be avoided. Instead, it should be attached to its support with an acid-free paper hinge using PVA adhesive or bookbinder’s starch paste.
When choosing a picture framer, always make sure that conservation or museum quality products and methods are used. BADA members will be able to recommend appropriate craftsmen.In addition to the general principles explained above, the attributes of drawings, watercolours and prints deserve special consideration, particularly with regard to conservation measures.
|Totentanz (Dance of Death), illustration by Michael Wolgemut from Liber Chronicarum, also known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493, by Hartmann Schedel|
|William Mulready, 19th century drawing, black an red chalk on paper|
Prints and maps should be treated in the same way as watercolours, and any signs of damp or damage should be referred to a paper conservator immediately. It is recommended that unframed maps and prints should be stored flat in acid-free boxes or archival wallets, such as those manufactured by Secol.