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Tuesday, May 17 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(Photographic Materials) Methods for cleaning brass mats from cased photographs

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In 2009 the Centre de conservation du Québec (CCQ) received a request for restoration of a photographic assemblage from the collection of the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead, Quebec. The object consisted of twelve individual photographs mounted together in a wooden frame and included both daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. The brass mats of the individual photographs showed multiple corroded spots. Before undertaking the restoration, three methods of corrosion removal were studied: the Rosenberg method of galvanic corrosion of a sacrificial anode; local electrolysis; and localized application of an ion exchange resin - in this case Amberlite IR120 H. The three approaches will be discussed briefly in terms of effectiveness, rapidity of action, and controllability of the application system. The ion exchange resin approach was selected for use on the object at the CCQ. The resin (a polymer with acidic side groups), when placed in contact with metal oxides (or chlorides, or carbonates), cause these corrosion products to be reduced. The used exchange resin can be completely removed, leaving no chemical residue. Subsequent development of the method refined the technique for application of the resin and explored the use of mica powders for inpainting the treated areas. The ion exchange resin treatment method seems to be a promising approach to the treatment of brass mats from cased photographs; it should be further tested for its potential effects on the tinted shellac coatings and to discover its long term effects, if any.

Speakers
avatar for Ariane Lalande

Ariane Lalande

Artifact conservator, Centre de Conservation du Quebec
Archaeological objects conservator since 2001, master degree from Universite de Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (2002-2008). She is specialized in inorganic, more specifically metallic artifacts, from both terrestrial and underwater sites. She has worked in different places until she became part of the CCQ team, in 2008, and she also is part of the risk assessment team.
avatar for Christophe Vischi

Christophe Vischi

Conservator of photographs, National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada
Christophe Vischi is originally from France. He studied art conservation at the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris where he gained his Master`s degree in photographs conservation. He has worked, as an independent conservator, for numerous institutions in both France and Canada, including the Centre de Conservation du Quebec where this research was initiated. He is since 2011 photograph conservator at the National Gallery of Canada.

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Chloé Lucas

Chloé Lucas

Student, Institut National du Patrimoine
Last year student at the French Institut National du Patrimoine (Paris), specialised in Photographic Materials. Currently doing a master thesis on molds on silver gelatin prints.
JM

John McElhone

Chief Conservator, National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada
John McElhone has long been interested in the conservation of daguerreotypes. He has worked in the conservation department of the National Gallery of Canada since 1986, starting as photograph conservator. Since 2011 he has been Chief Conservator.


Tuesday May 17, 2016 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Room 516 CD


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