Re: Caution Again: Paper residue on upper corners

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Posted by John Fiorillo on September 18, 2002 at 08:28:14:

In Reply to: Re: Caution Again: Paper residue on upper corners posted by Noel Chiappa on September 17, 2002 at 22:55:19:

Hi, Noel,

The practical considerations (restoration cost vs. monetary value of a print; access to conservators and waiting time for conservation) that you mention are certainly valid issues and should sometimes be included in the decision-making process.

I did not mean to say that the only choices were professional restoration or doing nothing. However, in many cases, that would be my advice, assuming the condition problem is not so severe that immediate attention is required. Rather than resorting to untrained hands working on prints of value (difficult to define, but let's say prints whose combined monetary-aesthetic value is more or less sufficient to justify investment in professional restoration), I would seriously consider, preferably with the advice of a professional, whether such prints might be held for some period until funds are available for expert restoration. Occasionally, preliminary professional advice is available without cost, and thus we can make a more informed decision about the nature and timing of restoration.

What concerned me most about the present discussion was that advice was offered about an unexamined print. To offer an analogy, it's something like prescribing medication for an ailment without knowing the patient's history, current medications, and systemic health. It may be that you, Andreas, and Marc are skilled at certain kinds of repairs, but it is too risky, in my opinion, to encourage others you don't know to try it themselves, especially without possessing full knowledge of the print.

Your idea regarding a web page offering well-balanced advice is admirable, though quite a challenge. You would need the participation of a knowledgeable, experienced conservator, and perhaps a chemist. Even in the world of expert print restoration there is debate over the best treatments in particular cases, so a well-balanced presentation would be of paramount importance. If you could succeed in producing such a page or site, you might quell some of the turbulence over print conservation.


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