sylvia steven ma conservation of fine art university of northumbria

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  • Slide 1
  • Sylvia Steven MA Conservation of Fine Art University of Northumbria
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  • Introduction Working title of research The Frames and Framing Techniques of British Prints 1700 1900: How do print frames and the way in which they are framed relate to condition and the provenance of the art work? Historical context of print frames Examples of frames and framing techniques Methodology What this research hopes to achieve
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  • Historical context o The function of a frame to compliment the art work. o Print frames generally considered as disposable items this is reflected in the materials used to create them. o New methods of producing prints meant that prints could reproduce some of the qualities of paintings. o Increased demand for framed prints.
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  • The commercial print and the Hogarth Frame William Hogarth, 1697-1764- "A Rakes Progress
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  • Print frames designed by James McNeil Whistler Framed lithograph, The Smith's Yard (1895), by James A.M. Whistler
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  • The Trophy Frame Firemans Trophy Frame,1856
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  • Framing techniques The highly damaging practices used between 1700 1900: o Varnishing prints as a cheap alternative to glazing. o Mounting prints on canvas, linen and paper onto a pine strainer. o Placing prints on acidic backings and mounts.
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  • Varnished prints Before TreatmentAfter Treatment
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  • Prints lined and placed on strainers Mezzotint Hawking after James Howe, 1816 shown in raking light
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  • Prints placed in acidic mounts Engraving in frame and mount Detail of top left corner removed from frame and mount
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  • Methodology The methodology will be a combination of both applied methods and literature searches. The lack of books written on the subject of print frames and framing techniques will be a challenge. Internet A number of technological resources will be utilised from various conservation based websites and from the extensive online literature available from the University library.
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  • Literature Review o Broader texts on frames used for oil paintings may help develop a glossary of frame terms. o There are a number of articles that can be found in journals like Print Quarterly and The Paper Conservator. These can be difficult to locate. o Historic texts like The Handmaid to the Arts by Robert Dossie, published 1749. o Illustrated prints of house interiors and documents such as auction catalogues, inventories and craft manuals may prove beneficial.
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  • Applied Methods The research for this dissertation will rely heavily on applied methods such as interviews and carrying out surveys. Interviews These will be carried out with prominent paper conservators, frame technicians, curators, private collectors and sellers of historic prints.
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  • Surveys A survey is being carried out at the National Trust property Seaton Delaval. Burt Hall has also a collection of framed prints which is used for educational purposes. Access has been granted to survey the collection.
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  • Working with galleries and archives Summer placements were actively sought for their collection of framed prints. Interviews will also be carried where possible during these placements : o National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh o Museum Resource Centre, Glasgow o The Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Artefacts of Scotland o The National Trust
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  • What does this research hope to achieve? My research aims to create a tool in the form of a document containing surveys and photographs as well as detailed descriptions. The research if successful will o Enhance knowledge of the frame materials and the frame maker. o Inform on the study of original presentation. o Improve knowledge on the means of production and the construction materials. o Be a valuable educational resource for other paper conservation students.
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  • Thank you!


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