PAINTING RESTORATION BARBARA TAYLOR ROY
PORTRAIT OF A CHILD
PASTEL ON WATERCOLOR PAPER
OWNER: NANCY VALVO
This pastel on watercolor paper came to our studio in a very deteriorated state. It was exposed to a very damp environment for a long period of time. Furthermore, the pastel was aﬀected directly by inﬁltrating water under the framing glass and from behind, through the cardboard and paper backings. As a result, all the surface of the pastel (front and back) was completely infested with mold. The mold growth spots were due to excessive humidity behind the framing glass. It covered large areas of the watercolor paper, including large areas of the portrait itself. The surface of the watercolor paper was wrinkled and presented a few cracks in the middle area of the painting. A substantial amount of the pastel medium had fallen. The watercolor paper was matted and mounted on two cardboard sheets. The mat and the backing were non-archival and therefore, acidic; which aﬀected the watercolor paper prior to its mold exposure. This type of damage is named acid burn.
RESTORATION CONSISTED OF:
- Remove moldy and wrinkled acidic mat and backing boards.
- Clean and treat with fungicides. The mold deposits/spots were gently removed from the surface of the painting by using Q-tips impregnated with mild solutions of fungicides. Due to the fragile nature of the medium, immersion in a fungicide solution or treatment with fungicidal vapor methods could not be used in this case.
- Flatten (remove paper wrinkles and crests) the pastel painting by using a heat/vacuum table
- Inpaint (reintegrate the image). The missing areas of pastel paint were reintegrated using professional grade pastel colors.