The Works of Art on Paper Department can assist with the stabilization and treatment of drawings, prints, pastels, watercolors, folding screens, scrolls, architectural drawings, letters, and documents. The department uses all fine quality materials and techniques appropriate for each individual work. We are proud to have assisted many of the country’s most prestigious collections.
Click on any image below to view a larger version and to view in sequence. For more detailed information, see our archive of related newsletter articles.
Eva, Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) 1948. Charcoal and crayon on cream wove paper. 20.5 x 16 in.
This Matisse was poorly packed for shipment to The Center and thus suffered from numerous tears, scratches, abrasions, and crumpling upon arrival (#1). To repair the sheet, the conservators flattened the piece and mended the tears with special paper (#2). To see the result and learn more, please see our article.
New Louisville Jockey Club. Great Western Printing Co. 1897. Lithograph on paper mounted to canvas. 84 x 42 in.
This massive poster of the Kentucky Derby was water damaged, poorly backed, and grimy with coal dust. The surface had areas of loss and distortion (#1, #2), and a lengthy conservation treatment was undertaken to restore the piece to the condition pictured (#3). For more photos and details, please read our treatment report.
Chinese Tariff Map. Gouache on paper mounted on silk. 53 x 133 in.
This large old scroll was in poor condition: severely distorted, flaking, losses, and different layers of backing that had been applied over the years in attempts to reinforce it (left). The process to clean, consolidate, stabilize and inpaint the gaps was labor-intensive, but worth the result (right). For a photo of the full piece, as well as more elaboration of the process, please see our treatment report.
Les Deux Saltimbanques, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973). 1905. Drypoint on cotton paper. 18 x 13.5 in.
This print was carefully framed by an art-loving serviceman returning from WWII, but the framer was not so careful in their choice of materials. The resulting acid burn (left) was treated by the conservators to renew the brightness of the paper (right). For a more in-depth discussion, please see this article.
Hynes Family Lease, Ireland 1869. Ink on vellum. 12 x 8 in.
This historical document was damaged by water and years of having been stored folded (left), and so much so that the conservators would not have attempted to treat it had there not been vital legal information hidden inside. Fortunately, their efforts were successful both in stabilizing the piece (right) and retrieving the needed writing. For more of the story, please read our article.
Working Woman with Sleeping Child, Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867 – 1945), Lithograph on cream paper, 1927, 27 x 21 in.
The Kollwitz lithograph was discolored around the edges due to the glue used in the original matting of the page (left, with glue fluorescing under UV light). The glue was removed and the sheet archivally matted (right).
A Map of North America, H.S. Tanner, Hand-colored Engraving. 44 x 59.5 in. (left)
Map of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1894, J. Baker Kearfott. 40.5 x 37.5 in. (right)
These in-treatment images represent two procedures which are frequently utilized in paper conservation: the removal of varnish (left), and the removal of a backing material–here, fabric (right). For more information on these two maps, including what they looked like before and after these photos, please see the treatment record.
Portrait of a Gentleman, early American. Watercolor on paper. 12 x 10 in.
This fragile watercolor was suffering age-related damage as well as acid burn from a non-archival backing board (left). The conservators cleaned the piece, flattened it, consolidated the fragments and retouched the losses (right).