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Care and Conservation
CARE OF PAINTING---THE DOS AND DONíTS

 

Painting has always been one of the most important means of self-expression of man since times immemorial. Various forms of art created down the ages thus need to be conserved for posterity. Paintings behave differently in different environments and hence every individual interested in their proper preservation should know all the relevant factors that are responsible for bringing down its level of longevity. Considerable experiments in this area has led various conservators to conclude that there are four main factors affecting most of the art objects namely -:

 

a)  RELATIVE HUMIDITY

b)  TEMPERATURE

c)  AIR CLEANLINESS

d)  LIGHT LEVELS LIGHTING

 

1.RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

It causes fluctuations in the size of the paintings. If neglected then  gradually cracking, tearing or more stretching can occur. If the relative humidity is too high( above 60-65%) then swelling, mildew, and mould growth can occur. If the percentage is too low then the Pigments tends to lose its flexibility. So it is better to maintain relative humidity ranging from 45% to 60%.

 

2.TEMPERATURE:

Proper controlling of temperature is most important for the upkeep of the paintings. Chemical reactions occur faster at higher temperatures and so lower temperatures are preferred. The ideal temperature for paintings should be 21 to 25 degrees centigrade. If there is  air- conditioning  facility available ; then it should maintain proper temperature as I said before, otherwise paintings will get damaged owing to the fluctuation in temperature.

 

3. AIR CLEANLINESS:
 
It refers to two areas namely dust and gaseous pollutants. Dirt include common dust, lint , tobacco smoke, coal , oil smoke and bacteria. Air need to be filtered on a regular basis to arrest the concrete dust. Wall space should be sealed and high efficiency vacuum cleaning is necessary.

 

4. LIGHT LEVELS LIGHTING: 

There are two types of  lightings Ė natural and artificial. Both have a bad constituent called ultra violet light . It weakens the organic matter making the pigments fade and thus the object appear old. Direct sunlight should be avoided. Do not allow the painting to be near any open window. Tube lights give out a lot of fluorescent aura so they are avoidable as well ; instead fiber-optics, halogendichroic lamp should be used .However water-colour painting is vary sensitive because all pigments were  not covered or not protected by any coatings so the light level should only be 50 Lux(mesureing luminosity). In case of oil paintings the light level should be 100 Lux. Dichroic halogen lamps dissipate heat at the back side therefore heat does not affect the painting.

Keeping in mind the above discussed factors will surely increase the life expectancy of any art object. Moreover a professional restorer should also be consulted annually.Infact preserving the past being the oft repeated slogan of the day make it mandatory for every person associated with any valuable art object to take proper care.

 

Munindra Rajbongshi



 


Taking Care Of Your Painting.

The majesty of a single brush stroke of paint is as undeniable as that of a fingerprint.

Each is utterly unique.

Background Knowledge

Paintings, like other precious art pieces, should be kept out of and away from direct light, severe temperature changes, and high humidity rates. The inclination to hang a painting over a working fireplace should be resisted at all costs. Do not lessen the value of your piece by shoddy framing or restoration. Both of which can cause real damage to your piece. As with other pieces, always speak to a conservator before engaging in any cleaning practice. You must take into account the condition of the painting, as well as the materials used to create the painting.

Care And Cleaning

Consult a conservator for appropriate light, temperature and humidity settings.
Never clean a painting if it shows any signs of damage, including cracking.
Dust the painting with a brush that is soft, clean and dry.
Never use a feather duster, cloth or any wool.
Dust from the top to the bottom.
Take care in the hanging of your piece, use two hangers for insured safety.
Never touch the painting with bare hands.


Handling And Transporting

If moving a painting a short distance always carry it with two hands, and hold it from a secure location (one hand on bottom, one hand on a side)
If possible always have another person at hand.
For any long distance moves, hire a professional to pack and transport your piece.

 

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