Lining canvas paintings has ever been a contentious treatment. This well-known process involves the adherence of a secondary canvas to the reverse of the original canvas support. The intention is to return stability to the original support, at the same time and often in the same action, to resolve other structural issues. Techniques and materials have evolved, often on a geographical basis, to deal with a wide range of structural problems. Most canvas paintings, older than those dating from the mid-nineteenth century, have been lined, and at times re-lined. This treatment has also been practiced on modern paintings. The choice of lining process by the conservator-restorer tends to be dependent upon studio tradition.
The 'Mist-Lining' process showed many advantages. It uses an acrylic resin sprayed to an auxiliary textile support, to create an open adhesive network that can be regenerated in-situ using solvents. Bonding occurs under light pressure without the use of excessive heat or moisture. Solvent vapours or gentle heat can be used to swell or tackify the adhesive, allowing future de-lining with little or no adhesive remaining attached to the original textile. The system, in essence, uses no moisture or heat and can be classified as a cold-lining system forming a nap-bond. The lining adhesive remains sandwiched between the two canvases with no impregnation of the original textile or decorative layers, which aids reversibility unlike the more traditional lining systems.
The technique has been used by SRAL very successfully for lining large-scale paintings, paintings previously lined with wax-resin or glue-paste adhesives, as well as small easel paintings. It has also been used to provide structural support to art works on paper and for unpainted textiles.
The grant provided by the Getty Foundation, will provide funding for a workshop, held in two-phases that will disseminate this technique to a wider professional audience. The workshops will be devised for a mid-career group of conservators. The first phase will consist of a plenary week-long hands-on overview of the 'Mist-Lining' system that will ensure the promotion of in-depth learning about this particular conservation practice and stimulate a collaborative network of instructors, specialists, experts and trainees. The second phase of the workshop consists of practical sessions in which the same participants from the first phase will come to Maastricht, but in smaller groups, to carry out a complete treatment using the 'Mist Lining' process.
The aim of the workshop would be to increase the participants' awareness of the versatility as well as limitations of the 'Mist-Lining' process. The combination where theoretical concepts are presented in the form of case studies and demonstrated through practical sessions will lead to discussion, and provide an integrated balance of practice and theory. The concrete experience of the lining demonstrations will be distilled into an abstract concept from which the implications and variables can be considered. These implications can be tested in further practical sessions and will serve as guides in creating new approaches in the participating conservator's daily practice.
The maximum number of participants for the first plenary workshop will be sixteen. Selection will take place through an open call that will be issued in October of 2018. The target audience for these workshops would be mid-career conservators who have between 7-15 years of experience in the field. All applicants are expected to be active in the field of structural repair of canvas paintings. Those working in the museum environment will be given preference, although private conservators working regularly on museum collections may also apply. We hope that there will be candidates not only from Europe and North America, but also from other geographical areas that have a need of up-to-date knowledge on contemporary practice in this area of conservation. We therefore aim for a global reprobation via a selection process through application.
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