New CAM Members save 10% through December

Interested in becoming a member of the Cincinnati Art Museum? For the month of December, new members will save 10% on membership by using promo code NEW at checkout. Join the CAM fam today

X

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Wax Treatment

by Conservation

11/16/2017

behind the scenes , conservation , object conservation , bronze , sculpture

 

This 10th C bronze sculpture of Sri Devi is a new acquisition in the lab for treatment before going on display in December. The bronze came to us with a heavy coating of wax on the surface. Wax is commonly applied on bronzes to protect the surface from corrosion and to maintain a shiny surface. When too much wax is applied details can be covered, making them look less defined. Wax can also hide pockets of active corrosion that if left untreated can cause damage to the surface. The wax on this sculpture will be removed with a solvent gel and mechanically scraped out of recessed areas to bring out more surface detail. Once the wax is removed and any active corrosion stabilized, the sculpture will be coated with a much thinner acrylic resin that will seal and protect the surface while allowing the intricate details to stay visible.

 

Image Credit: Processional Image of Sri Devi, Late 10th Century-Early 11th Century (Chola Dynasty), bronze, H. 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm), Alice Bimel Endowment for Asian Art, 2017.55.