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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Enjoying a Trip to Scotland

by Conservation


conservation , behind the scenes , paper conservation , works on paper , prints , Herbert Greer French

Since our “Behind the Scenes in Conservation” posts have been so popular on social media, we’ve decided to give them more room to shine (and analyze and treat and conserve)! Each week, our conservation team highlights a project from one of their four specialty areas (paper, objects, textile or paintings conservation), giving you an exclusive look into the lab.

A group of etchings by Thomas Rowlandson came to the Paper Lab recently for treatment.  Picturesque Beauties of Boswell, 1786, is a series of 20 prints published in London that illustrate James Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D.  The Journal is a vivid account of Boswell’s travels through Scotland in 1773, and Rowlandson used his talents as a caricaturist to illustrate events and people encountered during the journey.  The prints needed to be photographed as part of the museum’s Institute of Museum and Library Services grant project to inventory and photograph the print collection.  The twenty prints were attached along their left edges with glue and thread, the remnants of the original binding, and did not lie flat.  The prints were separated from one another and the many edge tears were mended.  The prints are part of the Estate of Herbert Greer French that came to the Museum in 1942.

Image Credit:

1942.184-.203 Thomas Rowlandson, English,
1756-1827 Picturesque Beauties of Boswell,
1786 etchings on paper, bound