Skip to content

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Return to Storage

by Conservation


behind the scenes , Lorna Simpson , Women Breaking Boundaries , waterless lithography , conservation

In September the light sensitive objects that had been on display in the Women Breaking Boundaries exhibit were returned to storage.  The installation of one of those pieces, the large Lorna Simpson installation Wigs, was described in a blog in April.

This group of prints on wool felt was one of the works taken down.  Most of the time, prints are protected by frames and protective acrylic glazing when they are exhibited.  The frames collect dust while hanging on the wall, but the prints inside remain clean and can be directly returned to their storage boxes.  The Wigs prints (and other textile pieces in the exhibit) did not have this protection, so before stacking the prints in their storage box, dust that had accumulated over the 11 ½ months that it hung on the wall was removed by vacuum cleaning through a soft nylon screen.  In addition to this gentle surface cleaning, while the prints were in the lab, our paper conservator used the opportunity to measure each of the 38 prints, check the condition of the interleaving tissue and storage box, and make any improvements needed to keep the prints as safe as possible until the next time they go on exhibit.

Even though many of the pieces in Women Breaking Boundaries were deinstalled, a new group of light sensitive objects is now part of the exhibit, which will continue until January 10, 2021.  Many of the pieces have never been shown, so be sure to visit the exhibit to see new work by women artists.


Related: Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Installing Unframed Prints