Conservation of Easel Paintings  book cover
2nd Edition

Conservation of Easel Paintings

ISBN 9780367547646
Published May 30, 2022 by Routledge
948 Pages 320 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Conservation of Easel Paintings, Second Edition provides a much-anticipated update to the previous edition, which has come to be known internationally as an invaluable and comprehensive text on the history, philosophy and methods of the treatment of easel paintings.

Including 49 chapters written by more than 90 respected authors from around the world, this volume offers the necessary background knowledge in technical art history, artists’ materials and scientific methods of examination and documentation. Later sections of the book provide information about the varying approaches and methods for treatment and issues of preventive conservation, as well as valuable reflections on storage, shipping, and exhibition. Including exciting developments that have taken place since the last edition was published, the book also covers new techniques of examination, especially MacroXRF scanning and Reflectance Transmission Imagery. Drawing on research presented at recent professional conferences, information about innovative methods for cleaning modern and contemporary paintings and insights into modern oil paints is also included.

Incorporating the latest regulations and understanding of health and safety practices and integrating theory with practice throughout, Conservation of Easel Paintings, Second Edition will continue to be an indispensable reference for practicing conservators. It will also be an essential resource for students taking conservation courses around the world.

Table of Contents


Technical art history, examination, documentation, and scientific analysis

1 Art technological source research: documentary sources on European painting to the twentieth century, with Appendices I–VII

Jilleen Nadolny, Mark Clarke, Erma Hermens, Ann Massing, and Leslie Carlyle

2 Exploring the grammar of oil paint through the use of historically accurate reconstructions

Leslie Carlyle

3 Collecting and archiving information from living artists for the conservation of contemporary art

Ysbrand Hummelen and Tatja Scholte, with an appendix of additional archival sources

A history of Western easel painting materials from the early Renaissance to 2020

4 History and use of panels or other rigid supports for easel paintings

Edited by Jørgen Wadum and Noëlle Streeton

5 History of fabric supports

Christina Young, with a section on canvas stencils by Alexander W. Katlan

6 Stretchers, tensioning, and attachments

Barbara A. Buckley

7 Grounds, 1400– 1900

Maartje Stols- Witlox

Including: Grounds in the twentieth century and beyond

Bronwyn Ormsby and Mark Gottsegen

8 Pigments in Western easel painting

Nicholas Eastaugh, Jilleen Nadolny, and Sarah Lowengard

Including: Binding media

Erma Hermens and Joyce Townsend

9 Ageing and deterioration of traditional oil and tempera paints

Annelies van Loon, Petria Noble, and Aviva Burnstock

10 Modern paints

10.1: Modern synthetic polymer paints

Tom Learner

10.2: Modern oil paints

Klaas Jan van den Berg, Judith Lee, and Bronwyn Ormsby

11 A brief survey of historical varnishes

Alan Phenix and Joyce Townsend

12 Varnishing of acrylic paintings by artists

Mark Golden

Techniques of examination and documentation used by the conservator and conservation scientist

13 Written documentation for paintings conservation

Clare Finn

14 Image documentation for paintings conservation

David Saunders and Loa Ludvigsen

15 Notes on the history of conservation documentation: examples from the UK and USA

Morwenna Blewett

16 The classification of craquelure patterns

Spike Bucklow

17 The technical examination and documentation of easel paintings

Rhona MacBeth and Caitlin Breare

18 Optical microscopy

Nicholas Eastaugh and Valentine Walsh

19 Identification of textile fibres found in common painting supports

Debora D. Mayer

20 Cross- section microscopy analysis and fluorescent staining

Richard C. Wolbers, Susan L. Buck, and Peggy Olley

21 A history of early scientific examination and analysis of painting materials ca. 1780 to the mid- twentieth century

Jilleen Nadolny

22 Research into and analysis of the materials of easel paintings

Joyce Townsend, Katrien Keune, and Jaap Boon


Methods and approaches for the treatment and care of easel paintings

Structural conservation of easel paintings

23 Consolidation of flaking paint and ground

Michael von der Goltz, Ina Birkenbeul, Isabel Horovitz, Morwenna Blewett, and Irina Dolgikh

24 Tear mending and other structural treatments of canvas paintings, before or instead of lining

Winfried Heiber, Carolyn Tomkiewicz, Mikkel Scharff, and Rustin Levenson

25 Lining easel paintings

Stephen Hackney, Joan Reifsnyder, Mireille te Marvelde, and Mikkel Scharff

26 The structural conservation of paintings on wooden panel supports

Paul Ackroyd

The cleaning of easel paintings

27 Picture cleaning: positivism and metaphysics

David Bomford

28 Research on the Pettenkofer method and the historical understanding of paint film swelling and interaction

Sibylle Schmitt

29 Considerations on removing or retaining overpainted additions and alterations

Michael von der Goltz and Joyce Hill Stoner

30 Aqueous methods for the cleaning of paintings

Richard Wolbers and Christopher Stavroudis, with revisions and additions by Matthew Cushman

31 Removal of varnish: organic solvents as cleaning agents

Alan Phenix and Richard Wolbers, updated by Joyce Townsend, Stefan Zumbühl, and Angelica Bartoletti with Judith Lee and Bronwyn Ormsby

32 Case study in the use of lasers to remove overpaint from Ad Reinhardt’s Black Painting, 1960– 66

Lena Stringari

33 Cleaning concerns for acrylic emulsion paints

Bronwyn Ormsby and Tom Learner

Compensation: filling, retouching/ inpainting, varnishing (or not)

34 History of visual compensation for paintings

Jilleen Nadolny

35 Filling

Laura Fuster- López

36 The imitative retouching of easel paintings

Shawn Digney- Peer, Karen Thomas, Roy Perry, Joyce Townsend, and Stephen Gritt

37 Varnishing as part of the conservation treatment of easel paintings

Michael von der Goltz, Robert G. Proctor, Jr, Jill Whitten, Lance Mayer, and Gay Myers, with Ann Hoenigswald and Michael Swicklik


Preventive conservation, health and safety, outreach, and professional organisations

38 Travelling exhibitions and transporting paintings

Barbara A. Ramsay

39 Storage of easel paintings

Tom Dixon

40 The lighting of easel paintings

Jim Druzik and Stefan Michalski

41 Understanding the deterioration of paintings by microorganisms and insects

Karin Petersen and Jens Klocke

42 The sustainable conservation management of exhibitions

Jeremy Hutchings

43 Emergency preparedness and recovery

Rustin Levenson

44 Framing, glazing, backing, and hanging of paintings on canvas

Tom Dixon

45 Framing and microclimate enclosures for panel paintings

Ian McClure

46 Health and safety concerns in the paintings conservation studio

Monona Rossol, Mary McGinn, and Joyce H. Townsend

47 International public outreach projects

Joyce Hill Stoner

48 Recommending materials to artists

Brian Baade and Kristin deGhetaldi

49 Conservation organisations and professional standards

Rebecca Rushfield

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Joyce Hill Stoner is Rosenberg Professor in the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum, where she has taught paintings conservation since 1976. She was awarded the American Institute for Conservation’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2003 and the CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation in 2011.

Rebecca Rushfield is a New York City-based conservation consultant with an interest in the history and literature of the field. She is active in the work of the American Institute for Conservation and the ICOM Committee for Conservation, and received the Gettens Award for outstanding service to the AIC.