Contributions to the 7th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium 29g31 August 2012 Brisbane, Australia


This paper discusses dilemmas and challenges associated with conservation treatment of two water-damaged mixed media artworks by John Olsen.These are important and beautiful large-format artworks on paper, poor storage of which had resulted in water and mud damage causing severe staining, loss of media and damage to support.Particularly problematic was identifying and delineating the artist’s original work and differentiating it from the results of the water staining and media transfer, since these looked very similar and appeared consistent with the artist’s style.The large format paper supports were also severely damaged, with tears, creases and delamination of layers.Treatment involved developing documentation to illustrate separate layers; mapping the original media; innovative dry cleaning techniques; washing; stain removal; and tension backing application to minimise the appearance of creases.The results of the treatment were agreed to be highly successful, delivering chemical and physical stability with pleasing aesthetics.

Download Challenges of undertaking conservation treatment of mixed media artworks by John Olsen: A case history in conservation of contemporary works of art

[Adobe Acrobat PDF – 1.4 MB]

7th Book and Paper Symposium, 2012
Paper author:
Katarzyna (Kate) Papierniak