Giant Stuck Serigraph

Less

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Uh oh! A client brings in a Leroy Neiman serigraph that fell off the wall. It's a Super Bowl XXI serigraph with the NY Giant and the Denver Broncos. This thing has to be worth a few bucks! My job was just to replace the broken frame. Upon disassembly to get an accurate measurement for the new frame, Less discovered the parts of the serigraph are stuck to the acrylic. I'm glad I did not frame this one, but there was a pretty large air gap created by the mat and fillet combo - apparently not enough. I wonder if this would have happened with glass?

What is Less going to do?
 

Rebecca

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Yes Less, it would almost certainly have happened with glass, unless the problem was caused by the plexi bowing.

Less should probably call the owner and tell them they can either leave it as it is (stuck), or call a paper conservator to see if they can get it off.

(Those prints are the devil to work with too!)

Rebecca
 

stud d

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ok rebeca this is a question for you...can you make a humidity chamber for this? i know that if this is a valuable piece that a conservator is to be used. if it is a piece that a customer saids if you know of a way...if not it is gabage. would this be something that you would consider? after you tried to test the inks and pigments, is this what you might do?
dennnisss
 

Rebecca

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dnsy -

one wouldn't use a humidity chamber for a silkscreen - especially one that's so heavily inked like these are - because as the paper expands with the humidity, the ink won't expand, and so it cracks.

Sometimes one can inject water or water/ethanol mixture to try to relax the bond between ink and glazing. Personally, I wouldn't recommend that a framer do this. Unless they have a lot of flood rescue experience. It's not fun, it can be very nerve wracking, and you're not getting danger pay for it.

As Hugh says, sometimes in trying to be kind to your client, you can be very unkind to yourself.

Rebecca
 

stud d

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thanks rebecca, i find you you and hugh to be quite informative. not like you have heard that before...i think conservators are so smart and are a wonderful help.
thanks
dennnis
 

preservator

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Beyond the cautions that Rebecca has noted, Less
is in a situation in which he may be facing
acrylic ink stuck to acrylic sheet. That is
a REAL problem. A conservator would have to look
into what the print was made of to be sure that
that is not the case. Things stuck to glazing
are so difficult to handle, because the point
of contact is the least accessible area. Only a
conservator should tackle this kind of risk,
especially if the item has a high value.

Hugh
 

PurplePerson1

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Please tell me if this is a crazy idea or not. If the value is already compromised and is therefore no longer valuable, could you not leave it stuck, put mats over the plexiglass and then another piece of plexi glass. Of course there would by a backer behind the stuck on plexiglass. Then it could still be shown intact.
 

wpfay

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I had the same problem with a print by Nicole Simbari (same genre as L. Niemann). Large serigraph with many heavy layers of ink. The print was 10 years old before being framed and you could still smell the solvents out-gasing from the inks. The paper had "slumped" in the frame after the hinges had failed (hinges fail in order to do their job and not damage the print, go figure) and the inks had bonded to the acrylic. I consulterd with a paper conservator at the time about the best way to break the bond and rather than use humidity or solvents we attempted to use a bit of physics. I got some dry ice from the local fish exporter and applied it to the surfice of the acrylic glazing opposite the bond. I guess that the varying rate of contraction caused the print to pop loose (an audible "pop").
I know this is a bit of cowboy conservation, but having bonded to the acrylic, the print was no longer in pristine condition. It worked and the print was no worse for wear with the exception of a flattening of the pigments that were bonded to the acrylic.
It is a bit of an albatross being as I still have it. I was the framer that did the original framing and though I don't believe I was responsible for the problem (the piece may have been dropped and there was an addition of a shim behind the mat to provide ample space for the art. I also found out later that these prints were notorious for doing just this), I did replace the piece for the client. It left me free to do a bit of experimentation with the print that had bonded. I used the technique some years later to release a Leroy Nieman that had bonded to glass.
Would I do the same thing today? Not without all kinds of waivers being signed.
Less, the piece's value as a collectible is already compromised. The resale value on Neimann's work tanked in the 90's, so it might be good to get an appraisal before doing anything. CYA.

[ 07-08-2003, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: wpfay ]
 

Less

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Well, they could not remove it without taking some ink with it.

They did a very nice job re-inking and matching the coating at a very reasonable price.

It took alot longer than they said it would.

Just got it back a few days ago.

The restoration looks great, but the bigass hole UPS put in it might be a problem.

Haven't told the client yet :eek:
 

wpfay

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No good deed goes unpunished!
 

MarkG1

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The restoration looks great, but the bigass hole UPS put in it might be a problem.
Less,

Sounds like you have the same UPS guys that I do! I have a real inside track on how they handle there customers items for delivery, I rent from a photographer that works for UPS, at night, loading trucks.

From the stories that I'm told, Just be glad that you get anything without it being damaged!!

At least with new prints, you can usually get replacements.

Good luck with the bad news.

Mark
 
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