Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Work of the Paper Conservation Intern

by Conservation

10/1/2015

conservation , paper conservation , works on paper , Georges Rouault

This summer our paper conservator hosted intern Emily Hersman.  Emily’s primary focus was a portfolio of prints by French artist Georges Rouault.  The 55 prints in the museum’sMiserére portfolio were commissioned in 1916 by Rouault’s agent and dealer Ambrose Vollard.  Rouault originally executed the works as ink drawings, but also produced related paintings and finally, this portfolio of intaglio prints that illustrate the theme of human suffering.  This detail of Plate 1 shows that Rouault successfully achieved the look of the initial India ink drawings using the aquatint process.  The print had been glued to a window mat and to a back mat.  Unfortunately, as seen here, the glue was spread across the top edge of the image.  Enzymes were used to help minimize damage to the ink as the discolored glue was removed.  Here Emily lifts off remnants of the old window mat after the enzymes have broken down glue.  The Miserére portfolio was the generous gift of Ruth Sawyer in 2003.

03/04.30:1, Georges Rouault (French, b.1871, d.1958), MISERERE MEI, DEUS, SECUNDUM MAGNAM MISERICORDIAM TUAM, 1923 (printed 1948), photogravure, aquatint on paper