SYS Blog

Shipping Damage of Heirlooms: Liquid Tide Detergent Disaster

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By Arianna Spiller, FACL Intern A man and wife were being moved by her business; the moving company packing up all of their general belongings to go from Atlanta to Las Vegas. When the wife packed up her heirlooms and keepsakes, she took extra care…she thought.  Some of these heirlooms were the paintings done by […]

House Grime and Yellowed Varnish on Oil Paintings- What Are Your Options?

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This oil  painting’s varnish is covered with grime and discolored- yellowed leaving the original colors dim and darker than the artist had originally intended. If you are thinking about whether you should have a painting cleaned, remember this: cleaning artwork is usually an aesthetic issue/question… not a preservation question. If all you are concerned about […]

Poor Storage causes damaged paintings

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This painting is not flaking or falling apart immediately. In other words, there is no emergency action needed to save the painting. So if these problems don’t get taken care of right away, all will not be lost. Damage in the form of cracking is now in the process of forming and becoming evident. To keep these […]

Cracks Cause By Heating Vents

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Keep art work away from heating vents that will cause cracking and flaking. (Same goes for active fireplaces), never use cleaning liquids on paintings,and last but not least, never try to clean painting with solvents.  Careful inspections will help save flaking paint. If you find flaking paint, the best thing to do is call an […]

Careless Handling Often Causes Much More Damage Than Aging

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This period print by Degas (1890 ish) ripped while careless owners tried to remove it from its framing. This paper was glued down directly to the mounting board. This is a very poor way to mount art works on paper, usually done by someone in a hurry that doesn’t know what they are doing. As […]

Plains Indians Encampment Water Damage in Garage

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As can be seen in the photograph, this painting by Fredrick Schaefer was sitting on the floor of the garage when 3 in. of water flooded the area causing the paint to flake off and destroying the gesso frame. The first problem was leaving/storing the art work on the floor in a poor quality storage area. […]

Hidden flaking can be knocked off when dusting

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The photograph looks like it is in perfect condition without any cracks or problems evident. However in the trees to the left, there are 6 or 8 very small flakes of paint that are coming off. These types of hard to see flakes are often knocked off when cleaning ladies dust art work. Here are […]

Cracking and damaged paintings caused by stretcher bars

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Cracking of paintings and damage cause by stretcher bars. There are 3 types of cracks of Fine Art that are directly related to stretcher bars. First photograph shows diagonal cracking that will form in each conner, this cracking pattern is very common, and has been recreated in artificial aging tests which have confirmed that they […]

Why Do We Touch an Oil Paint That is Flaking?

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One of the biggest problems people have is to resist the temptation of touching an oil painting that is flaking. I have been amused to witness even the seasoned experienced collectors be rate themselves after they touch a flaking area and knock paint off. The problem of people touching damage painting is the reason why, […]