National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts

Bulletin 5 (III:1), 1965

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Conservation Treatment of a Painting
by the Transfer Method

by Mervyn Ruggles, 
National Conservation and Research Laboratory

  1  2  |  3  


1 'Peleg Franklin Brownell, 1857-1946, born at New Bedford, Massachusetts. Studied at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, under Thomas W. Dewing and in Paris at the Académie Julian and with Léon Bonnat. Came to Canada in 1885 as head of the Ottawa Art School. A. R. C. A. in 1894, R. C. A. in 1895. Retired from teaching in 1937. Painter of landscape in eastern Canada and the United States and the West Indies. Founding member of the Canadian Art. Club, 1907. Died in Ottawa.' R. H. Hubbard, The National Gallery of Canada Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture, 111, Canadian School, Ottawa, 1960, p. 29.

2 'The Care of Paintings: Fabric Paint Supports', Museum,
XIII, No.3, 1960, p. 144.

3 The thermosetting adhesive used for this painting consisted of a mixture of yellow beeswax four parts, Multiwax W-445 two parts, Multiwax W-835 one part.

4 Brownell - 'Autumn on the Gatineau', Examination and Treatment Report, 4586. Conservation and Scientific Research Division, National Gallery of Canada, 1963; treatment carried out by Mr Mervyn Ruggles and Mr Bernard Hamelin.

5 Manuel de la Conservation et de la Restauration des Peintures, Office International des Musées, Institut International de Coopération Intellectuelle, Paris, 1939, pp. 230- 231.

6 James Roth, 'Technique for Transfer using a Rigid Facing Support', Exposition of Painting Conservation, The Brooklyn Museum, 1962. The process of transfer in this account describes the application of an auxiliary layer of whiting mixed with plaster of Paris and gelatine to the back of the existing ground, after removal of the original canvas, prior to laminating on the new fabric. In the course of treatment on the Franklin Brownell painting no additional ground layer was introduced on the back. The painting was transferred directly to the new linen.

7 The hot table was pioneered by H. Ruheman and others. See 'The Impregnation and Lining of Paintings on a Hot Table', Studies in Conservation, 1,1953, pp. 73-76. The Autumn on the Gatineau vacuum feature was developed later by H. E. Straub and Oil on canvas, 36" x 42", 97.4 x 106.7 cm. S. Rees Jones. See 'Marouflage, Relining and the Treatment of Cupping with Atmospheric Pressure', Studies in Before transfer. Waved lines indicate regions of paint Conservation, II, 1955, pp. 55-63. An early version of a table with a heated surface but without the vacuum feature was in use during the mid-1940s at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Department of Paintings.

8 Stefan Slabczynski, 'The Large Vacuum Hot-Table for the Wax Relining of Paintings in the Tate Gallery', Studies in Conservation, V, 1960, pp. 1- 15.

9 The canvas used is unbleached Belgian linen, warp 32, weft 27 double threads per inch, supplied by Western Sales Company, 42 Lispenard St, New York 13, N. Y.
10 The heating elements are Electroflex silicone rubber fibreglass heaters supplied by Electrodesign, 9124 St Lawrence Blvd, Montreal 17, Que., who also supplied the electronic temperature controller and the 12 thermocouple temperature sensors in circuit with automatic recorder. Mr Mortimer S. Delroy, Ottawa Manager of the Electro-design Company, provided valuable advice and assistance during the planning and installation of the electrical system.

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