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The Restoration of Engravings, Drawings, Books, and Other Works on Paper [Hardcover]

Max Schweidler , Roy Perkinson

Price: CDN$ 56.16 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

March 27 2006 0892368357 978-0892368358 1
Ever since its original publication in Germany in 1938, Max Schweidler's "Die Instandetzung von Kupferstichen, Zeichnungen, Buchern usw" has been recognized as a seminal modern text on the conservation and restoration of works on paper. To address what he saw as a woeful dearth of relevant literature and in order to assist those who have 'set themselves the goal of preserving cultural treasures,' the noted German restorer composed a thorough technical manual covering a wide range of specific techniques, including detailed instructions on how to execute structural repairs and alterations that, if skilfully done, can be virtually undetectable. By the mid-twentieth century, curators and conservators of graphic arts, discovering a nearly invisible repair in an old master print or drawing, might comment that the object had been 'Schweidlerized.' This volume, based on the authoritative revised German edition of 1949, makes Schweidler's work available in English for the first time, in a meticulously edited and annotated critical edition. The editor's introduction places the work in its historical context and probes the philosophical issues the book raises, while some two hundred annotations elucidate the text itself. An amply illustrated appendix presents technical reports on eleven old master prints that underwent repair or other treatment using techniques similar to those Schweidler describes; it complements Schweidler's own text in aiding curators, conservators, and collectors to detect such repairs. There is also a glossary.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Getty Conservation Institute; 1 edition (March 27 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892368357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892368358
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 2.5 x 27 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 975 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,398,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

ROY PERKINSON is head of the Virginia Herrick Deknatel Paper Conservation Laboratory at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars repair of prints, books, etc. by a master craftsman April 2 2006
By Henry Berry - Published on Amazon.com
Surprisingly, this recognized classic has not heretofore appeared in English. This translation is the 1950 revised and expanded version of Scweidler's book in German first published in 1938. The subtitle of the title page of the 1950 edition (which is shown in facsimile) is "Past Mistakes and New Methods in the Removal of Age-related Damage to Cultural Treasures in the Graphic Arts." The editor Perkinson notes in his Introduction that Schweidler wrote, "In our field one may not create the new, but bring the old into order." In relation to this, the editor notes that Schweidler's approach to the restoration of old works on paper was that of a doctor to the cure of a patient. The author would agree as recognized by his use of German words which can be translated as "patients" (for pictures), "recuperation" (for a state after certain operations are done), and "surgery" (for the removal of certain problems). With his old-time craftsman's love of his craft, knowledge of its techniques, expertise in applying them, his connoisseur's attachment to different kinds of works on paper, and his assumption that his readers share his love and appreciation and are truly interested in learning the techniques to put old works on paper back "into order," Schweidler is the perfect teacher for this unsung, challenging, and demanding craft. He imparts a complete course from collecting old paper for restoration work through handling both old works and their restoration materials, the use of chemicals, and specialized topics such as The Chemical Treatment of Painted Rice Paper to storage for long-term preservation. Some of Schweidler's techniques are now widely-known in the field of professional preservationists and even among amateurs. Nonetheless, this work is still invaluable not only for Schweidler's meticulous guidance, but also for its editor's Introduction and many notes and the frequent useful illustrations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Editing good but does not go far enough Jan. 5 2012
By Thomas J. Busse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First I offer a correction: on page 41, the word "feuchtigkeit" is translated as dampness and a footnote suggests he means discoloration due to mold. The term "feucht" has an additional use in dying to refer to colorfastness; ie. how sticky the dye is, meaning likelihood it would be removed by the ash solution (soda ash or sodium carbonate).

The book is excellent and the editorial emendations are indispensable. Regrettably, they don't go far enough. This is perhaps the product of the ultra-cautious mindset of the conservator editor. The refrain from editorial intervention turns what could have been in invaluable resource into more of a historical curiosity. This is sad because it undervalues the book's content in the process. On a side note, the book is beautifully designed and laid out, although I might fault its faux-bradel bound spine (made in China).

One of the biggest flaws is the decision to banish the editor's essential commentary into endnotes rather than footnotes. This makes reading *this* book very frustrating. Often an endnote does no more than say "see glossary" meaning the poor reader has to flip through the pages twice. I suggest having some sticky notes at hand. Furthermore, there are two sets of endnotes, and the main set is not at the end; rather, it is two thirds of the way through. I found myself turning to the wrong set on many occasions. After the introduction where the editor makes clear the valuable insight in his commentary, he puts the commentary where the reader is challenged to bother with it. Footnotes would have been perfect, especially given the ample upper margin in the book's somewhat-overwrought design, and given their urgency when the author is occasionally dead wrong.

Next of all, the editor firmly establishes his credentials as a conservator, and it would have been lovely to have made better use of his authority. Namely, the reader of this volume is constantly left to question the validity of the book's methods? Are they current? What is outdated? What is the current preferred practice? Are there alternatives? Sadly, the editor is too often silent on these points. Here, the book could have been a starting point from which to branch out rather than a ghost from the past. The editor, although he professes to avoid so, denigrates the book's authoritative style. I did not find the style offensive as much as slightly antiquated. In contrast to the academicized editorial wishywashyness of modern institutional conservation journals, it was rather refreshing.

One final point I should make, and one the editor somehow misses whilst trapped in his bubbleworld of institutional conservation, is this book's techniques do not have to apply solely to conservation and restoration. They can be used creatively, especially in paper arts. The idea that you can split paper to make old prints sufficiently translucent "for use on lampshades" doesn't have to be comic, as the editor muses. Why not make lampshades!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerhouse of restoration knowledge and scholarship Jan. 1 2011
By TripsCallerDoh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great translation of a work on restoration techniques for works on paper. Some of the approaches to restoration are no longer current but these are brought to the attention of the reader through the excellent endnotes when needed. A must read for anyone interested in the conservation and restoration of works of art on paper.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat useful Oct. 15 2013
By PV1234 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is only somewhat useful as a reference as it is unclear what techniques might be no longer considered appropriate, and it also is often somewhat vague in describing techniques. Nevertheless, an interesting and historic read for anyone in the field.

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