CAPS workshop instructor Alan Phenix
 

In May 2011 the GCI organized a second workshop entitled "Cleaning of Acrylic Painted Surfaces: Research into Practice." The workshop, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was part of the GCI's Modern Paints project and the Science Workshops Series being developed by GCI Education, and it was a follow-up to the first event held at the Getty Center in July 2009.

The aims of this workshop were: to continue the exploration of the specific features of acrylic artists' paints which make this type of material especially difficult to clean in many instances; to update the invited group of participants on the most recent advances in understanding the behavior of acrylic paints and on potentially useful new cleaning products and systems that have arisen out of scientific testing; and to map out a continued dialogue among the participants to open up the possibility of collective assessments of future case studies.

The workshop included several lectures to present an overview of the current knowledge of cleaning acrylic paints, with a focus on the range of recent advances in this area, with a variety of new cleaning systems being tested. However, the majority of the schedule was spent in the studio with hands-on work to explore the theory and practice of cleaning approaches and to evaluate their applicability and efficacy. Practical work with custom-prepared samples and paint films was supplemented with case studies based on actual paintings. Frequent group discussions provided a forum to explore a diverse range of subjects, including personal treatment experiences, outstanding issues and problems for individuals and the field, and useful priorities for future research.

The event was led by the same six instructors as before: Dr. Bronwyn Ormsby (Tate, London), Richard Wolbers (University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation), Chris Stavroudis (independent conservator, Los Angeles), and Tiarna Doherty (J. Paul Getty Museum), with Tom Learner and Alan Phenix from the GCI. The workshop schedule is available online and provides an overview of subjects covered during the workshop. For more information on the Science Workshop Series, see "Our Projects," "Current Projects" on the GCI website.