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Case studies using Pemulen emulsion

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Saved by Nancie Ravenel
on March 9, 2009 at 8:26:10 pm

At Shelburne Museum, the working method has been as follows:

  1. Emulsion is shaken in the jar prior to use and then a small amount is decanted into an open container.
  2. Using a small soft flat brush, emulsion is brushed on to the surface to be cleaned and gently agitated using the brush.
  3. Once the emulsion appears to be colored with grime, it is wiped from the surface using cotton wadding or cotton swabs.
  4. The area cleaned is then cleared with deionized water on cotton swabs.

Case study 1

Dentzel carousel panel (oil on canvas) depicting Uncle Sam and Spain

FC-7.66, Collection of Shelburne Museum

Uncle Sam 2007 treatment.doc

This was one of the first objects where we tested the use of a Pemulen/benzyl alcohol emulsion.  The painting on canvas had an uneven and very yellow varnish on the surface which was somewhat soluble in acetone.  Cleaning with acetone on cotton swabs was uneven, however.  While the Pemulen emulsion was effective in some areas, some paint colors were sensitive to water, and so other cleaning solutions were used in those areas.




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