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How to preserve a pencil drawing?

momlovemomlove Registered User Posts: 498 Member
edited July 2010 in Parent Cafe
My dad just gave me a pencil drawing for my birthday that he drew when he was a young man. The drawing is probably 60 or more years old and my dad has not drawn since then, so this is really precious to me. I love it but I want to be very careful about preserving it into the future. His sister had it for most of the past 60 years, and he received it after she passed away a couple of years ago. I don't know how she stored it. The paper is a little bit thinner that a normal sheet of paper, and I think it may have been folded at one time. The paper is slightly yellowed around some of the edges.

How should I go about preserving it? Should I make a copy for display purposes and store the original separately? If I do display it, what special precautions should I take? Should I go somewhere special to have it mounted for display?

My dad had a very rough childhood and the tenderness in the drawing is so touching to me. I want to be able to pass it along to my son someday (he is majoring in art in college).

Thanks in advance for your help.
Post edited by momlove on

Replies to: How to preserve a pencil drawing?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,686 Senior Member
    You need to have a copy made onto acid-free paper using acid-free ink/photo. You might need to call a few places to find out who can do this.
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    It's wonderful that you have something like this from your dad. You can take the drawing to a paper conservator, who will treat the paper so it won't yellow any further. Framing it properly will protect it better than anything else, and this should be done using an acid-free mat and UV plexiglass - a good frame shop can do this for you. After that, the most important thing is to hang it out of direct sunlight. It will cost a few hundred dollars to do these things, but then it will be preserved for generations to come.
  • momlovemomlove Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    Thanks for all the helpful responses. Booklady, I like the idea of treating the paper so it won't yellow any further. Where would I go about finding a paper conservator? Would it be best to check with my local art museum as a first step?
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    Go to my 3rd link and in the upper left hand corner click :FIND A CONSERVATOR
    It may be costly.
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    musica's link is a good one, but your local museum might also be able to help, as would an antique print dealer, if there are any around you. If you happen to live in the northeast, feel free to PM me and I can give you some names.
  • srwsrw Registered User Posts: 1,480 Senior Member
    If you have it matted and framed do NOT let them dry mount it.
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    No good framer would do that...although it's an excellent warning. Dry mounting is for things like cheap posters only. Paper needs to breathe!
  • nannanunannanu Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I live in the northeast, Maryland, and would like the names of paper conservators in my area.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,838 Senior Member
    You do need a professional framer, not all framers know about not drymounting original art.
    Booklady approach is absolutely correct if you want to look at the original. I'd add that UV glass isn't sufficient, you should also make sure it's hung away from direct sunlight.

    You can get very good copies made (often called giclee prints), however they'll never be as good as the originals. I've put them side by side at art galleries and always end up spring for the original piece of art.

    nannanu, you could give Abigail Quandt at the Walters Art Museum a call. Her specialty is book and paper restoration and I imagine she would have suggestions. Research Forum at the Walters Art Museum
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    nannanu, I don't know anyone personally in MD, but from musica's link you can try searching here, which lets you put in your zip code: AIC - Find a Conservator
This discussion has been closed.