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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • How to store egg tempera paintingsApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-12-12 23:56:18 ... Most recent comment 2020-01-15 12:13:14
    Egg Tempera


    I'm aware that the optimal way to store an egg tempera (or any painting) is to place it upright in a rack. None of the paint-bearing areas of the painting should be touching the slats of the rack. Two questions:

    1. I would feel more comfortable covering it with some loose plastic or something in case of leaks. I understand that as long as the painitng is upright water will bead off of it. But still I would feel better if there was some sort of barrier.

    2. Living in an apartment and not having a rack for paintings, plus some of my ET's are as big as 4' x *8 I'm trying to figure out how to safely store them. I used to wrap them in cloths such as sheeting and then wrap with plastic. I would like to be able to store them flat. 

    Any ideas?

    Thanks much, Lora Arbrador

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Here are a few thoughts, speaking as a studio artist and not a conservation expert.  I'm a little concerned that you think it might be likely the pictures will be exposed to dripping water- maybe you meant from working nearby on fresh pictures?  As you indicated, vertical storage is really the best option in most studios, both to prevent panel distortion and also to reduce the surface area exposed to dust and falling debris. Panels and canvases should be kept from touching exterior walls that draw dampness- if you pull a nail from a wall and it looks rusty, that's a sign your art shouldn't touch that surface. I definitely wouldn't let plastic sheeting or bubble wrap come in direct contact with a painted surface. If the panels have bracing or cradling flush with the edges, you could attach lattice strips to the sides, projecting out a fraction of an inch to hold some type of wrapping material away from the surface.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2019-12-17 18:08:01
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    Thank you for your excellent advice, Math​ew. Now I just need to find the space to store these paintings upright. Flat as in under a bed is easier but dangerous. If they do need to lean on eachother would wrapping them in cloth be preferable to bubble wrap? And then perhaps some bubble wrap over the cloth? I'm afraid they will get scratched or damages with no covering at all and although I love the lattice idea that would take up more space. Someday perhaps I'll have more space. Luckily I'm a very slow painter so only have about 20 paintings. Thanks again. Lora Arbrador

    2019-12-20 22:49:52
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​I would just forget about bubble wrap as a long-term storage material; I've seen lots of pictures with permanent bubble marks embossed into the paint. I recommend you read Storage, Exhibituion and Handling Tips here:
    and see if it helps give you ideas.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2019-12-26 16:02:14
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thank you so much Mathew. This is an excellent resource and answers all my questions about ET storage!

    2020-01-15 12:13:14

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