Two travelers on horseback, resting in a busy encampment, were the subjects of a merry and even ribald scene in a decorative print entitled Le Voyageur Allemand (The German Traveler) by 18th-century French engraver Jean Charles Baquoy (1721-1777), after a 17th-century painting by Dutch artist Philips Wouwerman (1619-1658). This year a print of the Le Voyageur Allemand dated 1773 became a treatment project for Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) Fellow Madison Brockman, a paper conservation major whose pre-program experience included working at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, California.
The print, part of WUDPAC’s study collection, had at some point suffered numerous tears and losses along its bottom edge, leaving it physically unstable and inappropriate for display. Addressing these would be an important focus of Madison’s treatment. First, however, she used cosmetic sponges and vinyl eraser crumbs to selectively clean the surface of the print. She then turned her attention to two different types of tape on the back of the print. In the upper corners, two pieces of water-soluble gummed paper tape were likely from previous hinging for display, perhaps in the study of a gentleman who appreciated its humorous subject matter.