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Friday, May 17 • 10:00am - 10:30am
(Paintings) Cadmium-Containing Corrosion Products on ICA Stretcher Bars – Identification and Abatement

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In the late 1960s and early in the 1970s, the Royal Ontario Museum purchased approximately two dozen ICA Spring Stretchers. These stretchers were developed by Richard Buck in the early 1950s, in an effort to design a stretcher that would exert constant tension on the flexible canvas. Several institutions throughout North America purchased these stretchers from approximately the 1950’s through the 1990’s, with varying styles of construction and materials. The stretchers consisted of redwood members, with aluminum components and non-aluminum metal springs in each of the corners. Plating of the metal springs was done to create a “sacrificial” corrosion layer, likely zinc. Based on the current study, it is suspected that a number of these springs were instead plated with cadmium. Over time, they likely reacted to the acidic environments and degraded, creating various cadmium salts and fatty acids which are known highly toxic carcinogens. This presentation will focus on the technology of the constant tension stretcher, the basic and technical ways to identify affected stretchers and abatement strategies such as proper disposal and replacement. Methods of determination of the presence of cadmium will include UV light imaging as well as portable XRF spot testing. Additional analytical studies will evaluate the composition of the stretcher materials and corrosion products.

avatar for Heidi Sobol

Heidi Sobol

Senior Conservator of Paintings, Royal Ontario Museum
Heidi Sobol is the Senior Conservator of Paintings at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. Heidi joined the Conservation Department in 2007 and has participated in numerous institutional initiatives that seek to integrate conservation content in exhibitions, programming and... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Aaron Shugar

Dr. Aaron Shugar

Professor/Educator, Garman Art Conservation Department State University of New York College at Buffalo
Ph.D., University College London M.S., University of Sheffield B.A., York UniversityAaron Shugar, PhDDr. Aaron Shugar is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Conservation Science in the Art Conservation Department, SUNY - Buffalo State. Dr. Shugar earned his M.Sc. from Sheffield... Read More →

Friday May 17, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am EDT
Salon B2, Uncas Ballroom
  Specialty Session, Paintings
  • Track Paintings
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Heidi Sobol, Dr. Aaron Shugar
  • Abstract ID 19024
  • Tags ICA Spring Stretchers,cadmium,corrosion,paintings,North America,stretchers,portable XRF.