Cleaning Stained and Yellowed Works of Art On Paper

A Charles Hamilton Smith engraved illustrated print prior to washing and stain reduction.

The same work of art on paper after treatment, which involved washing, deacidification and treatment with stain reducing agents.

Do you own a work of art on paper that is yellowing, acidic, foxed or stained?  Over time, paper can become yellowed, stained and acidic.  The causes of staining and discoloration vary from item to item.  In many instances, there were impurities present when the paper was originally produced.  These impurities, such as metal ions, chemical constituents and fungi/microorganisms can create foxing, staining and discoloration over time.  Printmaking methods may also introduce stains and discoloration.  Oils from the inks and environmental pollutants introduced during the printmaking process or during storage can cause yellowing and discoloration.  Many times, what was thought lost can be saved and restored to its former beauty.  The conservation treatments we offer can provide you with a variety of approaches and levels of care to preserve your artwork for many more years of enjoyment.  Visit the contact page to arrange a complimentary evaluation of your artwork.

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  • Reply
    January 3, 2019 at 11:12 am


    I inherited a drawing from my father-in-law. It may even be a print as it has written 28/120 with a pencil on it. It also has the artist’s original signature written on it with a pencil. The artist is Marcel Genay and I believe this print is from 1966 (from the details on the back). As it needs to be reframed I noticed that it has yellowed a lot. Is it possible to clean it? I am afraid that the artpiece isn’t made with “waterproof” paint. Who should I contact to have this evaluated? And do you happen to know if the artwork has any value?

    • Reply
      January 6, 2019 at 3:13 am

      Hello Cecilie,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Would it be possible for you to send me some photos of the drawing? An overall shot of the front, back, and detail shots of any damages would be helpful. If you can also provide the dimensions, I can then share my treatment recommendations and an estimate with you. I will follow up with an email as well. I look forward to helping you preserve your drawing.

      Best Regards,

      Marianne Kelsey

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