Professional art handlers from Atelier Art Services assisted project conservators during the de-installation process. The painting together with the wooden stretcher weighs around 500 lbs. and measures approximately 12 by 20 ft. so multiple individuals are required to safely move the artwork. A temporary caged fence was built to allow visitors to visible access to the project during off-work hours.
It was important for conservators to be able to access both the front and back of the painting throughout the duration of the treatment. Four temporary wooden battens were constructed that safely supported the painting in an upright position against the East wall of the Reading Room. The construction was designed to specifically allow for temporary access to the painting's surface, enabling conservators to remove the front of each batten when it was deemed necessary. Pieces of soft Ethafoam were also used to protect the face of the painting from the battens.
Performed cleaning tests with Professor Richard Wolbers from the University of Delaware to determine most appropriate method to safely remove discolored/darkened surface coatings and overpaint. The bottom image shows a detail of a solvent gel being applied to areas of tenacious, darkened overpaint that had been applied over an old tear during a previous restoration. (Picture here: Richard Wolbers and Emily Wroczynski).