Мастерская реставрации графики рисунка в Отделе реставрации Русского музея | Реставрационный совет комиссия в Русском музее

The Graphic Art Conservation Studio was organized within the Russian Museum’s Conservation Department in 1955.

The graphic art conservation studio, which became a sub-department in 2019, currently employs 5 restorers (three top-class specialists and two first-class) and a research fellow. It services a collection of 191,487 graphic artworks (as of January 1, 2019).

Department Divisions:

 Oil Painting Conservation

 Mixed Media Painting Conservation

 Old Russian Painting (Icons) Conservation

 Paper Graphics Conservation

 Ceramic and Glass Art Conservation

 Metal Art Conservation

 Textile Conservation

 Carved Icon and Wooden Sculpture Conservation

 Gilded Wooden Carving Conservation

 Picture Frame Conservation

 Lacquered Furniture Conservation

 Plaster and Stone Sculpture Conservation

 Contemporary Art Conservation

 Scientific Research

 Conservation Cordination Center


Реставрационный совет в мастерской реставрации графики Русского музея

Conservation specialists in conference at the graphic art conservation studio. Studio head Inna Bykhovskaya presents her work. 1976

The focus of the studio is preventative conservation of the paper base of graphic artworks. This implies, first, a battery of proactive measures aimed at eliminating or minimizing harmful external influences and securing the long-term stability of the paper: reducing acidity to a level close to neutral, strengthening the paper base and boosting its resilience to external mechanical impact, and preserving the whiteness. The studio for the conservation and restoration of graphic art bases its work on the philosophy and methods developed by the Grabar Russian National Research Center for the Conservation of Art. The studio’s conservation specialists follow the traditional approach to removing surface pollution from paper – an operation designed to bring the work closer to its original look and enhance its resilience to aging. Particularly bad cases of yellow discoloration also have to be eliminated from the paper.

To some degree, traces of yellowing can be removed by simply washing the sheet on moistened filter paper. We know, however, that the yellower the paper, the more harmful products of oxidization that have to be eliminated. Graphic works with more ingrained yellow stains will be subjected to chemical treatment (bleaching) with a weak solution of chloramine-B. Chloramine bleaching will do more than merely purge oxidization products from the paper: it will suffuse the paper with long-term whiteness and restore the artwork to its original appearance – all this without affecting the texture of the paper.

In addition to conservation, sometimes restorers have to replace fully or partially lost paper. To restore mechanical damage to the paper base of a graphic artwork -- such as tears, creases, or complete disintegration -- the Russian Museum’s graphic art conservation team will use flour glue and carefully select their replacement paper to resemble the original as closely as possible in texture and quality. They also use mica paper, filter paper, Japanese vellum, chromography paper, and other kinds. One of the most common and traditional methods of strengthening fragile paper is reinforcing the paper base with an additional sheet. This method both preserves a high degree of paper elasticity and is good for fixing rigid deformations of the paper, usually caused by flawed mounting. In most cases, mica paper or long-fiber paper is used for backing.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for our conservation specialists is restoring graphic works from the Soviet period, specifically those made from 1917 through the 1930s, as these works were typically created on paper containing lignin and use mixed media and inferior adhesives (such as silicate-based glue). Another significant challenge is posed by graphic works from the 1980s through the first decade of this century, which often permitted egregious violations of basic technical principles, or incorporated materials of inferior quality: poor-quality paper, synthetic adhesives, adhesive tape, and so forth.


Artwork Conservation I Department Divisions | Technological Analysis | History of the Department Contacts | Video I Русская версия

Copyright © 1997-2022 The State Russian Museum
Questions? Comments? Click here to send us a message...