Restoration of Works on Paper

300 Drawings Restored and Re-Framed

About the Artist

framing - AMS

The environmental artist and architect Michael Singer, commissioned Arts Management Services LLC to inspect and restore all of his works on paper – collages, etchings, and prints.

This multi-year project involved nearly 300 works of art ranging in age from his first pieces of the early ’70’s to his newest work. Some were in poor condition without acid free materials. Some had never been matted or framed before.

The Restoration

Each was carefully taken apart. Frames – iron, steel, and aluminum – were cleaned, reconditioned, lacquer-coated, or replaced. All frames were custom-made. Special aged-iron frames were carefully cleaned of rust spots and coated with two layers of satin-finish lacquer. Frame screws were replaced to match the frame color and finish.

All backing that was not acid-free, foam core, or blemish-free was replaced. All mats were carefully inspected and replaced when needed by 8-ply cotton rag archival museum board. This 8-ply mat was hand-cut with no over-cuts at the corners. I used a special bone implement to finish the cut edges as per standard art framing practices. All hinges were replaced.


I used archival acid-free glue with hand-made Japanese rice paper hinges. In addition to hinging at the top as is usual, sometimes the sides were also hinged when the weight of the artwork was an issue. Acid-free paper was folded into triangles and applied to the bottom corners of all artwork to protect it from damage during handling and transport, should it ever come unhinged.

Some drawings needed to be carefully cleaned of bugs, dust, and mold. The artist was consulted before the removal of any blemishes to be certain that such marks were not part of the artwork.

Fixative was re-applied to surfaces without disturbing delicate elements such as copper foil, oil stick, chalk, pencil, and charcoal.

Many collage works required hand-made spacers between the mat and the Plexiglas to create space and separation so that the artwork does not touch the Plexiglas surface – a particular issue for this artist whose works often involve layers of paper as much as 5/8″ thick.

Art conservation - Arts Management Services

Some works were large with dimensions as much as 3′ x 8′ and weighing nearly 100 pounds.

All original museum and gallery labels on the back of each piece were carefully removed and re-affixed to the reconditioned works.

Scratched and smudged Plexiglas surfaces were cleaned and repaired or custom cut and replaced.

Finally, all artworks were recorded in detail as part of a larger project to register all of the artist’s lifetime of artwork, installations, exhibitions, and sales including hundreds of drawings and sculpture.