Flag conservation

Flag conservation
Textile conservator, Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation at work

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Oriental Print Works" Patriotic Santa, a textile used as a banner and a doll.

We often speak about how artifacts that come into the Spicer Art Conservation studio are completely unique or rare. Additionally we've also commented about how one artifact that has come in for treatment has a relationship to another artifact that we have treated. This happened just a few weeks ago when we treated a pillow case from the Mexican Boarder Service from 1916. We later found out that General George Patton's early military career took place at the Mexican Border. Having recently treated some of General Patton's artifacts, it was interesting connection. (It also seems that "all roads lead to Patton" as this was not the first time we have had a connection to him. Weird.).

We certainly never thought that an 1868 print made by Oriental Print Works of Warwick, Rhode Island would have any relation to George S. Patton. We had treated a printed textile "Patriotic Santa Claus" earlier in 2016. The printed textile was brought to us by a private owner who had this piece in her family for over 100 years. Her textile was heavily stained with liquid tidelines, was heavily creased from being folded while stored and had small holes requiring stabilization. Additionally, the red dye was found to be water soluble, which explained the bleeding of the red edges that was present at the top and bottom. The owner reported that this piece was used as a Christmas decoration and was hung. The textile is listed on other websites as a banner, handkerchief (oversized), scarf, or table cover. The Oriental Print Works produced handkerchiefs and perhaps that is why this textile was classified as such. For our purposes we will refer to it as a textile hanging as that is what our client used it as.

Preservation of textiles, Patriotic Santa Claus from Oriental Print Works, 1868 textile, antique, conservation, textile expert, repair, cleaning, framing, mounting, preservation, stabilization, of historic fabric
Before treatment photo of "Patriotic Santa". The textile had been
exposed to liquid staining and was creased from being folded.

Spicer Art Conservation. The fabric is an antique textile created for the holiday season of 1868. textile conservation, historic antique fabric. Professional textile restoration, preservation, framing and mounting.
After Treatment photo of "Patriotic Santa" textile. The
hanging was brought to Spicer Art Conservation for cleaning,
repair, mounting and framing with archival supplies. 

The textile was designed by Edward Peck, who later used the print for a cut-out "make your own doll" which was printed on a full fabric sheet as craft piece. Patton had this doll among his playthings, and it is included in an exhibit of "Georgie's Dolls" at the Patton Museum of Leadership in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. This type of textile seems to have been a niche manufacturing item for Oriental Print Works; among their other unique textiles are whole cloth quilts, and textiles that featured playing cards.

professional conservation of museum textiles
From the exhibit at the George S. Patton Museum of Leadership in Ft. Knox Kentucky,
"Patriotic Santa" is among the General's favorite childhood toys.

Oriental Print Works only made these items for a short time as the company fell on hard times during the Panic of 1873; the company was sold and changed names several times over the years (as well as its focus on textiles - at some points it specialized in fine fabrics, other times bleaching and dying, and later finishing of fabrics). It finally closed in 1958.

From the Library Company of Philadelphia's digital
collection, a label from the Oriental Print Works.

The "Patriotic Santa" by Oriental Print Works is unique in that Santa is portrayed with an American flag under his arm, a red, white, and blue fan in his hat, and in his hands are toys including a red, white, and blue pinwheel. A "Patriotic Santa" banner is in the collection of the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Museum and a full uncut santa doll is in the collection of the New York Historical Society and Museum.  Additional items are found in other museum collections.

From the Collection of the Cooper Hewitt, this photo from their
webpage shows the "banner" version of  the Patriotic Santa textile.

From the Collection of the New York Historical Society and Museum,
this photo from their webpage shows the uncut doll textile complete with the
instructions. This is the doll that was made for little George Patton.

We had wondered why a Santa would be portrayed as patriotic at this time. A look at that year in history shows that following the Civil War, 1868 was a year when many of the southern states were being re-admitted to the Union, the 14th amendment was ratified, the first Memorial Day is celebrated (called Decoration Day), Wyoming becomes a US territory, the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson occurs, and Ulysses S. Grant is elected as president.

An illustrated souvenir from Decoration Day, which was first celebrated in 1868.  This day of
remembering and honoring those lost in battle was latter re-named Memorial Day. In post
Civil War America, this was very important as 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died
during the War that was very fresh in the memories of every American.
This image from the United States Library of Congress.

This Patriotic Santa is a lovely representation of 19th century Christmas decorations and how Santa was being portrayed. His image clearly draws on the Clement C. Moore poem, "A Visit From St. Nicholas", and several of the illustrations on the banner feature wording that mirrors Moore's words. These textiles are often featured on antique collector websites, in fact, if you would like to read more about this textile, visit the recent editorial written about it on Busy Bee Traders.

We at Spicer Art Conservation wish everyone a peaceful Holiday season and a prosperous 2017!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Printed Pillow Sham and the Mexican Border Service of 1916

by Gwen Spicer, Barbara Owens, and David Fitzjarrald

A client recently brought in a unique heirloom; a printed satin pillow sham with a portrait of a beautiful young woman wearing a sombrero and smoking a cigarette. Colored highlights of red, blue and yellow were painted into the design. Attached to the perimeter was an intricate and wide cotton fringe. Located on the lower proper right corner is "Mexican Border Service, 1916" painted in red. The construction of the pillow sham was quite simple, with one row of machine-stitching that secured all of the layers and the fringe together.

The silk satin had been folded while it was stored and this long-term folding had resulted in several vertical tears that were present across the woman's face.

Before conservation treatment, textile conservation, art conservator, family heirloom repair, cleaning, restoration, preservation, storage and exhibit, Spicer Art Conservation
The 100 year old pillow sham as it arrived at Spicer Art Conservation for stabilization and archival mounting and framing. 

As work began, we began to wonder about the message. What was going on at the Mexican border in 1916? With a bit of investigation, it became apparent that a hundred years ago, there was conflict at the border that included a dictator, southern migration for cheap labor, a revolution, an invasion of the United States by Pancho Villa, and the first taste of combat for a young U.S. Army lieutenant named George S. Patton.

After conservation treatment, textile conservation, art conservator, museum collections and family heirloom repair, cleaning, restoration, preservation, storage and exhibit, Spicer Art Conservation
The pillow sham after treatment. The tears are stabilized, the creases are removed, fringe cleaned and straightened,
and the pillow case is mounted with archival materials and placed in a sealed frame with UV filtering Plexiglas.

This pillow sham was a souvenir for soldiers involved in the Mexican Expedition. In fact, pillow shams have been a popular item for soldier to send home during war or service. This is a more personal type of souvenir, one that was different from embroidered commemorative "trapunto" textiles brought back from the voyage of the "Great White Fleet" in World War I.  

Pancho Villa (1878-1923) was a famed Mexican revolutionary and guerilla leader. 

So why was there a conflict at the Mexican Border in 1916?  Several things were happening; and it starts with the Mexican Revolution.

Pancho Villa may be a familiar name if you know about the Mexican Revolution. Villa joined Francisco Madero's uprising against Mexican President Porfirio Diaz in 1909, and he later became leader of the Division del Norte cavalry, then governor of Chihuahua. According to Wikipedia, trouble between the United States and Pancho Villa had been growing since October of 1915, when the US government officially recognized Villa's rival and former ally Venustiano Carranza as head of Mexico's government. Moreover, the U.S. provided rail transportation through the U.S. from Texas to Arizona for the movement of over 5,000 of Carranza'a forces to fight Villa at the Battle of Aqua Prieta; where Villa's Division del Norte was smashed. Villa felt betrayed and began to attack U.S. nationals and their property.

Villa killed more than 30 Americans in a raid on the U.S.-Mexican border town of Columbus, New Mexico in March of 1916. In response, the U.S. government sent General John J. Pershing and his troops to enter Mexican sovereign territory and capture Villa (Pancho Villa Expedition, later named the Mexican Expedition). Pershing was unsuccessful and Villa proved elusive during an 11-month manhunt.

from 1916, yet seems like it could fit in 2016..."Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it"
1916 cartoon by Clifford K. Berryman, via National Archive Berryman colletion This media is available in the holdings of the
 National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 306154.

But it wasn't just the Revolution that was going on; in fact something larger was on the horizon. The U.S.-Mexico border was a potential location for a German-backed invasion by Mexico. The threat of such an invasion was discovered in January of 1917 when the British intercepted and deciphered the Zimmerman Telegram, discussing Germany's proposal to Mexico to form an alliance with Germany should the U.S. enter World War I. In March of 1917 the contents of the telegram were made public and affirmed by Zimmerman himself. The Mexican Expedition ended when the United States entered World War I (the U.S. declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917) and Pershing was recalled.

As an interesting side note, who happened to be serving under General Pershing? None other than a young lieutenant George S. Patton. There is a strange coincidence for us here at Spicer Art Conservation as we had recently conserved several items from the collection of the George S. Patton Museum of Leadership. We of course wondered, is there a pillow case among Patton's personal items from his service at the border?

We also discovered that a pillow sham is a common souvenir that was not only sent home to loved ones by service men, but it was also received by them as well. And, it is just as common today as it was one hundred years ago.

Souvenir military pillow cases are textiles that need require preservation to ensure their longevity. Professional textile conservator Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation treats textiles.
Examples of military souvenir pillow cases

At Spicer Art Conservation we conserve historic textiles and artifacts. Whether it is a military uniform, a historic flag or banner, a tablecloth or quilt from your Aunt Sally, or General George Patton's famous Green Hornet Uniform, it is conserved with care and professional exacting standards. Visit our website and check out our textiles page for more about previous projects and artifacts we treat at Spicer Art.
Gwen Spicer is a textile conservator in private practice. Spicer Art Conservation specializes in textile conservation, object conservation, and the conservation of works on paper. Gwen's innovative treatment and mounting of flags and textiles is unrivaled. To contact her, please visit her website.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to make a longer storage tube for large textiles, especially oversized flags

Rolled storage is a great method for storing oversized textiles, especially large flags. Rolling is a method that precludes the textile from being folded, therefore eliminating fold lines and areas of weakness caused by folding. Oversized textiles, especially very large flags, require special accommodations so that they may be rolled. Since flags and large textiles come in a wide range of sizes, standardizing a rolled storage system can be challenging. First, there must be enough storage space for a large rolled flag to be housed. The second (and maybe biggest) challenge is that the supplies for rolling very large flags and textiles do not exist, they must be created.

This post is about how to create a custom sized/oversized acid-free tube by adding length.  It is not intended to teach about rolling of textiles, however that information can be found in part three of our previous posts about flag storage: "How to Store Your Flag: Part 3 - Rolling".

While I was doing the survey of a large collection of flags at the State Historical Museum of Iowa we found that the standard 8 foot long tube would not accommodate several of the flags; in fact the longest of the tubes needed for Iowa's collection was 16 feet. So what to do? What follows are images and even a video (above) that explains one method to create a lengthened tube. The process of creating that very long tube is demonstrated by Pete Sixbey, conservator and Kay Coats, collection manager, both of the State Historical Museum of Iowa.

textile conservation of historic battle flags and banners by textile conservator Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation Albany New York capital region. oversize flag storage rolled archival tube for textiles
Measuring the cut of tube for the extension and the insert.

Spicer Art Conservation, How to create custom archival tubing to support an oversize textile, flag or banner for museum, private and institutional collections using archival materials and built by a professional textile conservator.
Making the cut.

textile conservation of historic flags and banners. creating storage using archival materials and rolled storage methods to eliminate folding and creasing of textiles. war flags, battle flags, civil war revolutionary war war of 1812, world war 1, world war 2, antique flags
On the table saw, slicing out lengthwise a 1" channel. This width
is basically the distance of the thickness of two walls of the tube

Preservation of historic battle flags and banners, textile conservation, rolled storage for large or oversized textiles and flags, preservation, storage, repair, conservation
The cut out channel. This width of the channel is critical
to insure that the  insert is tight inside both halves of the tube.

creating custom rolled storage tubes for the preservation and care of the historic state battle flag collection of the State of Iowa, with textile expert and professional flag conservator Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation
Now squeezing the insert down to fit inside of the tube.

textile conservator Gwen Spicer works with staff from the State Museum of Iowa to desgn custom made archival tubes to roll the fragile oversized battle flags in the State's collection
A vise-grip and clamp provide pressure on four sides.

Textile Conservator, Gwen Spicer was on-site to assist the State of Iowa with their battle flag collection. Gwen instructed the museum on how to create extended archival tubes to safely store the largest battle flags in a way that allowed them to be free of folds which can be quite damaging to antique materials including silk, cotton or wool flags
Positioning one side of the tube.

Flag conservation, storage, repair, preservation, mounting, presure mounts, display, and collection care by textile conservator Spicer Art Conservation
Fitting the smaller tube inside of the larger. A mallet might be needed. 

Flag conservation, storage, display, mounting, collections, state house historic battle flags and banners, antique textiles repair, preservation, conservation and care.
And now for the other side! Above you can see the sliced tube
fitting inside of two 8 foot tubes, therefore creating a 16 foot tube.

Iowa's larger flags are now rolled using archival materials and can be safely stored until they require conservation treatment or are ready to be prepared for exhibit or mounting.

Happy Flag Day from all of us at Spicer Art Conservation. The preservation and conservation of historic flags and banners is our expertise and it has been out great pleasure to assist institutions, museums, state houses and private collectors with flag collections both great and small.  

Gwen Spicer is a textile conservator in private practice.  Spicer Art Conservation specializes in textile conservation, object conservation, and the conservation of works on paper.  Gwen's innovative treatment and mounting of flags and textiles is unrivaled.   To contact her, please visit her website.

Monday, May 16, 2016

So, how do I store my magnets?

I recently returned from the 5th Mount Maker's Forum, held at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio.  It was a great meeting, full of enthusiastic mount makers, all sharing great ideas and solutions with one another.

I was fortunate to be able to both give a talk, "Stick to it, magnetic mount-ineers!" and present a poster, "Magnets as an Alternative to Velcro". The mount makers had many questions regarding the use of magnets.  "What is the best way to store them?", was one of the most frequent questions I was asked.  I  realized this topic made for a perfect blog post, therefore, here it is!

As mentioned in earlier blog posts about magnets, there are four permanent magnets. Each type of magnet has its own needs for long-term use and continual performance. Which is no different from museum collections, or any other equipment that you might use. Some magnets are effected by shock or mechanical action, others are brittle and break easily, and others are effected by temperature or moisture. All of these are issues of handling and environment, which conservators and other museum professional are especially suited to understand. Depending on the class of magnet, the care will vary slightly, but, with proper care, little decay should be noticed.

Various magnets held in film style containers and separated by foam disks.

Coercivity (Hc) is the process where a magnetic field is reduced or eliminated. Each permanent magnet has its own coercivity rating. The higher the Hc, the greater the resistance to demagnetization. Understanding the Hc of permanent magnets, and other materials and equipment that surrounds us, is necessary when working with strong magnets. Rare-earth magnets currently have the highest coercivity values.

What causes coercivity?


Several magnet types are brittle* and can easily fracture. This is especially the case with rare-earth magnets, when impact and tensile forces affect them. In fact, many suppliers do not guarantee against poor handling due to this fact.  Since a sharp hammering, or any physical shock, can cause demagnetization, it is necessary to prevent magnets from quickly jumping to one another or dropping to the floor from a raised height. Once a magnet is broken or cracked, it is highly susceptible to moisture and corrosion. Do not attempt to use them by positioning them together or gluing them together. Chipped or cracked magnets with peeling or spalling surfaces should not be used since the protective coating has been disrupted (Campbell, 1994).
*NOTE:  Brittleness increases as the grade number of the magnet increases.

cracked rare earth neodymium magnets should not be used in art conservation applications
Cracked magnets should not be used.

HEAT and Curie Temperature (Tc)

Each permanent magnet has a Curie temperature (Tc) that identifies the point where the material’s magnetism is eliminated. Neodymium magnets are very sensitive to high temperature* and therefore have the lowest Tc of the permanent magnets; Alnico and samarium have the highest Tc values. This is one of the reasons why Alnico magnets are still used. Be sure to stay well below the Tc of each permanent magnet used.
*NOTE: This is why hot glue can be dangerous when used to adhere rare earth magnets to a surface.

As stated earlier, Neodymium is easily oxidized. In a magnet, an oxidized surface lowers the pull force of the affected layer, therefore allowing that region to demagnetize more readily (Campbell 1994, Drak & Dobrzanski 2007). A coating of nickel-plating, or epoxy, is applied to prevent this from occurring. Blistering and spalling of the surface can be seen, more readily with two-layer copper nickel plating (Drak & Dobrzanski 2007). Even during the manufacturing process, oxidation prevention measures are required, often using a vacuum or argon gas environment. A sintered magnet is less stable than a bonded magnet against oxidation induced demagnetization corrosion (Campbell 1994; Trout n.d.). If a neodymium magnet is used in a raised relative humidity location, a bonded magnet is recommended (Drak & Dobrzanski 2007).

A N52 magnet that was used in a salt water environment;  the magnet is corroded and is no longer usable.


Some types of permanent magnets influence or weaken other magnets. One such case is when a ceramic (including flexible type) or samarium magnet is demagnetized by a neodymium magnet. As a result, neodymium rare-earth magnets should always be stored away from other magnet types. Similarly, electronics systems that rely on magnets to hold information, such as hard drives and disks, can be altered or demagnetized by a neodymium magnet that is placed nearby. Magnetic strips on credit cards and other cards can also be affected, as can electronic devices.

The statement above appears on stickers that we adhere to the magnet cases at SAC.

Ferrite magnets can be demagnetized when their poles are alternated, a reason to carefully stack the magnets. This is especially the case with the bonded flexible type; sliding a magnet side-ways perpendicular to the polar rows demagnetizes the array. Alnico type magnets are unique in that they can be remagnetized by realigning the internal domains via another strong magnetic field. This is not the case with other magnets, especially neodymium ones, where once demagnetized, the magnetism cannot be recovered.

Each type of permanent magnet should be segregated and spaced well outside other magnetic fields. As more magnets are concentrated together, the field increases. A safe approach is to separate each type in the work area.

To summarize this information, here is a table of the different categories with the various permanent magnets:

Use keeper for Horseshoe shape

Wrap to prevent abrasion


Group by size

Stack, orienting N to S

Place separator between

Moisture and RH sensitive

Demagnetizing Field (Hci)
Can be easily demagnetized. When repetitively placed north-pole-to-north-pole ends together, it quickly weakens itself.
Keep them away from Rare earth magnets.
Can be demagnetized by NdFeB magnets. But they do not weaken others.
Tough to demagnetize. This also means that they can easily demagnetize other classes of magnets like SmCo or Alnico or Ferrite. Shock can demagnetize.

Finally, with all of this information, let me show a few images of how I store my magnets.

Magnets are stored with a separator (black foam) between and in compartments lined with foam.  These small magnets are placed in "day of the week" pill containers.
-Individual small containers clearly labeled with type, grade and size.

-storing in divided boxes of a wide range of types.

-contact lens containers are wonderful to keep strong individual magnets separated from others.

-interleave magnets stored together with cardboard, foam or matte board for ease of separation

-Neodymium magnets are separated from other types of permanent magnets as that they effect their coercivity when in near proximity.

NEVER store you magnets next to a heated surface, like an oven or radiator; the location is too hot. Why? because some rare earth magnets have a low Curie temperature and thus, will demagnetize (and become completely useless) with heat.

Gwen Spicer is a textile conservator in private practice.  Spicer Art Conservation specializes in textile conservation, object conservation, and the conservation of works on paper.  Gwen's innovative treatment and mounting of flags and textiles is unrivaled.   To contact her, please visit her website.

Learn more about magnets and their many uses in the new publications Magnetic Mounting Systems for Museums and Cultural Institutions. Available for purchase at www.spicerart.com/magnetbook.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mounting Quilts with Magnets for Display or Exhibit

by Gwen Spicer, Principal Conservator, Spicer Art Conservation, LLC

SAC has been answering many inquires from several museums and private organizations regarding the mounting of quilts, other textiles and skin artifacts with magnets (More information on magnets can be found at SAC's website).  The increased inquiries show first-hand how the field of conservation is interested in using magnets, while also continuing to find an alternative to the use of Velcro for mounting and hanging.

As with any new material or technique, concern of how magnets work and any known adverse outcomes are the most prominent subject of questions asked.  Also the challenge with using magnets with textiles, and especially quilts is that some textiles can be quite heavy.  This creates a concern with downward pull of the artifact and of sheer stress of the system that could result in failure, or compression of the artifact at the magnet site.

Antique quilt textile conservation mounting with magnets at Spicer Art Conservation

Quilts in particular present interesting problems when using magnets.  Quilts are complex; made in a range of sizes, materials, and thicknesses.  Due to this broad range of quilt characteristics, the sheer stress factor, and the need to prevent slippage or compression of materials, the potential for failure seems high.  However, with the proper planning and understanding of how a magnetic system works, its strengths, and any limitations of the type of magnet you select, the potential for failure is then quite low.

We have talked in the past about what is a "magnetic system".  The system as a whole is a significant factor in how the magnet behaves or is able to perform the task (Feymann 1964; Livingston 1996).  The magnet works in conjunction with two other parts, these three factors together create the system:

1) The actual strength of the magnet itself; care is taken to ensure the magnet is not too strong, and not too weak.

2) The ability of the metal behind the textile to be magnetized.  The receiving metal must have enough receptivity to allow the magnet to "stick" to it with its fullest ability. 

3) The space between, or the gap created by the layers between the magnet and the metal behind (or receiving metal).  These gap layers consist of the artifact and any buffering layers - mount fabric or mylar for example.

When magnets are placed on the surface of the quilt, the gap or field distance becomes an issue. Often the strength of the magnet is increased to ensure a strong magnetic field, but then puckering or "tufting" of the quilt's surface becomes visible.  Below is an image of magnets used as a point-fastener system; the magnets, while painted to match the quilt squares have created a puckered look. 

What could a textile conservator or curator do to eliminate this?

point fastener mount of textile with magnets is not the best method. Spicer Art Conservation
Magnets used to mount this Civil War era quilt are
obvious, even though they have been carefully
painted to match the surface of the quilt. The quilt is
safely mounted, but the puckering or tufting of the
quilt becomes problematic.

Our favorite solution is the Magnetic Slat sold by SmallCorp Inc.  A solution that solves the issue of a heavy weight textile by using an aluminum strip with a small lower lip (L-Shaped in cross-section) to support the textile, while rare earth magnets hold the textile back against the aluminum strip.

magnetic slat, conservation and mounting of textiles, image by Spicer Art Conservation, Gwen Spicer and may not be reproduced without permission
Grade N42 magnets, measuring ¾” dia. X 1/8”, with counter sunk holes are fastened along at 6” intervals on the vertical side.  A 22-gauge steel piece is held into a stitched sleeve along the upper edge of the artifact (Wood 2013; Spicer 2013a, c).  In this solution the lower lip actually holds the weight of the artifact, but it is the strength of the magnets that ensure that the steel piece is held back and onto the aluminum horizontal element.  The solution appears to be unlimited.  A textile weighing 60 lbs. was successfully hung with this magnetic system.

magnetic mount of textiles, conservator Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation has pioneered the field of using magnets in art conservation
Above: The aluminum slat with "L" lip and countersunk magnet (silver).
The ferromagnetic steel piece (white) sits perfectly on the lip and is
held in place by the magnets. NOTE: The steel piece is shown without
the webbing sleeve. See below for the steel slat in webbing sleeve photo.

Magnetic slat, webbing sleeve, conservation and mounting of textiles by Spicer Art Conservation
Above:  Here the slat as it slides into a webbing sleeve (one piece 2" webbing,
the other 3" webbing). Below, see it as it is affixed to a 30 foot long
weaving. The system was used to hang several weavings, the heaviest
of which was over 60 lbs.

conservation of textiles, mounting of artifacts using magnets, Spicer Art Conservation
Above: The slat is inside its webbing sleeve and has been attached
to the textile.  Special consideration is always made to test the
hanging of the textile to be sure the slat is affixed to allow the
textile to hang properly.

Problem solved. The magnets can be as strong as you want them to be, and you never have to worry about puckering or compression.  It is simply because the quilt is no longer between the magnet and the receiving metal, instead all the magnetic pull is happening behind the artifact.  We have moved from a system where the magnets are being used as a point-fastener on the face of the artifact, to a system that distributes large area pressure behind the artifact.  It is like moving from hanging a painting on a wall by hammering the nail through the painting, to hanging it with wire mounted to the frame.

Gwen Spicer is a textile conservator in private practice.  Spicer Art Conservation specializes in textile conservation, object conservation, and the conservation of works on paper.  Gwen's innovative treatment and mounting of flags and textiles is unrivaled.   To contact her, please visit her website.
Learn more about magnets and their many uses in the new publications Magnetic Mounting Systems for Museums and Cultural Institutions. Available for purchase at www.spicerart.com/magnetbook.