Paper Conservation

Beth Heller provides conservation treatment for museums, libraries, archives, families, private fine art collectors and allied arts professionals (framers, art shippers, art galleries and art dealers).

Conservation treatment mitigates damage to individual items so they can be returned to their original use, whether that’s documentation of a historic event or personal memory, enjoyment of visual art, or as a financial investment.

Damage includes natural deterioration due to the passage of time and exposure to light, insects, pollutants or poor-quality storage materials. It also applies to tears, stains, damaging attachments like tape, or results of catastrophic events such as a fire or natural disaster.

Beth Heller is trained and experienced in a wide array of methods for improving the appearance and stability of damaged items. Methods include photo-documentation and examination of the materials composing the work of art, cleaning the surface, washing by immersion or other techniques, stain reduction by application and removal of various chemicals, tape removal, mending, in-painting to reduce visual impact of mends or losses, and preparation of the work for display, use or storage.

We perform conservation examination, documentation and treatment. Every item has unique needs. Please contact us to discuss your artwork!

Beth Heller Conservation specializes in the following materials:

  • Works of art on paper of Asian, Central and North American, and European origin, representing a wide variety of paper types and art media and ranging in condition from excellent to severely damaged.
  • Archival documents and maps
  • “Crayon portraits” – 19th century photographic enlargements with hand-coloring
  • Silver gelatin photographs
  • Paper objects such as architectural models, lanterns, fans or other 3-dimensional constructions.
  • Drawing media including graphite, charcoal, conte, inks, pastels
  • Printing processes including woodblocks, lithographs, engravings and mixed media with oil and water-based media
  • Painting media including watercolor, tempera, oils on paper

Treatment includes:

  • Photo-documentation
  • Examination,treatment proposal and treatment report documentation
  • Unfitting from framing materials
  • Surface cleaning
  • Backing removals
  • Tape removals
  • Washing by controlled local or overall use of aqueous solutions
  • Stain reduction
  • Mending and filling with toned or sympathetic papers
  • Consolidation of paint films
  • Visual integration via in-painting
  • Humidification and flattening
  • Hinging, and referral for matting and new or original framing materials

Institutional Clients include:

  • Aspen Art Museum
  • The American Alpine Club Library
  • Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
  • Colorado State University Art Museum
  • Clyfford Still Museum
  • Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum
  • CU-Boulder Art Museum
  • Denver Public Library
  • Golden History Museum and Park
  • Hayden History Center
  • History Colorado
  • National Museum of Wildlife Art, Wyoming
  • Ryobi Foundation/Powers Art Center
  • United States Air Force Academy Libraries
  • University of Denver Hampden Art Study Center
  • University of Colorado- Boulder Art Museum

A partial list of artists and works treated:

  • Rufino Tamayo mixographic prints, as well as lithography
  • Sol Lewitt prints and drawings
  • Peter Rindisbacher ink and watercolors
  • Mary Bonner etchings and aquatints, some handcolored with gouache
  • Robert Onderdonk watercolors
  • Gustave Bauman woodblock prints
  • Japanese woodblock prints
  • Gene Kloss etchings
  • Diego Rivera watercolor, lithographs
  • Rene Magritte, serigraphs
  • Eugene Delacroix, lithographs
  • Picasso linocut poster
  • Jeff Koons photographs
  • Camille Pissaro watercolor
  • Charles Deaton architectural models
  • Andy Warhol serigraphs
  • 10th century Catalonian parchment documents
  • 14th-19th century Indian and Islamic miniature paintings