HYSICAL DETERIORATION OF PRINTS typically refers to problems such as tears, folds and distortions. In most cases, tears and folds are the result of careless handling. In general, prints without mats should be handled using a rigid secondary support, such as a piece of good quality mat board. Distortions, either local wrinkles or overall warping and buckling, can be the result of improper storage materials, but also due to fluctuations in relative humidity. Paper expands and contracts in response to moisture content in the air. Adhesion of a photogravure to a secondary support can restrict these dimensional changes and cause severe local distortions. These distortions are very common in Camera Work and other photogravures where adhesive is placed in a small area behind each of the four corners of the print.
Special thanks to expert conservator Paul Messier for contributing his expertise to this project.