Treatment FOCUS: Amos Ashanti Johnson's Pastels
Treating pastels is always challenging due to the delicate, crumbly nature of the media. They also present handling and transport issues that must be considered during housing. When two large pastels from the University of Delaware Museums came to CCAHA, conservators had to balance improving their aesthetic appearance and overall stability while minimizing risk.
The pastels from the University of Delaware, called Hermes Trigmegistus and African Rainbow, are by the artist Amos Ashanti Johnson. Completed in 1977, the vibrant pieces each measure roughly 4 by 7.5 feet. When they arrived at CCAHA, the works were pressing up against the acrylic glass, or “glazing” of their frames, which had caused the paper to buckle and some of the pastel to stick to the glazing. The pastels also had some mold growth and damaging tape mends.