Technician cleaning a matted object

Treatment FOCUS: Housing a Collection of John Marin Pieces

At CCAHA, we’ve noticed a trend. We’re fielding an increasing number of requests for housing-only projects—clients are bringing us their stable objects and asking that we make sure they’re framed or stored in boxes that are up to the highest housing standards.

There are many reasons for this uptick, says Manager of Housing & Framing Zac Dell’Orto, “As preservation education increases, more and more clients understand the need for proper storage for their objects. In addition, institutions are increasingly looking to us for help coordinating their large-scale projects, including housing and framing.”

Technician wipes glazing

CCAHA Manager of Housing & Framing Zac Dell'Orto wipes the glazing on a sealed package.

The Arkansas Arts Center recently brought several dozen pieces by John Marin to CCAHA. The watercolors, some of which include graphite, date from the late 19th to early 20th century. A portion will be put into frames designed by Marin himself—some original and some made recently from his designs. For each of these pieces, Dell’Orto and Housing Technician Anne Buckwalter created a sealed package—a single unit containing the matted work, backing materials, and glazing.

Inserted into the frames, these sealed packages will protect the works from environmental fluctuations and UV light. The sealed packages can also be removed from the frames and easily stored. The rest of the Marin pieces received custom storage mats with a cover that folds over the image while it’s in storage and folds behind it for easy placement into frames. This gives the Arkansas Arts Center the flexibility to display and store the pieces at their discretion.