In July 2012, the Getty Conservation Institute organized the workshop Cleaning of Acrylic Painted Surfaces (CAPS) as part of its Research into Practice Initiative. Held at Tate Britain, this was the third CAPS workshop to be presented following events held at the Getty Center (2009) and the Museum of Modern Art (2011).

 

The primary aim of the July workshop was to introduce the eighteen international participants to a range of potentially useful new cleaning products and systems for acrylic painted surfaces, many of which have been proposed from scientific testing and screening, as part of the GCI's collaboration with the Dow Chemical Company and Tate to develop more effective cleaning systems for acrylic paints. The secondary aim was to gather from conservators empirical observations about these different cleaning systems, to complement ongoing scientific testing and to expedite conservation advances in this area.

Led by four instructors—Bronwyn Ormsby (Tate), Richard Wolbers (University of Delaware), Chris Stavroudis (independent conservator, Los Angeles), and Tom Learner (GCI)—the workshop included overviews of the current knowledge of the cleaning of acrylic paints, with a focus on the range of recent advances in this area, including a variety of new cleaning systems undergoing testing. The majority of the time, however, was spent in the studio, where hands-on work was done to explore the theory and practice of cleaning approaches and to evaluate their applicability and efficacy. Frequent group discussions addressed diverse subjects, including personal treatment experiences, outstanding issues and problems for individuals and the field, and priorities for future research.

For more information about Cleaning of Acrylic Painted Surfaces, including the workshop schedule with an overview of subjects covered during the workshop, visit the GCI website.