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Military WWII  Memorabilia  US  Coast  Guards  –  Artwork  from  the  National   Headquarters  –  Collection  Care  Tips  for  Collectors   By  Scott  M.  Haskins,  Art  Conservator  

  Fine  Art  Conservation  Laboratories  (FACL)  was  recently  awarded  a  contract  to   provide  art  conservation  treatments  on  29  works  of  art  on  paper  belonging  to  the   National  Headquarters  of  the  United  States  Coast  Guard  ,  “HSCG  Historic  Art   Collection.”  If  you  are  a  history  buff  of  World  War  II  and  a  collector  of  military   memorabilia  and  collectibles  then  this  article  contains  valuable  collection  care  tips   for  you  and  a  quick  video  “fly  by”  to  let  you  have  an  insider’s  view  of  this  collection   of  original  works  of  art  on  paper.     Most  of  the  art  in  the  USCG  Historic  Art  Collection  is  made  up  of  WW2  era  combat   art  by  artists  who  were  USCG  service  members  during  WW2  and  were  tasked  with   recording  CG  wartime  history  from  CG  cutters  and  shore  locations.  In  addition  to   WW2  combat  art,  the  USCG  Historic  Art  Collection  has  a  smaller  Vietnam  combat  art   collection  (currently  housed  within  the  CG  Art  Program  collection.)  and  a  small  but   growing  recently  painted  art  collection  that  commemorates  life  and  historic  events   in  the  USCG  and  predecessor  agencies.     These  29  original  works  of  art  consist  of  ink  washes,  watercolors  and  different  types   of  pencils  and  constitute  a  small  part  of  the  USCG  combat  art  collection  which   numbers  over  700  pieces.    The  USCG  Historic  Art  Collection  has  all  types  of  art  in  the   collection:    watercolors,  oils,  drawings,  pastels,  ink,  pencils,  and  statues.  See  the  link   to  the  short  video  at  the  end  of  this  article.     Some  works  of  art  are  displayed  in  offices  and  units  at  USCG  HQ,  flag  quarters,  and   when  they  are  on  loan,  to  museums  and  educational  organizations.    “We  tend  to  be   very  selective  when  loaning  the  art  collection  pieces  out  -­‐  we  don't  do  it  very  often.”  

said the  curator  in  an  interview.    It  depends  on  the  museum  and  the  exhibition   proposal.       Recently,  FACL  received  this  contract  from  the  United  States  Coast  Guard  to  first   consult  with  them  about  the  needs  of  this  collection  of  29  works  of  art  on  paper  then   to  do  the  art  conservation  treatments  that  are  so  badly  needed.       Given  the  awful  use  of  tape,  adhesives  and  poor  storage  materials,  there  are  some   examples  of  “blatent  proof”  that  collectors  can  take  to  heart  about  what  NOT  to  use   when  gluing,  framing  and  storing.  The  suggestions  and  tips  I’ll  make  have  an  affect   on  value  and  long  term  preservation  of  these  types  of  historical  collectibles.     The  conservation  problems  that  afflict  the  entire  collection  mostly  center  around   the  use  of  Scotch  Tape,  masking  tape,  contact  cement  and  acidic  materials  used  for   framing,  display  and  storage.  Of  course,  as  you  might  imagine,  the  artists  were  using   what  they  had  handy  and  archival  materials  where  unknown  at  the  time.       Here  are  some  great  tips  for  you  of  never-­to-­be-­used  materials  that  collectors   should  be  aware  of  today:  Scotch  tape  (or  any  off  the  shelf  tape),  contact  cement,   cardboard,  white  glue  (or  other  glues  off  the  shelf  of  your  local  store),  dry  mounting,   lamination,  non  archival  matt  boards,  “permanent”  quality  anything  that  will  be   hard  to  remove  in  the  future.  Never  use  or  let  these  materials  come  into  contact  with   original  art  or  meaningful,  historical  information,  like  labels,  notes  and  letters.     Here  is  a  photo  of  the  back  of  an   artwork  that  is  the  framing  job  from   hell:  4  types  of  destructive  tape;   masking,  packing,  scotch  and   electrical.  The  adhesives  from  these   tapes  are  soaked  into  the  paper   fibers  so  you  can’t  get  the  stain  out   and  causes  yellowing.  There  are   historic  labels  on  the  backs  of  all  of   the  work  of  art  and  as  a  collector,   you  can  imagine  the  horror  of  trying   to  preserve  a  historic  label  covered   in  scotch  tape.  Adding  to  the   dilemma  is  the  yellowing  and   embrittlement  of  the  papers  due  to  acids.     So,  the  lesson  to  be  learned  here  is  to  use  archival,  tested  true  materials  for  storage   of  and  treatment  of  your  treasured  memorabilia.  If  your  desire  to  fix  up  or  restore  

your collectibles  yourself  gets  into  anything  dicey  or  tricky,  call  a  professional  for   some  coaching.  At  least  find  out  what  you  might  do  to  impact  negatively  the  value.  has  been  set  up  to  provide  for  you  ongoing  tips,  examples   and  great  stories  to  help  you  as  a  collector.  Sign  up  in  the  upper  side  bar  for  updates.   We’re  here  to  help.  In  fact,  we’ll  be  posting  more  articles  with  examples  of  the  work   we  are  doing  on  this  military  artwork  memorabilia  collection  so  you  can  benefit   from  our  efforts.     Get  signed  up  (no  cost,  no  spam,  we  don’t  sell  our  list)  and  stay  in  touch  also  on   Facebook  under  Save  Your  Stuff,  Tips  For  Art  Collectors  and  Scott  M.  Haskins.     Scott  Haskins  is  the  author  of  How  To  Save  Your  Stuff  From  A  Disaster  Home  Edition   and  Save  Your  Stuff  in  the  Workplace  Office  Edition  (Morgan  James  Publishing,  NY)   available  on  Amazon  or  as  an  e-­‐book  (50%  off)       I’ve  put  together  a  quick  video  review  of  the  collection  of  29  items.   CLICK  on  this  link.       Scott  M.  Haskins  805  564  3438  Art  conservation  questions   Richard  Holgate  805  895  5121  Art  appraisal  questions    

Military WWII Memorabilia US Coast Guards – Artwork from National HQ – Collection Care Tips for Coll  

29 combat art on paper items in the conservation lab - Check out these rarely seen works of art and get collection care tips from an art con...

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