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Conservation of the Frans De Vos Circus Banners


Condition of the Banners Before Conservation Treatment


A rolled banner with old patches, lead paint, glue, and tape on the back of the original canvas


Detail of the artist’s signature with surface grime and old paint abrasions


A banner being examined in the ARTEX Conservation Laboratory


A banner seen in raking light, illustrating the canvas deformation and old repairs


Typical creases, tears, and holes in the canvas support


Old stitched repairs to torn canvas and lead paint that has seeped through from the back


Surface grime on the painted surface


Conservation Treatment The goals of conservation treatment were to stabilize the structure of the banners and return the appearance to a state that more closely resembles that of the original. The aim was to also retain signs of age, wear, and use that reflect the history and life of these banners.


During Conservation Treatment


Removal of heavy surface grime layers from the left half of the painted surfaces reveals original paint colors


Conservators removing a variety of old patches from the back of the banner


Conservators during the painstaking removal of patches, adhesives, and lead paint from the back of the original canvas


During temporary realignment of canvas tears


Using a heated suction table to attach a lining canvas to the most damaged sections of the original canvas


After adding canvas inserts to larger areas of canvas loss and infilling smaller paint loss areas


Inpainting of fills and paint loss areas


Before and After Conservation Treatment

Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before and After Conservation Treatment

Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


Before treatment

After treatment


After Conservation Treatment

Enjoy viewing two of the conserved banners that are now on display in the Historic Circus Museum


Acknowledgments ARTEX CONSERVATION LABORATORY Former ARTEX Conservators who conserved the De Vos Circus banners: Barbara A. Ramsay Kristen Loudermilk Christina Jackson José Luis Lazarte Pamela Betts

Elizabeth Mehlin Peter Nelsen Meredith Watson René Sandin Joanne Klaar Walker

Consultation during the project with Nancy Pollak and former staff at The Ringling: Deborah Walk and Michelle Scalera

Profile for The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Conservation of the Frans De Vos Circus Banners  

Conservation of the Frans De Vos Circus Banners  

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