UPDATE-Seven Brides For Seven Brothers-Stickers!!!

Over 90 days ago I began restoration on the sticker-challenged Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. This US 1 Sheet, measuring 27″ x 41″ had 23 paper stickers on the backside which were placed there to reinforce separation of fold lines and other minor tears to the paper. The two hours spent to remove the stickers using a palate knife and a rubber solvent was only the beginning of the multiple methods of treatment to bring this wonderful musical back to display status.

With the help of my very talented color artist during the restoration phase, my wife, I worked my way through a minefield of issues to final product. A thorough wash process including an organic soap to remove surface dirt, deacidification bath to push out the damaging acids in the paper, a bleaching to kill off any mold/foxing/stains or toning to the paper, and a buffer solution applied to protect against any future acids leaving the paper completed the first process of conservation.

After the wash phase the poster would be mounted on an acid-free Japanese Masa paper, which was glued to an acid-free cotton canvas; the support phase complete, its ready for restoration! The restoration phase would include six pieces of paper infill, Methylcellulose compound infill, application of watercolor pencils as well as gouache paints, and airbrush sprays to the border and tape stain folds. It’s been the most exhaustive project yet for me, and although I’m not 100% happy with the results, I’m very pleased with the totality of the work completed. A few pictures of the Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

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Poster as it arrived to me; the poster does not lay flat due to 23 stickers taped to the backside.
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Backside of the poster showing the 23 paper stickers that would need to be removed prior to the wash and restoration. What seperations, paper loss and tears lie beneath those stickers is the exciting part!
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Careful removal of stickers near a center crossfold.
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solvent working…slow…and steady…
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top center crossfold showed breaks in the paper.
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glue residue would be left behind that would have to be gently sanded off prior to washing.
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Seven Brides has emerged from a wash, deacid bath, bleaching & buffer. It’s ready for restoration-paper infill, MC compound infill, watercolors, gouache, and some airbrush spraying to complete it.

 

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After paper infill to six areas of the border, the entire border would need to be airbrush sprayed to provide some consistency in color. Taping of the entire poster a tad time consuming but fun!
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The bottom of the border contains printed information from the National Screen Service which distributed posters to theaters during this time. This small type would be covered with a liquid frisket then removed after the paint from airbrushing had dried.
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The poster has been mounted on the Masa paper & cotton canvas frame; it’s ready for restoration. Here the border areas have been taped off to recieve the paper infills where paper was lost either from sticker removal or handling to this 63 year old poster.
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Top center fold line and horizontal fold line which would need the most attention due to paper loss and tape stains.
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Paper loss along this fold line meant a gel-like substance is placed in the loss areas, and then a special powder is added on top to create an infill which can then be sanded flat, and receive the pencils/paints necessary to replace the missing colors.
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Color infill whether by pencils or gouache paints were challenging. Layers were necessary to provide coverage and color accuracy. Again, awesome job by my expert!
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Color artist at work…great job!
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Working on color-matching in preparation for spraying one of the fold lines that had some nasty dark tape stains.
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COMPLETE! The poster has been cut down from it’s canvas frame and is ready for framing. -I’ve recently set-up my photo area with lighting, to better photograph the before & after results.

 

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Framed and ready to go to it’s new owner!
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