La Salle University Art Museum
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Conservation Surveys

Pencil Sketch of Homes and Street

John B. Smith (?)

Pencil Sketch of Homes and Street, 1918

Charcoal on Paper


Gift of Professor and Mrs. Philip Rieff 

This 20th century drawing appears to be a practice in perspective, depicting geometric houses from an aerial view. The sketch is quick and incomplete, but is a fair representation of the street in question.

Current Condition of the Artwork:

The primary paper consists of two overlapping sheets of graph paper that are joined vertically. The papers are irregularly adhered to acidic chipboard, unevenly at the top and bottom edges and at each corner. The paper is slightly distorted as a result of the mounting technique. The board appears to be originally from manufactured watercolor paper block. The paper is dirty and irregularly discolored and stained. There are numerous fingerprints, with an especially distinct and dirty print at the top center.  The art has strong odor that is ‘musty’ and ‘smoky.” There is a printed paper label and partial sketch on back of the mount. 

Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Minimally clean surface/remove accretions.
  • Remove sketch from harmful acidic mount. Maintain and return mount to Client.
  • Test paper/drawing for aqueous treatment, and if safely possible, wash with de-ionized water or on a suction table.
  • Mend with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste.
  • Humidify and flatten.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

Estimated Cost of Treatment:   $1,300.00