Art History & Art Conservation

Department of Art History & Art Conservation

Silicone Solvents and the Modular Cleaning Program

Presented by Queen's Art Conservation Program and the Margaret Light Visiting Scholar Program 

Wednesday Jan. 16th, 2019, 6PM
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
36 University Ave, Kingston, ON

silicone solvents and the modular cleaning program poster

This presentation by Chris Stavroudis will introduce the various uses of silicone solvents for art conservation in both theory and practice and will review the formation and uses of emulsions, both conventional and microemulsions.

Silicone solvents, relatively new to conservation, possess many properties of great utility to conservators. They are relatively non-toxic, have little to no odor, and are sublimely nonpolar. They have uses as neat solvents; in solvent mixtures; as protective, water-repellant barriers; and as components in microemulsions and polymeric emulsion stabilized systems. Modified silicone solvents, liquids and gels will be discussed as ways to extend the utility of the silicone world.

Chris will also provide an introduction to The Modular Cleaning Program (MCP), a systematic approach he developed to assist cleaning artworks. The MCP consists of a series of concentrated stock solutions and a computer database which may be adapted for the creation of liquid, emulsified and gelled cleaning agents.

Chris Stavroudis is a private paintings conservator in Los Angeles. He developed the Modular Cleaning Program in 2002 as an off-shoot of the work of Richard Wolbers and the Gels Cleaning Project at the Getty Conservation Institute. The Modular Cleaning Program is both an approach to cleaning and a FileMaker Pro database. He has codified the scientific basis of aqueous cleaning and solvent theories into the logic of the computer database. The program models aqueous chemistry at a given pH, reflects an ad-hoc theory of solvent gel formulation, and makes calculations in Hansen solubility space as it guides the conservator in the preparation of test cleaning solutions.

Chris obtained undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Art History from the University of Arizona and his Master’s degree from the University of Delaware/Winterthur program in 1983.