Article by Brian Ezzelle
So you just bought
an original classic aged sideshow banner and you are now
realizing the walls in your home are not tall enough to properly
That was my case
with a Fred Johnson banner I recently acquired over the winter.
After the banner
arrived I presented it to L Cleo Mullins of Richmond
Conservation Studio of Richmond, VA
for advice on preservation and storage. Cleo is one of the
principles of the studio and holds a graduate degree in the
Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and has over 30
years experience in the field. They are Professional Associates
of the American Institute of Conservation and their clients
include numerous public and private institutions and
advising to leave the red patchwork that had bled through to the
front of the banner alone, here are their recommendations for
the storage of a sideshow banner.
you will need are acid free glassine paper (I purchased on line
from Utrecht Art Supply), bubble wrap, packaging tape, and a
roll big enough to wrap the banner around (I used PVC pipe from
Home Depot that I cut to length.
The first thing you
do is lay your banner face up on a flat surface and cut enough
layers of glassine paper to cover the banner with extra on the
After you have done
that, remove the banner and lay the glassine paper on the floor.
Then lay the banner face down on the glassine paper.
You then take your
tube and slowly wrap the banner around it.
After have totally
wrapped up the banner around the tube you than wrap it all with
a nice layer of bubble wrap.
Then you can make
yourself some hooks out of wood and hang it on a wall or some
similar fashion like a bicycle rack (I have not gotten to that
The glassine paper
protects the banner from further damage after years of the
ravages of sideshow life and by having it rolled up facing
outwards instead of inwards relieves the paint from additional
stress and possible deterioration.
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