Poster Artwork Restoration
Special Art Column for The WOD
Written by Michael Fett
A few months back the WOD editor Patti Hultstrand and photographer Song River took a special liking to a poster that entered my collection. The poster in question was a Daleks: Invasion of Earth 2150 A.D. What really stood out to Song was the artwork the artist did for this poster and to Patti was how the fold lines magically disappeared on this poster. Truth be told the poster did not look like this when it entered my collection. I was asked, what was my secret to getting older film posters to look as good if not better than before and if I was willing to share it.
The secret is I have been using a poster conservationist/restorer on my older film posters. A film poster conservationist does two jobs when they take the poster off my hands. The first job is to linen-back the poster, which is a process of mounting the poster to linen so the poster can lay flat and protect the poster from damage. The added value of this is that a lot of the times small tears and pinholes that are expected on any poster can become unnoticeable. The other job a conservationist does is color in the damage from the fold lines to where the fold lines disappear. Sometimes conserving a poster is not enough and that is where restoration comes in.
The Dr. Who & The Daleks 3 sheet I got a few months back from the U.K. arrived at the conservationist with some unexpected damage. The poster had acid burn from the way the poster was stored and how the chemicals combined with the cheap paper the poster was made with gave a large brown rusty looking area in it. In this case the restorer had to do some special cleaning to the poster along with extra artwork around the affected areas to bring it back to life. The restorer did a great job with this poster.
A poster conservationist/restorer can add years to your favorite film posters life and bring a poster back from the dead. You might be asking yourself what film posters are worth getting linen-backed and restored. Any film poster that is folded, has value, or may have some damage is a candidate. Posters that should be avoided at all costs are double sided film posters, rolled film posters because some collectors frown, and posters that do not hold much value. It does not make sense to spend $100 to $200 to linen back and restore a poster that value is less than the amount to linen back the poster.
With that being said let me give you some names of good poster conservationists Hollywood Poster Frames with their partner Lumiere Restoration, Poster Mountain, and Fourth Cone Restoration. The company to avoid at all costs is Posterfix this comes from many LAMP approved movie poster dealers and people who have used them.