Anna Lagana introducing the workshop goals to participants.

The use of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) has been increasingly popular with artists and other makers since its introduction in the 20th century. It’s thermoplastic and transparent qualities make it incredible versatile and customizable. It is no wonder that it has beeen used by artists to make sculptures and to mount photographs since the 1980s.

PMMA can be easily scratched and chipped during handling and transportation, and conservation strategies have been highly invasive (reduction techniques). Therefore, the staff at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has therefore started to investigate the use of
fill materials and methods as a less invasive option to recover the transparency
without removing or modifying the original material.

This workshop, taught by Anna Lagana, and offered at Future Talks 019 in Munich, gave
participants the opportunity to practice these treatment options on damaged transparent PMMA samples as well as on face-mounted photographs. Anna generously shared her personal preferences of materials and tools, and we participants learned first hand how difficult achieving an acceptable finish is.

Natalya Swanson