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Conservation

Adolf Dehn Prints

photo of matted Dehn printAdolf Dehn (1895-1968) is one of Minnesota's most important artists and a pioneer in printmaking. The Society has one of the most complete collections of his prints in the world, including 665 lithographs. Because of its significance, conservation of the entire collection was undertaken so the prints could be made accessible to the public.

Most of the prints were in good condition, and required only surface cleaning and matting and boxing for storage. About 40 of the lithographs required more treatment to remove staining and discoloration caused by contact with acidic matting materials. The lithographs were washed in a bath of filtered water to remove the impurities and reduce discoloration. More stain removal was necessary, so each lithograph was placed in a shallow bath of water under a bank of high wattage lamps for as long as needed, usually two to four hours, to remove the stains. This process, called light bleaching, is one of the safest methods of stain reduction used by conservators.

The full collection of Adolf Dehn prints held by the Society can be viewed on the Visual Resources Database.

photo of Dehn print in Solander box