Oct 31, 2022
Our contribution to the fine arts
Oliver assists some ten restorers and artists. He explains that he inherited these contacts when he took over the job in 2010. The art world appreciates the features DEGALAN® offers, “It’s used because of its colorfastness,” says Oliver. “Unlike other paint binders, it doesn’t cause discoloration effects such as yellowing. It also dissolves well with the use of gentle solvents and doesn’t attack the existing paint layers that need to be preserved.” These elements are precisely what his contacts attach importance to. Some of them are freelancers, some work for well-known institutions. Requests come in from places such as the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt and even the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. However, Oliver’s most unusual client is based in Vörstetten, a town in Baden-Württemberg, not far from Freiburg, “Gundula Tutt is totally unique.” This is because the conservation expert specializes in classic cars.
Gundula Tutt has already consulted and worked on around 150 to 200 vintage vehicles in her career so far. She started out in the field of historic preservation, restoring altars and the like. But, as she explains, she “went rogue” 18 years ago following an inquiry from an acquaintance. Since then, she has made a name for herself among classic car collectors. She deals with damage to dashboards, leather upholstery, and interior trim, and to vintage body paintwork in particular. It’s often a matter of stabilizing peeling layers of paint and doing so in such a way that the paint can withstand 100 kilometers per hour. The method itself is the same as for paintings but the material requires modification. A painting doesn’t have a hood that heats up, for example. “That’s where DEGALAN® P 627 L comes in,” says Tutt. She was already familiar with other binders that the company offers from her time working in historic preservation. But she now needed a product that had the same solubility and aging stability, with a higher glass transition temperature. Tutt found what she was looking for in Röhm’s product catalog; she has been using DEGALAN® for around twelve years now.
Her trickiest case to date presented itself more than a decade ago. One of the world’s most famous automobile museums, the Cité de l’Automobile in Alsace, had loaned out vintage cars in original condition. There was a sudden drop in temperature as the cars were being transported back: wintry temperatures of -15˚C /5˚F destroyed the original twenties paint finish. “It was a shock,” says Tutt. “The paintwork looked like sheets of ice had stacked on top of each other.” She nevertheless managed to stabilize the paintwork. Her method involved using a syringe to inject diluted DEGALAN® underneath the vulnerable paint and then pressing this back on with a heated spatula. The paint remains intact to this day; the classic cars are still on display at the museum and can also be driven. “I wouldn’t be able to do my work without the products from Röhm and the help of Oliver.”
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