Danica Beyll (texts) and Christoph Lingg (photographs). Materia Secunda. Vienna 2019.

MATERIA SECUNDA follows the historical footsteps of Central European plaster castings, devoting itself to a widespread but little-known cultural heritage in Europe and North America.

It is about a search of places of production, storage and presentation of casts and models, showing not only public collections of exhibits and collections at museums and universities, but also takes a look behind the scenes in depots and workshops.

176 pp., 105 colour and b/w pls. 25 x 25 cm; handmade textile cover with a plaster cast.

Materials and Techniques for the Coating of Nineteenth-century Plaster Casts: A Review of Historical Sources

Valentina Risdonne, Charlotte Hubbard, Victor Hugo López Borges & Charis Theodorakopoulos

.This review paper offers a summary of historical techniques and materials used to produce plaster casts and to treat their surfaces, as found in the historical literature. It reviews a selection of manuals, treatises, and recipe books on the art of the cast makers as well as a selection of patents related to the manufacturing of casts and the coating of their surfaces. The introduction to the review shows how relevant archival, historical, and technical investigation demonstrates that nineteenth century replicas are works of cultural significance in their own right, by means of a synthesis of background information. 

This paper also offers a brief introduction to plaster moulding and casting as well as a summary of historical recipes on how to treat the surfaces of plaster casts to change the surface properties or their appearance. This review aims therefore to provide a summary of materials used by the nineteenth-century plasterer, and technical information for the use of conservators, researchers, and curators who engage in the care and study of historical plaster casts. Examples from the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection support the information found in the historical literature.

Published online: 17 Jan 2021

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