Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Art Conservation, M.A., C.A.S.


Art Conservation Department


Theresa J. Smith

Department Home page

First Reader

Dr. Aaron Shugar

Second Reader

Dr. Rebecca Ploeger

Third Reader

Jiuan Jiuan Chen


Lithographs featuring religious subject matter were not uncommon in nineteenth-century America. The print that is the focus of this research, however, is an unconventional depiction of St. Patrick from that historical period. Research into the development of lithography in Europe and its spread in the United States, as well as American lithography houses, technology, and materials helped to explain the historical context of this print. This study revealed that the object is likely influenced by the work of Currier & Ives, as well as other American and European lithographic firms. Multimodal photographic examination and analytical techniques including X- ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and scanning, dispersive Raman microspectroscopy, and transmission Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were used to study the materials and condition. Examination of the object indicated that it had experienced a catastrophic liquid event, causing deformations and cockling in the sheet as well as disruptive brown staining in the image area. The print also displayed mysterious shiny-grey paint and bumps protruding from beneath the surface of the paper sheet. A treatment plan centered on conservation washing was proposed, however pre-treatment solubility testing and scientific analysis provided crucial information about the media and damages, indicating that washing would not be safe for the object. The treatment plan was adjusted to focus on cleaning, stabilizing structural damages, and restoring aesthetic cohesion to the lithograph. Restoration of the frame provided stable housing for the print to be transported, stored, and exhibited. Extensive analysis of the media, materials, and condition allowed the execution of a treatment plan that was safe and effective for the lithograph and its frame.

Available for download on Sunday, May 10, 2026