Painstaking conservation effort pays off as Monkwearmouth displays 1972 Olympic Posters

By Ben Miller | 24 April 2012
An image of a poster illustration of an Olympic diver heading towards a light blue pool
David Hockney's Olympic poster for the 1972 Munich Games
© EDITION OLYMPIA 1972 Gmbh (1971), courtesy Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Exhibition: Olympic Posters, Monkwearmouth Station Museum, Sunderland, until June 5 2012

David Hockney, Serge Paliokov, Allen Jones and Max Bill were among the frontrunners for the first advertising campaign to accompany the Olympics, at Munich in 1972.

The Station Museum hosts a look back at some of the pop art greats who made posters for the Games, showcasing 19 of the 26 kaleidoscopic designs, all restored under the watchful gaze of Conservation Officer Christina Stephenson.

“The posters were in a relatively reasonable condition, but were still in need of conservation to repair and preserve them,” she says.

“All the small tears and paper damage were repaired with delicate handmade Japanese paper, as it has a very long fibre and is flexible. To bond it, we used a gluten-free wheat starch paste, which is reversible and invisible.

“The posters were then humidified, and then gradually dried out in a large veneering press, which is traditionally used to veneer wood. Conservation can be a slow process, but it’s very rewarding.”

  • Open 10am-5pm (2pm-5pm Sunday). Admission free.
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