Modernized Stretcher for Paintings on Canvas

A new aluminum stretcher that does not employ conventional keys, expansion bolts, or springs for tension adjustment has been developed. The tension adjustment is achieved by moving the stretcher bars in each direction independently by turning thumbscrews positioned along the stretcher. This stretcher can be used to strengthen an existing stretcher or as an artist-grade stretcher. Its construction and mechanical properties were analyzed and compared with traditional wooden stretchers with keys to examine craquelure patterns incurred on the canvas and assess any deformation resulting from the two stretcher systems. Expansion by means of movable aluminum bars has greater impact at the center of the canvas and does not bend the stretcher. Further research is required to gain a better understanding of mechanical stresses resulting from expansion and methods of tension adjustment.

Tsang, Jia-sun, Ines Madruga Carvalho Caldeira, Don Williams, Rick Pelasara, and Robert Patterson. 2013. Modernized Stretcher for Paintings on Canvas: Assessment and Observation, AIC Paintings Specialty Group Postprints: Papers Presented at the 41st Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Indianapolis, Indiana, May 29-June 1, 2013, Barbara Buckley, compiler, 26: 91-113. (NOTE: presented in 2013, published in 2017)