The materials used in the original cels during the Golden Age of Disney animation were made from cellulose nitrate and acetate, both of which are susceptible to deterioration. “Knowledge of how best to treat and stabilize artwork containing plastic is relatively new territory for the conservation profession,” said Tom Learner, GCI senior scientist.
"The initial phase of research will involve an assessment of the best methods for the identification of the actual plastics used in the cels, and for monitoring the condition of cels made with cellulose nitrate and acetate." The two teams will then be examining both the physical and thermal properties of these cels in an effort to better understand the deterioration process.
Included in the study are cels of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as other classic Disney characters such as Chernobog from the Bald Mountain sequence in Fantasia.
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