Saving a Water Damaged Print

Dear Donia,

How do I save a print that's been damaged by water? 

Thomas Kincade print

Q. Dear Donia,

I have a original hand signed Thomas Kincade print that was framed, but got some water damage in storage. I took it out of the frame, but it had been glued to the cardboard edging of the frame. How do I remove the print without further damaging? And the water has rippled part of the print. Can it be flattened? Is the value decreased? Thanks, Lorri

A. Dear Lorri,

I am so sorry that your Kincade print got damaged in storage. What makes this case difficult is the fact that this print looks to be on clay coated paper which does not respond well to getting wet and then drying. I believe that this is why it is stuck to the mat. If this is indeed the case, it will be almost impossible to safely remove the print from the mat without damaging the image. The best thing you can do is to let a conservator look at this to better determine what can be done. The closest conservators to you are in the Seattle area. To find out who they are, you can consult the American Institute for Conservation's Find a Conservator page.
I am sorry I couldn't give you a better answer but these types of problems are very difficult to repair.