On Site: There Is Always Room For Silver Gelatin

In Black and White Photography, Photo Print Collector on October 2, 2010 at 9:56 am


Lewis Hine – Powerhouse Mechanic

The New York Public Library was the location for a unique conference on conservation of  silver gelatin photographs sponsored by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works with attending luminaries from major museums, galleries, conservation organizations and photo paper manufacturers. We will reference some of the sessions in future posts.

One session was of special interest to collectors: Case Studies: Lewis Hine  – Valerie Baas, Paul Messier, Denise Bethel

These experts discussed the frauds of Man Ray and Lewis Hine prints in the 90’s when numerous copies kept cropping up claiming to be “vintage”.

Three criteria for materials based validation were used to expose the claims:

  • The presence of optical brighteners first introduce in early 1950’s
  • Manufacturing logo’s timelines
  • Paper type timelines

In addition, the discussion focused on signatures, photographer labels, catalog labels and studio stamps as sources of  originality and timing clues.

The panel also warned of an occurrence  of “pink stain” starting in 1960 select (but numerous) artists’ photographs moving forward that is appearing on more and more images as time progresses.

For more information on the conference and the Foundation: AIC

  1. […] the recent Silver Gelatin conference held at the New York Public Library, Alison Rossiter was one of the artists that presented. Her […]

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