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