...Photographs should be protected from extended exposure to intense light sources. Limit exhibition times, control light exposure, and monitor the condition of the photographs carefully. Prolonged or permanent display of photographs is not recommended. Use unbuffered ragboard mats, and frame photographs with archivally sound materials. Use ultraviolet-filtering plexiglass to help protect the photographs during light exposure. Reproduce vulnerable or unique images and display the duplicate image; in this way, the original photograph can be properly stored and preserved.

Disaster preparedness begins by evaluating the storage location and the potential for damage in the event of a fire, flood, or other emergency. It is important to create a disaster preparedness plan that addresses the specific needs of the collection before a disaster occurs.

The location and manner in which photographs are housed can be the first line of defense. Identify photographic materials that are at higher risk of damage or loss. Remove all potentially damaging materials such as paper clips and poor-quality enclosures. Store negatives and prints in separate locations to increase the possibility of an image surviving a catastrophe. If a disaster occurs, protect the collection from damage by covering it with plastic sheeting and/or removing it from the affected area. If using plastic, make sure not to trap in moisture as this could lead to mold growth. Evaluate the situation and document the damage that has occurred. Contact a conservator as soon as possible for assistance and advice on the recovery and repair of damaged materials.

PS .If your photograph requires special attention or you are unsure about how to protect it, you should contact a conservator.To search for a conservator near you.

Cabaret of Spirits ATELIER

Cabaret of Spirits ATELIER

Treatment Options for Photographic Materials may include

mold removal
surface cleaning
stain reduction (only if possible and safe to do so)
tape and adhesive removal
separation from poor quality mounts
consolidation of cracked or flaking emulsion
mending tears or breaks
conservation of cased photographs and case repair
electro-cleansing of tarnished daguerreotypes
rehousing options
four-flap enclosures
clamshell boxes
polyester sleeves
conservation framing


Hundreds of millions of photographs have been lost over the years to natural disasters, wars, and the age-old urge to clean house. So there is something special about every old photograph that's survived. Someone decided to make it... someone else, to buy it... and a lot of someones decided to keep it over the years. Whether you're the caretaker of a treasured family album or a collector who has searched out the classics of photography, it's important to preserve and protect the images you value. Fortunately, there is new information about what to do and what to avoid. And there are specialized products available to help.



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Friday, 8 March 2013

Mr. Mathew Brandy Studio

Daniel Webster, Brady Studio daguerreotype c. 1849

Theoretically New Yorkers knew there was a difference between outward appearance and the true self. In his diary Phillip Hone wrote a brief essay, “Dress,” in which he commented on the responsibility of older men and women to dress well: “An old house requires painting more than a new one.” But they also ought to dress appropriately, soberly, and not gaudily. He was scandalized by the refusal of his friend Daniel Webster to appear “in the only dress in which he should appear—the respectable and dignified suit of black.” Instead, Webster was fond of “tawdry,” multicolored clothes:
“I was much amused a day or two since meeting him in Wall Street, at high noon, in a bright blue Satin Vest, sprigged with gold flowers, a costume incongruous for Daniel Webster, as Ostrich feathers for a Sister of Charity, or a small Sword for a judge of Probates. There is a strange discrepancy between ‘the outward and visible form, and the inward and spiritual grace,’ the integuments and the intellect.”
Dell Upton, “Inventing the Metropolis: Civilization and Urbanity in Antebellum New York” from Art in the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861
One might be driven to think that the sour expression on Webster’s face in most paintings and photographs might be the result of the more restrained wardrobe he was forced into for decorum’s sake. This passage casts a new light on the old sourpuss. I agree, and no, I have not addressed it before. Brady makes for a fruitful leaping-off spot. The small daguerreotypes we associate with his early work are only a small part of his commercial venture. He also sold “Imperials,” larger than life-size portraits taken from daguerreotypes projected out on textured albumen paper, retouched carefully by painters in his employ.
I am somewhat resistant to viewing the aspect of the medium of photography marked by teams of technicians producing large scale works as “evolutionary,” or worse still, “revolutionary.” I could write much more on that (and might) reflecting on my experience of Avedon’s Portraits exhibition in the mid 1980s, and as counterpoint, the somewhat more guerilla tactics of Willie Middlebrook’s large scale works on long-roll paper. He is right to suggest that the reflective technologies also have a certain obligation of stewardship.
We pay a price for dressing-up much larger than the price for dressing-down.

Brady’s famous Daguerreotype of Dolley Madison.
Scratched and damaged, yet still an invaluable link with America’s past.
from James D. Horan, Timothy O’Sullivan: America’s Forgotten Photographer, 1966

. . .The want of absolute truth manifest in the finest portraits, is thought to be compensated by an ideal beauty, which, if not perpetuating the sitter's happiest expression, at least suppresses the main defects in his features. Youth is given to age; to the pallid cheek color; brightness to the ordinary eye; and new and fashionable drapery to complete the picture.

The heliographer has none of these advantages in his favor. His work may, and often does disfigure, but it never flatters the human countenance. If, however, an instantaneous process is employed, and a minute portrait is taken with a small lens, or a large one at a remote distance, and is subsequently enlarged to life-size, we shall have absolute truth in the portrait. And who would not prefer an absolutely true portrait of Demosthenes or Cicero, of Paul or Luther, of Milton or of Newton, to the finest representations of them which time may have spared ?
           Sir David Brewster, quoted in M.A. Root’s The Camera and the Pencil, 1864

Our belief is that the American photographers are going ahead of the English and French, as much in the collodion processes as they have in the daguerreotype.