Salted Paper Prints
Deadline: December 16
Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard Library and the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
The Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard Library and the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) will present a multi-disciplinary, two-day program that focuses on the preservation, characterization, use, and interpretation of the salt print process, now over 175 years old. Scholarly presentations will include the technical history of the salt print process (both positive and negative images), historical applications of the process for copying and disseminating information, and innovative materials analysis.
The salted paper print process, publicly announced by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839, became the first negative-to-positive photographic technique. The ability to make photographic multiples revolutionized the way information was recorded and disseminated in the mid-19th century. These photographs represent records of the scholarly, social, and artistic endeavors of the time and play an important role in educational research across disciplines.
While many salt prints have survived as beautifully preserved images with rich tonal ranges, they can also be prone to fading and color shifts. New conservation research has assisted our understanding of these fragile items, and renewed interest in the historical and artistic aspects of salt prints has paralleled this preservation research.