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August 29th, 2010

Notes On Photographs: The Photograph Connoisseurship Resource

Annie Brigman, "The Bubble" variant poses

Annie Brigman, "The Bubble" variant poses

The Gorge Eastman House has recently launched Notes On Photographs which aims to compile and illustrate relevant information that characterizes a photographer’s work. It intends to be used as a reference database for illustrating key attributes documented by conservators, curators, collectors and scholars dedicated to the study and observation of photographs. The capabilities of the wiki system allow for the resource to be a stage of discussion on meaningful information in better understanding fine photographs. There is currently a demonstrated need for a greater sophistication in the study of photographs. This is due essentially to three aspects: the rise in market value of these objects, the lack of reference resources for works of masters, and the closure of chemical imaging that is leading to a need for re-reading the history of photography. Curators and collectors have been calling upon conservators to answer questions relating to issues of authenticity and understanding of photographs–authorship, photographic processing, dating and provenance. Conservators, who have the tools and knowledge to analyze photographic materials, have in recent years directed the research focus towards characterization protocols. In order to compile and surpass platforms of knowledge it is important to create reference resources. Newly developed imaging and information tools allow for the creation of such a resource using the wiki system that will be added to and serve conservators, curators, registrars, catalogers, and all those involved in the study, observation and valuation of photographs.  Visit the site.

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