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268 Euclid Avenue, apt 4
Oakland, CA, 94610
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Roberta Piantavigna conservator of photographs


Art Talk with George Eastman House

Roberta Piantavigna

How conservators at the George Eastman House preserve their Southworth and Hawes Daguerreotypes.

Southworth & Hawes, Unidentify Man and Woman, ca. 1850, Whole plate daguerrotype. George Eastman House, Gift of Alden Scott Boyer.

Southworth & Hawes, Unidentify Man and Woman, ca. 1850, Whole plate daguerrotype. George Eastman House, Gift of Alden Scott Boyer.

The George Eastman House put on a Google + art talk in which they discussed what they were doing to preserve their Southworth and Hawes Daguerreotypes.

Thursday, 12th June, we hosted a live ArtTalk with George Eastman House about the daguerreotype, the first successful photographic process.

George Eastman House holds a vast, historically important and aesthetically unparalleled collection of daguerreotypes by America's acknowledged masters of the medium, Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes. The collection of over 1,200 daguerreotypes constitutes the largest repository of work by Southworth & Hawes. In 2008, Eastman House received a multi-year National Endowment for the Arts--Save America's Treasures grant that enabled the stabilization and re-housing of these unique and culturally significant objects. This grant allowed Eastman House staff to improve the physical preservation of these daguerreotypes and increase access to the collection.

This Art Talk features George Eastman House conservators Taina Meller and Ralph Wiegandt as well as Lisa Hostetler and Jamie M. Allen from the Department of Photography. They discuss Southworth & Hawes, the daguerreotype process, the findings leading up to the grant application, and the process of implementing an oxygen-free housing environment for these objects.

The Photographic Information Record finally in Italian!

Roberta Piantavigna

Photographic Information Record is finally available in Italian!

What is the Photographic Information Record?
"The Photograph Information Record (PIR) represents the effort by many colleagues to create an “international standard” for an artist’s questionnaire form. The hope is that this form will be adopted by institutions internationally and will eventually be used by artists and galleries as a matter of course. Originally conceived by the Photographic Materials Research Group, an informal gathering of conservation and science colleagues discussing research initiatives in the field, the form was designed and vetted by an international committee of conservators with input from curators and collections managers over a number of years.

The form is a writable PDF so it can be filled in and communicated electronically or can be printed out, filled in and returned by the artist, gallery, or dealer to the institution." (Copyright 2014 AIC).

Download it as pdf from this website or see also for all the other languages.

Daguerreotype. Europe’s Earliest Photographic Records

Roberta Piantavigna

The daguerreotype was the first successful process in the history of photography and was named after its inventor Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. After the announcement and introduction in 1839, the daguerreotype was widely used in Europe for the first photographic images of Europe and its citizens. The base of the daguerreotype is a highly polished metal plate, consisting of a thin layer of silver on a copper support. The Daguerreobase project is a public platform and Best Practice Network of archives, libraries, museums and private contributors from across Europe to collect and preserve information on European daguerreotypes and to spread best practice in the collection and dissemination of this information. (Copyright