Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

268 Euclid Avenue, apt 4
Oakland, CA, 94610
United States


Roberta Piantavigna conservator of photographs


Filtering by Category: Early Process

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.

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