PMG History of Mounts
In progress: Seeking additional comments and images to develop this section
Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog
History of Mounts and Mounting Techniques
Date: Initiated July 2014
Contributors: Alisha Chipman, Amanda Maloney, Stephanie Watkins
The Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog is created and maintained by the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works as a convenience for the membership. The treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. The reader assumes responsibility for any application results. Best professional judgement is necessary when using or interpreting information provided.
History of Mount Use
- Many paper-based photographs were mounted on thick, heavy paper and paper-board cards for stabilization (reduce curling), to reduce damage (creasing, tearing), and for ease of transport. However, not all paper-based photographs were mounted at the time they were made.
- Contemporary cultural norms also dictated mounting, such as with carte d'visites in the 19th c.
- Some photographers mount their photographs for aesthetics, such as 19th c. Pictorialist and Modernist Photographers, examples: Frederick Evans, F. Holland Day, . Often, multiple, gray, green, brown, tan heavy weight papers sometimes combined with lightweight Japanese papers were used as mounts.
- Commercial manufactures, such as Willis and Clements company, amongst others, routinely sold stock mounts. While some are solid color, "Rembrandt" mounts are variegated: going from lightest in one corner to darkest in the opposite corner.
- Some photographers signed and dated the mount (or the matting) instead of the photograph.
Considerations For Treatment
- Signed mounts are part of the provenance of the photograph and should be kept whenever possible.
- It is generally agreed that historically unmounted pristine prints should be left unmounted whenever possible.
- Multiple layer paper mounts can have differing expansion and contraction rates. Disassembling and reassembling can be an exercise in mapping expansion rates and times for different papers to ensure accurate re-alignment.
- Commercial mounts are often manufactured of acidic woodpulp cores. Broken, cracked corners of the mount and photograph often result from handling brittle mounts.
- PMMC used in face mounting is easily scratched. See Erin Murphy's research (in Reference section) for research on dusting and cleaning face mounted photographs.
- Batterbury, D. 1929. "Artistic mounting and framing of photographs". Photo-Era LXIII(6):306-307.
- Bell, N. 1996. Historic framing and presentation of watercolours, drawings, and prints. Worcester: Institute of Paper Conservation.
- Hasluck, E. 1906. "Mounting and framing photographs". The book of photography. London: Cassell and co. 273-287.
- Rayner, J. et al. 2005. Art on paper: Mounting and housing. London: Archetype Publications.
- Snodgrass, L. 1925. "Finishing". The science and practice of photographic printing. Rochester: Falk publishing co. 190-199.
- Staneff, Laura Downey. 2005. "The photographic mount: A brief historical outline". Art on paper: Mounting and housing, ed. J.Rayner etal. London: Archetype Publications. 13-20.
- Time Life Books. 1972. "The many ways of enjoying photographs". Caring for photographs: Display, storage, restoration. New York: Time Life Books. 122-123.
- Weinstein, R. A. and L. Booth. 1977. "Mounting photographic prints". Collection, use, and care of historical photographs. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History. 142.
- Anonymous. 1904. "The most effective mountant". Photo-Beacon 17 (3): 96.
- Anonymous. 1904. "Some further notes upon mountants, wet and dry". The Photo-Beacon16 (8): 253.
- Eaton, W. 1941. "Adhesives used in photography". The Complete Photographer (1), September 2: 71-74.
- Hendriks, Klaus B. and R. K. Palmer. 1993. "On the cause of edge fading in early photographic prints". Topics in Photographic Preservation 5: 146-150.
- Maddox, B. 1987. "Cold mount adhesives". International Bulletin for Photographic Documentation of the Visual Arts14 (1): 36.
- Martin, J. 1862. "On the adhesive materials employed for mounting photographs". The British Journal of Photography, August 15: 305-306, 350-351.
- McCabe Constance and Kimberly Schenck. 1989. "Preliminary testing of adhesives used in photographic conservation". Topics in Photographic Preservation 3: 52-61.
- McGlinchey, C. and Y. Bing. 2004. "The development of ultra-cool melt adhesives for mounting resin-coated (RC) photographic papers". Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology VII: Materials Research Society Symposium. 321-330.
- Sinclair, C. 1857. "Experiments on the various adhesive substances used in mounting photographs, as affecting the permanence of the prints". Journal of the Photographic Society 4 (57) Aug. 21: 15-16.
- Sinclair, C. 1858. "An account of the continuation of former experiments on the adhesive substances used in mounting photographs as affecting the permanence of the print". Journal of the Photographic Society 4 (67) June 21:231.
OVERALL WET MOUNTING
- Anonymous. 1914. "Rules in Mounting". The British journal of photography (October 9): 756-757.
- Anonymous. 1863. "Mounting photographs". The Photographic News, October 23: 516.
- Gulliver, T. 1863. "Mounting photographs to plate-paper". The British Journal of Photography June 1: 243.
- Heisch, C. 1855. "Mounting photographic prints". Journal of the Photographic Society 2 (30) May 21: 173.
- Hepburn, J. 1855. "Mounting photographic prints". Journal of the Photographic Society 2 (30) May 21: 174.
- How, J. 1855. "Method of mounting photographs". On the production of positive proofs from waxed paper, collodion, and other negatives. London: George Knight and sons. 21-23.
- Redfield, R. S. 1888. "Preparing photographs for exhibition". American Journal of Photography January: 7-10.
- Simpson, G. W. 1861. "On mounting photographs". The Photographic News 5 (168) November 22: 551-553.
- Sutton, T. 1859. "Mounting stereoscopic pictures". The American journal of photography and the applied arts and sciences 2 (7) Sept. 1: 102-105.
- Time Life Books. 1972. "Wet mounting on mat board". Caring for photographs: Display, storage, restoration. New York: Time Life Books. 124-129.
- Wallace, E. 1887. "Mounts for prints". American Journal of Photography August: 130-131.
- Wharton, S. 1861. "On mounting photographs". The Photographic News 68: 551.
- Allan, S. 1903. "The influence of artistic photography on interior decoration". Camera Work April: 31-33.
- Evans, Frederick H. 1908. "The multiple mounting of photographs". The British Journal of Photography (March 6): 178-181.
- Evans, Frederick H. 1913. "Multiple mounting: to the editors". The British Journal of Photography (January 3): 14-15.
- Singwi, S. 1989. "The multiple mount: Photography as art". Unpublished research paper. Included in handouts for the Shoestring Workshop “Unmounting and mounting of photographs”, November 4-6, 1999.
- Adams, A. 1983. "Finishing, mounting, storage, display". The Print, A. Adams and R. Baker. Boston: Little Brown and Co. 145-167.
- Anonymous. 1906. "Kodak dry mounting tissue". Aristo Eagle (5): 20-21.
- Fairbass, Shiela. 1992. "An investigation into the adhesives used for dry-mounting (laminating) paper". Conference papers, Manchester 1-4 April 1992. London: The Institute of Paper Conservation. 91-95.
- Keefe, Lawrence E. and D. Inch. 1984. "Dry Mounting". The life of a photograph: Archival processing, matting, framing, and storage. Boston: Focal Press. 65-78.
- Lemmen, Barbara. "Inherent vice and Quality: A photograph conservator’s view". Photo Techniques (Mar/April 1997): 46-47.
- Plikaytis, B. 1997. "Procedures for dry mounting photographs". Photo Techniques (Mar/April 1997): 46-51.
- Reinhold, Nancy. 1991. "An investigation of commercially available dry mount tissues". Topics in Photographic Preservation 4: 14-30.
- Time Life Books. 1972. "The advantages of dry mounting". Caring for photographs: Display, storage, restoration. New York: Time Life Books. 130-133.
- Watkins, Stephanie. 1993. "Origins and development of dry mounting". The Book and Paper Group Annual [], vol. 12, p..
- Wilhelm, Henry G. 1993. "Print mounting adhesives and techniques". The permanence and care of color photographs. Grinnell: Preservation Publishing Co. 367-383. []
CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES OVER-MATS, HINGING, PHOTO-CORNERS, INLAY
- Chen, Jiuan-Jiuan, et al. 2007. "Reversible mounting techniques for the display of large-format contemporary photographs". Topics in Photographic Preservation 12: 131-140.
- Deschin, J. 1968. "M.I.T. starts archival photographic collection". NY Times, April 7. D31.
- Jacques, S. 1999. "A brief survey of paper board and some of the literature describing it with some definitions of marketing terms for mount boards used in conservation". The Paper Conservator 23: 1-12.
- Keefe, Lawrence E. and D. Inch. 1984. "Mounting and mats". The life of a photograph: Archival processing, matting, framing, and storage. Boston: Focal Press. 53-64, 79-141.
- Kosek, J. 2004. "Conservation mounting for prints and drawings: A manual based on current practice at the British Museum". London: Archetype Publications.
- Morrison, P. 2007. "Mounting large format photographs at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia". Topics in Photographic Preservation 12: 141-142.
- Phibbs, Hugh 2005. "Recent developments in the preservation of works on paper" []. The Book and Paper Group Annual 24: 47-63.
- Rayner, J., J. Kosek, and B. Christensen (eds.). 2005. Art on paper: Mounting and housing. London: Archetype Publications.
- Rempel, T. 1982. "The inlay: An alternative to backing". Conservation Notes (2).
- Time Life Books. 1972. "A mat to set off the scene". Caring for photographs: Display, storage, restoration. New York: Time Life Books. 134-137.
- Valverde, Maria Fernande 2007. "Mounting medium and large format photographs". Topics in Photographic Preservation 12: 143.
- Breitung, E. 2007. Survey of abrasion resistant acrylics and poly-carbonates for face-mounted photographs. In Topics in Photographic Preservation 12: 114-125.
- Galassi, P. 2001. Andreas Gursky. New York: The Museum of Modern Art. 27-28.
- Jürgens, Martin. 2001. "Silicon rubber face-mounting of photographs to poly(methyl methacrylate): Process, structure, materials, and long-term dark stability". Master thesis, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
- Murphy, Erin. 2007. "Basic care of face-mounted photographs at the Museum of Modern Art". Topics in Photographic Preservation 12: 160-174.
- Pénichon, Sylvie and Martin Jürgens. 2001. "Two finishing techniques for contemporary photography". Topics in Photographic Preservation 9: 85-96.
- Pénichon, Sylvie and Martin Jürgens. 2002. "Issues in the conservation of contemporary photographs: The case of Diasec or face-mounting". AIC News 27(2): 1, 3-4, 7-8.
- Pénichon, Sylvie and Martin Jürgens. 2002. "Light and dark stability of laminated and face-mounted photographs: a preliminary investigation". Daniels, V. ed. Works of art on paper, books, documents, and photographs: Techniques and conservation. Contributions to the Baltimore congress, September 2-6,2002. London: IIC. 154-159.
- Pénichon, Sylvie and Martin Jürgens. 2004. "Mounting substrates for contemporary photographs". In Modern art, new museums. Contributions to the Bilbao congress, September 13-17, 2004. London: IIC. 114-118.
- Pénichon, Sylvie and Martin Jürgens. 2005. "Plastic Lamination and face mounting of contemporary photographs." Coatings on photographs: materials, techniques, and conservation. Washington D.C.: PMG. 218-235.
- Wall, J. 1987. "Luminescence: An interview with Els Barents". Jeff Wall: Transparencies. New York: Rizzoli. 99-101.
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