Photograph Conservation

As a branch of paper conservation, photograph conservation has a slightly altered and more independent curriculum. Students are expected to complete both introductory courses in paper conservation: The Conservation Treatment of Prints & Drawings I and II, for a foundation in the treatment of the paper support found in most photographs. Then, under the supervision of Nora Kennedy, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge of the photograph conservation department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, students can take the course Alteration & Deterioration of Works of Art: Photographic Materials, which, through lectures and laboratory work, provides an overview of the history, fabrication, and technical developments of the major photographic processes of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The causes and prevention of deterioration mechanisms in the various imaging systems are examined, as is handling, storage, and exhibition techniques. At the advanced level, students carry out conservation treatments. Students are also encouraged to enroll in or audit courses in objects conservation (organic and inorganic decorative arts), time-based media art conservation, and paintings conservation.