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Thread: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

  1. #1
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    In the past I have dry-mounted my prints, sometimes with a border, sometimes trimmed flush (the print, not the board). Recently, I have taken to using linen tape hinges to mount prints, liking the flexibility of being able to easily remove them if necessary. In either case, the finished print is matted. Sometimes the mat window allows a white margin around the print, sometimes the window overlaps the edge by 1/16" all around. I am trying to settle on just one method--are there any pros or cons to any of this, any protocols, preferences among galleries, museum or collectors? (Unlikey any of them is ever going consider my work!)

    Pieter
    adekoninck.com

  2. #2

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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    I too have done both, but currently prefer to using linen tape or archival corners to mount and an overmat.

  3. #3

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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    Following Walter Rosenblum's example, I have been dry mounting to 2-ply Strathmore to keep the print flat, to full paper size, then hinging with linen tape to the mounting backing board and using an window overmat, both 4-ply. My intention is to cut the window to allow space around the image, so that my precise crop made in in enlarging is maintained. I have had to compromise a few times, because one of my easel blades does not stay square ulness I tape it, which I forget to do, so that it would look awkward when compared to the properly squared window.

    If one dry mounts to a backing board, as I always used to, there is a problem if 1) one need to store the print space-efficiently, 2) if something happens to the board. So, I have opted for the tape-attachment. Conservators prefer an independent print. This is not my concern; my work will probably never see a conservator.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
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  4. #4

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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    Museum board has gotten so expensive, I drymount to 2 ply, Riser White and overmat w/ 4 ply when framing a print.

    For me, drymounting is essential, because I use only Ilford fiber base warm-tone and dry on racks. (Fiber base prints do not dry flat.)

    Prints look fine when viewed without an overmat.
    Last edited by neil poulsen; 4-Oct-2020 at 10:56.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    If museums and collectors have a preference, it would be anything that makes it possible and relatively easy to preserve the artwork over the long run. But as others have mentioned elsewhere, it is the work itself that matters. However it would be safe to assume work that is badly matted/framed is unlikely to come to the attention of said museums and collectors...many notable exceptions exist, of course.

    How the work is presented is up to the artist. When silver gelatin printing I preferred the edge of the image to be defined by itself, not the overmat. I trimmed the photopaper to the image area and dry-mounted with a hole about one-half inch bigger than the print in all directions. For me it has a very clean crisp formal presentation.

    I mat alt processes differently.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    I started off hinging with corner holders, but several of the larger prints hanging on my walls have begun rippling from humidity after just 4-5 yrs. So I’ve gone to dry mount to keep them flat over time.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    I have always drymounted onto 4-ply museum board. Antique or color prints is a more involved topic.

  8. #8

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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    I dry mount onto 2-ply museum board, and cut mats from 4-ply museum board, leaving about a 1/4" around 3 sides, and a 1/2" at the bottom to allow for a signature and title in pencil on the 2-ply beneath the image. The use of 2-ply for the mounting allows me to fit more into storage boxes, and seems to have no downside vs. 4-ply. Costs seem reasonable since I only mount the prints that I think are worth hanging, which sadly isn't that great a number. While there have been many arguments for both dry mounting and linen tape in terms of conservators, the reality is that my boxes of mounted prints (while my success rate is low, I have been doing this for about 50 years now) will go to my children, not museums, and I suspect they will each select a relatively small number that they find meaningful, and the remainder of lovingly, archival processed prints will end up as landfill.

  9. #9

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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    . . . When silver gelatin printing I preferred the edge of the image to be defined by itself, not the overmat. I trimmed the photopaper to the image area and dry-mounted with a hole about one-half inch bigger than the print in all directions. For me it has a very clean crisp formal presentation. . .
    Ditto, but to a little smaller border. (9mm vs. 1/2")

    If one does over-mat at the time of dry-mounting, it's worthwhile to hinge (or, in some way attach) the over-mat to the mounting board. Else, should the over-mat slip or move, the edges of the cutout can damage an edge or corner of the print.

    If dry-mounting, it's best to use permanent dry-mount tissue and not tissue that's "temporary". I bought some temporary tissue, and if the print doesn't have weight on it while cooling, the edges can lift. (Returning it to the dry-mount press doesn't help.) Temporary tissues are designed so that one can reheat the mounted print and remove the print.

  10. #10

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    Re: Dry Mountings vs Hinging and other aspects of presentation

    This is a contested and complex subject among photo conservators (I'm married to one).
    I'd always mounted my 11x14 prints to 16x20 4-ply board and hinged a mat over that. Not considered the best way now, but my wife says "respect the artist's wishes". Unlike some conservators, she likes dry-mounting for the smooth appearance it gives the print.
    Since I'm now building a darkroom, and hope to resume finishing prints (after a year's hiatus), I'll revisit this subject with her before starting up again. Although I lean toward Ulophot's approach.
    It's worth noting that Paul Strand was known to have dry-mounted his prints back-to back to a unexposed/processed sheet of the same paper, to mitigate curl and ripples. I've tried that a few times, biggest problem there was the source of scrap paper and the need to process it first.

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