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Thread: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

  1. #1

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    Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    Last Monday I went to the opening reception of the new Carleton Watkins exhibit at the Getty Museum........................................... ......................................................................... ............................................., it was great!

    If you would like to know more about it and you are in the mood of forgiving me for butchering the English language, you can read my after thoughts in my blog.

    http://foschiphotojournal.blogspot.com/

    I hope you enjoy.

    Domenico

  2. #2
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    Thanks Domenico. I will have to check it out.

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    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    I own a couple of 16x20 (approx) Watkins (been in the family for years). One of them is a view of the Three Brothers...but a vertical. That and one of a two steam locomotive train somewhere in the Sierras (Central Pacific -- has men standing on top of it)) were images I looked at daily growing up in my home.

    No wonder I gravitated towards view cameras and contact prints!

    Might be down that way over the Thanksgiving Holiday...who knows, might end up heading over to the Getty.

    Vaughn

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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    YEs, David, it is really worth it.
    Some of those images really jump at you.

    Vaughn, you lucky sod! ( I am british, didn't you know that?)
    He's got 2 Carleton Watkins.

    I hope you will be able to meet up when me and Hugo and someone else from this forum will gather for something.

  5. #5
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    I saw the Watkins show at the Metropolitan Museum in New York several years ago. I was tempted to buy the catalogue, but I didn't want the reproductions to cloud my memory of the originals, which are really fantastic.

  6. #6
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    I am really looking forward to this. They had a show at Yosemite a few years ago with mammoth plate photos from Watkins, Muybridge (sp?) and others. They also have some Watkins photos in the dining room at the Wawona Hotel. It will be nice to see an even bigger show.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    Quote Originally Posted by domenico Foschi View Post
    Vaughn, you lucky sod! ( I am british, didn't you know that?) He's got 2 Carleton Watkins.
    Yes, lucky indeed. I have them on the wall now-- in the original frames...they have hand-forged nails holding them together. I have re-matted them a couple times...unfortuntely they are mounted on non-archival board.

    My best guess -- they originally were part of an "album" that were often made way back then (of original prints) and were eventually seperated from the album and sold as seperate prints around the turn of the century.

    I'll have them on the wall for another month or so, then will "rest" them for a few years.

    Vaughn

  8. #8
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    Albumen prints were usually starch mounted. Obviously, you would turn them over to a conservator for any kind of remounting, but as long as the paper hasn't become brittle, it's not hard to unmount a starch mounted print. It is probably best to do nothing, but it might be worth consulting with a conservator at the Getty about it.

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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Albumen prints were usually starch mounted. Obviously, you would turn them over to a conservator for any kind of remounting, but as long as the paper hasn't become brittle, it's not hard to unmount a starch mounted print. It is probably best to do nothing, but it might be worth consulting with a conservator at the Getty about it.
    Once I found 4 prints of the Scottish photographer McPhearson in a Salvation Army store for 2 bucks each, they were beautiful panoramic albumen prints of the Roman countryside and ancient architecture.
    Their yellowed mount boards are also completely bonded to the very thin paper.
    David, do you know what's the process employed for such a surgical job?
    I would think that Albumen prints are especially vulnerable not just because they are thin but also for the albumen.

  10. #10
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Carleton Watkins at the Getty

    All such information can be found at albumen.stanford.edu. Look particularly at Reilly's book, which deals with conservation issues and can be downloaded there.

    Albumen prints are almost always on thin paper, because thin paper is easier to coat using the float method, which was fairly standard, and they are almost always mounted, because they curl more than gelatin prints. Because albumen expands and contracts more than gelatin with changes in humidity, all albumen prints eventually develop emulsion cracks.

    Starch mounted prints can be unmounted by steaming or dampening the print with a sponge or floating in a tray of distilled water, but only if the paper is supple enough not to fall apart when removed from the substrate. I suspect there are more delicate ways of handling fragile prints, like slow humidification, but I haven't had to look into that myself.

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