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Workshop: Preservation of digital prints and contemporary colour photographs

With Martin Jürgens

This workshop is designed for mid-career conservators who specialise in the treatment of photographic materials, works of art on paper and/or contemporary art as their primary focus. Due to its limited size, a geographically and professionally diverse group of participants will be chosen to ensure best possible dissemination of information throughout Australia.

Over four and a half days, participants will be guided by an expert in understanding the complex topics of identification, preservation and conservation treatment of digital prints and contemporary colour photographs.

On the first day, they’ll join a larger group for a symposium for general overview and an understanding of the historical development of digital printing, in both the office environment and the worlds of art and photography.

The following days, with a limited number of participants, consist of in-depth examinations of the individual printing processes as well as sessions on practical treatment. The aim is to provide participants with the knowledge and tools to handle the issues surrounding the acquisition and preservation of digital prints and contemporary colour photographs, as well as an understanding of the trends in imaging technology and artists’ use of modern photographic printing techniques.

There will be lectures, practicum sessions and discussions, with topics including:

  • introduction to the importance of being concerned with the wide variety of digital print processes available today
  • use of digital printing and contemporary colour photograph technologies by contemporary artists
  • history of digital printing
  • materials, techniques and chemistry of digital printing
  • identification of digital print processes and contemporary colour photographs
  • deterioration of materials found in digital prints: substrates, colourants, coatings
  • methods of testing for stability
  • preservation and conservation of digital prints and contemporary colour photographs: exhibition, storage, treatment, disaster recovery, restoration treatment

While print samples will be provided, participants are also encouraged to bring expendable items for the treatment practicum. The necessary range of small tools and solvents will be present; however, participants are encouraged to bring a kit of personal tools they have found useful.

Presented by the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) and the Art Gallery of NSW with generous support from the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS).

About the presenter

Before joining the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands as conservator of photographs, Martin Jürgens worked as a conservator in private practice in Hamburg, Germany, for nine years. He studied photography and design in Germany in the 1990s, then participated in the Certificate Program in Photographic Preservation at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Master of Science and from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, with a Master of Art Conservation. His areas of research and publishing, and his teaching worldwide, have covered historic and contemporary photography and digital printing. Following a scholarship at the Getty Museum in 2006, the Getty Conservation Institute published his book The digital print: identification and preservation in 2009.

17-20 August 2015, 9am - 5.30pm
21 August 2015, 9am - 12.30pm
Registration from 8.30am Monday

$700 student

Places limited to 12 full-fee and 3 student participants
Applications must be received by 15 June 2015

For more information and an application form, contact:
Helen Privett
SIG and event coordinator
03 8341 7235

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