Photographic Materials Publications

Platinum and Palladium Photographs: Technical History, Connoisseurship, and Conservation

Coming in 2017! The Photographic Materials Group of AIC is proud to announce advance sales of Platinum and Palladium: Technical History, Connoisseurship, and Conservation. This volume is made possible through the generous support of The Irving Penn Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the extraordinary efforts of its extra volunteer authors.

Edited by Constance McCabe, the volume presents the results of a four-year inter-institutional, interdisciplinary research initiative led and organized by the National Gallery of Art. Contributions by 47 leading photograph conservators, scientists, and historians provide detailed examinations of the chemical, material, and aesthetic qualities of this important class of rare, beautiful, and technically complex photographs. The volume will help those who care for photograph collections gain a thorough appreciation of the technical and aesthetic characteristics of platinum and palladium prints and scientific basis for their preservation.  

New: Now accepting pre-orders! 

Save off the list price of $75 (plus shipping).

 Buy before the book arrives, and have it shipped out the day it's published!

Pre-order only at the AIC e-store. You will need to create an account or log in to complete your purchase. Pre-publication pricing is:
  • $65 for U.S.-based customers / $55 for U.S.-based AIC members
  • $100* for international customers / $90* for international AIC members

*Difference is to cover shipping of oversize, 5 lb. book.  



Table of Contents

  • Foreword: Malcolm Daniel, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Preface and Acknowledgments: Constance McCabe, National Gallery of Art
  • Notes to the Reader
  • Introduction: The Subtle Beauty of Platinum and Palladium Photographs, Andrea Nelson, National Gallery of Art
  • Plates: A Selection of Masterworks in Platinum and Palladium
  • Section I: Technical Foundation
    • The Technical History and Chemistry of Platinum and Palladium Printing, Mike Ware, Honorary Fellow in Chemistry, University of Manchester, UK
      • Technical Highlights: 
        • Willis’s Transatlantic Connection: Alfred Clements, Shannon Thomas Perich, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, and Mike Ware, Honorary Fellow in Chemistry, University of Manchester, UK
        • Step-by-step: How Platinum and Palladium Prints Are Made, Caroline Minchew, National Gallery of Art
        • Additives Used in the Platinum Process, Alice Carver-Kubik, Image Permanence Institute; Saori Kawasumi Lewis, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art; and Andrew Robb, Library of Congress
        • Platinum Paper Tins, Caroline Minchew, National Gallery of Art
    • Characterization, Degradation, and Analysis of Platinum and Palladium Prints, Matthew L. Clarke, National Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
      • Technical Highlights: 
        • Platinum Prints on the Nano Scale, Matthew L. Clarke, National Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Keana Scott and Alline Myers, National Institute of Standards and Technology
        • The Surface and Subsurface of a Historic Platinum Print, Patrick Ravines, State University of New York College at Buffalo; Natasha Erdman, JEOL USA Inc.; and Rob McElroy, Buffalo, New York
        • Reflective Sheen in Mercury-Processed Platinum Prints, Erin L. Murphy, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library; Christopher McGlinchey, Museum of Modern Art; and Adrienne Lundgren, Library of Congress
        • Satista Prints and Fading, Constance McCabe, National Gallery of Art; Christopher McGlinchey, Museum of Modern Art; and Christopher Maines, National Gallery of Art
    • The Art and Science of Papermaking for Platinum Photographs, Cyntia Karnes, Independent Paper Conservator, Toronto, Canada
    • Manufactured Platinum and Faux Platinum Papers 1880s-1920s, Sarah S. Wagner, National Gallery of Art
      • Technical Highlights: 
        • Platinum Printing on Textiles, Ronel Namde, National Gallery of Art
        • Platinum Toning of Silver Prints, Ronel Namde and Joan M. Walker, National Gallery of Art
    • Platinum Enlargements, Greta Colleen Glaser, Crescent City Conservation
    • The History and Use of Glycerine in Platinum Printing, Adrienne Lundgren, Library of Congress
    • Overview of Historical Practices for Postprocessing Toning and Intensifying Platinum Prints, Erin L. Murphy, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library
    • The Phenomenon of Platinum “Image Transfer” to Adjacent Papers, Jennifer K. Herrmann, Sara Shpargel, Lauren Varga, and Mark Ormsby, National Archives and Records Administration; and Karen Gaskell, University of Maryland
    • A Summary of Early Chemical and Physical Treatments of Platinum Prints, Erin L. Murphy, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library
    • Investigating Chelating Agents for the Treatment of Platinum Prints, Matthew L. Clarke, National Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and Dana Hemmenway, Library of Congress
    • Caring for Platinum and Palladium Prints: Storage and Display, Jennifer Jae Gutierrez, Center for Creative Photography
      • Technical Highlights: 
        • Nonadhesive Mounting Methods for Photographic Prints, Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton and Jennifer Jae Gutierrez, Paul Messier, Ltd
        • Preservation Concerns for Edward Weston’s Platinum and Palladium Photographs, Margaret Wessling, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
        • Microfade Testing, Christopher Maines, National Gallery of Art
  • Section II: Photographic Art and Practice
    • F. Holland Day’s Platinum Prints: A Collaboration between Conservator and Curator, Verna Posever Curtis and Adrienne Lundgren, Library of Congress
    • P. H. Emerson’s Platinum Prints and Photogravures, Philippa Wright, Independent Historian, Curator, UK, and John Taylor, Author, Editor, Curator, UK
      • Technical Highlights: 
        • Distinguishing Platinum Prints from Photogravures, Constance McCabe, National Gallery of Art
    • Art and Enlargement: The Platinum Prints of Thomas Eakins, Lee Ann Daffner, Museum of Modern Art
    • Maurice Vidal Portman and the Platinotype in India, John Falconer, British Library
    • The Platinum Print Technology of the Austrian Pictorialist Heinrich Kühn, Andreas Gruber, Wien Museum
    • A Great Day for Palladio: Alfred Stieglitz’s Palladium Prints, Sarah Greenough, National Gallery of Art
    • Alfred Stieglitz’s Palladium Prints: Treated by Steichen, Constance McCabe and Christopher Maines, National Gallery of Art; Mike Ware, Honorary Fellow in Chemistry, University of Manchester, UK; and Matthew L. Clarke, National Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
    • A Technical Study of Paul Strand's Platinum Prints, Alisha Chipman, Library of Congress, and Matthew L. Clarke, National Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
    • Paul Outerbridge: Abstraction, Advertising, and Platinum Prints, Linde B. Lehtinen, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Section III: The Platinum Revival and Contemporary Platinum and Palladium Prints 
    • Irving Penn’s Platinum-Palladium Prints, Vasilios Zatse, The Irving Penn Foundation, and Constance McCabe, National Gallery of Art
    • The Platinum Renaissance: Oral Histories of Platinum-Palladium Printers and Artists, Tatiana Cole, The Better Image
    • Looking at a Platinum-Palladium Print, Pradip Malde, Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Glossary of Terms, Gregory J. Hill, Canadian Conservation Institute
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Contributors
  • Index