Alisha Chipman and Matt Clarke examining a Paul Strand print in the conservation lab

Research is essential to discovering new information and the advancement of professional knowledge and expertise. The conservation department actively contributes to new scholarship on archive artists and photographic materials. Jennifer Jae Gutierrez, the Center's Arthur J. Bell Senior Photograph Conservator, recently published Pinups, Photograms, Polaroids and Printing Plates: Iterations in Robert Heinecken's Work Process, the first published essay to focus on unraveling Heinecken's complex multi-stepped work processes. Through the close examination of both production materials in the Heinecken archive, and final works by the artist in the fine-print collection, it was possible to interpret his complex working techniques. This research project exemplifies the type of unique research that can be conducted at the Center given its archive and fine-art holdings.

In October of 2013 Alisha Chipman, photograph conservator, and Matt Clark, photographic materials scientist, from the National Gallery of Art (NGA) visited for one week in the conservation lab to conduct X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis (using a handheld XRF brought from NGA), as well as detailed visual examination using the lab's microscope of all the Paul Strand platinum prints in the Center's collection. Their work focused on identifying prints on a specific type of commercial platinum paper called Japine, and their findings will contribute to current research projects on Japine paper and the preservation of Paul Strand platinum prints.

Publication Examples:

Gutierrez, Jennifer Jae, "Pinups, Photograms, Polaroids, and Printing Plates: Iterations in Robert Heinecken’s Work Process," Robert Heinecken: Object Matter (Museum of Modern Art, 2014).

Gutierrez, Jennifer Jae and Leslie Squyres, "Notes on the W. Eugene Smith Archive and Materials Associated with His Big Book Project at the Center for Creative Photography," The Big Book (University of Texas Press, 2013.)

Norris, Debra Hess, Jennifer Jae Gutierrez, and Greta Glaser, "Gertrude Käsebier: Process to Image," Gertrude Käsebier: The Complexity of Light and Shade (University of Delaware Press, 2013).