Topics in Photographic Preservation 2007, Volume 12, Article 21 (pp. 141-142)

Mounting Large Format Photographs at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

Pip Morrison

In preparation for an exhibition of over 50 large format photographs, and in order to address the backlog of unframed oversized photographs in the National Gallery of Victoria collection, a system was devised to permanently mount and frame works in a manner that could be achieved effectively, efficiently, and with little assistance. In collaboration with the Senior Textiles Conservator, Bronwyn Cosgrove, and the Conservation Technician, Gervais Battour, a variety of adhesives and hinging materials were tested for their effectiveness on various contemporary photographic supports. The materials deemed the most successful and their method of use are outlined briefly below.

With ready made hinges, it takes one person between one to two hours to mount one large photograph. A second person is only needed to assist with lifting the Dibond into place if large, and for the framing. The hinges can be reversed by peeling them back at an acute angle, and any adhesive residue removed with a crepe eraser. Photographs of up to over two meters in length have been mounted and framed successfully using this technique for the last year. In this year, the photographs have been transported to an off-site exhibition space, been on display for five months, and then returned to storage. The photographs mounted this method appear not to have buckled, indicating the system is holding in various environments. They will continue to be monitored.

Conservator of Photographs, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

Papers presented in Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume Twelve have not undergone a formal process of peer review.