ask a museum or gallery about mounting... brace yourself

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by jtk, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    They typically hate mounts (of any type) because mounting strongly reduces the dollar and future value of prints.

    Check it out. Museums and galleries aren't like camera clubs :smile:
     
  2. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    Pretty broad brush you're waving there, how many museum/galleries did you ask? Locally or nationwide?
    I know some in Carmel for which the standard is -at least for b&w- still a dry mounted, toned, fiber print
    matted with a reveal. Granted it's a "West Coast" look, but is still very appealing.

    -Tim
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Member

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    I have not found that to be so. Are you going to museums that know the difference between a silver gelatin print and a giclee?
     
  5. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I don't think galleries care all that much as long as they can sell it. Museums on the other hand have to look at the long term because their mission is to keep the work in good shape. Mounting with tissue is a pain to reverse, just ask anyone who has done it. As far as camera clubs go, who cares.

    Personally I print small so I just use photo corners because it is easier. Not that anyone cares about what I do.... If I was a hoighty toighty photographer selling work for mucho dinero I would mount on aluminum even if I was going to overmat it.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    IDK there used to be a gallery near me ( went out of busy ness a handful of years ago ) that
    had people glue theirprints to wood paneling like the stuff you would put up in your basement
    and they insisted people use gorilla glue because it gets swollen when you apply it. so they'd
    had this whole newsletter type thing / "hand out" about wetting the print and wetting the wood and then making a big outline in
    the glue.
    i think they closed not for lack of customers but for lack of photographers who were willing to gorilla glue the prints.
    i did iton my own a handful of times, it really does make a good float mount !:heart:bandit::sideways:
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Check what out, and where??
    How about providing good, solid evidence by way of links, please.
    As the statement stands, it's amazingly inaccurate and unfounded. A gallery asking for a raw print is dubious, unprofessional and hiding something. Yes, I do know. Do you think my $1,445 prints would be submitted to a gallery rolled up in a post-tube with BlueTac blobs on the back for mounting?
    Camera clubs... <sigh>. Come on...
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    jtk, there's an acceptable archival method of mounting which galleries prefer if they are going to sell prints. It's such a common practice I've never given it a second thought. Dry mounting is not recommended. That's from experience of a lot of galleries around the world.

    Ian
     
  9. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    Galleries really dont care as long as its neat and salable.
    Museums OTOH do have standards. There have been many articles on archival mounting published by museums recommending certain types of boards, techniques and tissues to be used.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Years ago I produced a show of silver gelatin mural prints MOUNTED for the Albuqeurque Museum. ..Your home town museum.
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I do not understand.
     
  12. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    If my work ever makes it into a museum, I'll let them decide how to mount it. I don't think museums choose works to purchase or display based on mounting practices. They tend to look for other qualities instead, like cultural importance. For instance, a poorly mounted photo by Edward Weston has a much better chance of making it into their collection than any of my work mounted in the best possible fashion.

    As for galleries, I don't think they care, so long as it's sells quickly. They're in the business of making money, not preserving art. All of the galleries that I've sold my work through basically have the same attitude:

    "How much space is it going to take up? How much do you want for this piece? How long does your work usually take to sell? How's your online presence? Do you have something cheaper you can sell as well, because most people don't come in here to spend a ton of money? Do you know this guy? He can put your image on a coffee mug and those tend to sell pretty quickly. We've got a showing for another artist this weekend, can you make it out to that? At least send out some Tweets and Facebook/Instagram posts promoting it. Also there's some really good stuff in the back that I think you may want to buy, have you seen it?"

    They're not so much concerned with art as they are with profit. And that makes sense for them. Galleries around here usually don't last long unless they're owned by someone who doesn't need the money, and uses it primarily as a platform to be a part of the scene.
     
  13. Ian Grant

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    Some galleries have print rooms, here you expect un-mounted prints in archival boxes (which they should provide along with cotton gloves). Good photo galleries care about things like mounting and archival permanence.

    There's always exceptions as Bob mentions mural prints need to be mounted to avoid damage.

    Ian
     
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  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Stephen Bulger Gallery has a 6000 square ft platform for his work area and gallery, and downstairs a very high ceiling basement with polished concrete floors... I tried to convince him to put my darkroom in the basement... He is actuallly using the whole space for
    his artists and clients to see full framed work in a massive storage area... I am sure there are gallery's in other cities doing this but in Toronto its quite impressive.
    Silver Gelatin over 20 x24 is unmanageable Un mounted and that would go for most other types of prints from C prints to Ink jets.. Smaller prints allow for those of us to be purists to corner mount the print behind matt .
     
  16. guangong

    guangong Subscriber

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    I usually dry mount my own pictures but not those of other photographers who are in my collection, although sometimes they give me a pre mounted photo. Do what you want with your own if you have the negative but leave other stuff alone.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I'm aware but,
    I insist to sell my prints the way I want them displayed and that is West-coast style.
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Yes indeed they do Ian. To the point where they will also talk about the material the image is printed on. Despite what people say about archival permanence and perceived/actual variations, all of traditional, hybrid, giclee and mixes of the three mediums are represented in galleries around the world. It is not an alien concept at all here in Australia.

    I care about archival permanence too, decades before it beccame a coffee-break mantra for the masses. All of my works are archivally matted and framed (including the largest Ilfochrome Classics produced between 1993 and 2010) and have been for decades. I never exhibited in Clubs, but I was a Circuit Judge of several in the early 2000s and could retell all manner of horror stories of how Clubs consider exhibitions should be run. It will suffice to say many a very good print (often Cibas) was absolutely butchered by a cavalier attitude to exhibiting the work: just get a drawing pin and stick it on the wall!

    Unmounted proof prints (of the same material masters are produced on) are selected and taken along raw for gallery representatives to view. But galleries here require, as a minimum, works of value to be matted and framed, or prepared for viewing by such other methods (block mounting, dibond, back-lit panels, etc., anything which the artist specifies) especially if they are offered for sale. If there are exceptions to this it is because works are so unwieldly and large that framing is impractical or costly, but generally the artist should be aware of this and provide for it using alternative mounting methods.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Member

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    He is implying and I agree that the gallery is going to steal a digital copy of the image and sell it as fast and as many times as it can. RUN!!!!!!!
     
  20. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Hmmm. Maybe I should return to the gallery and ask for them to return the 'With Compliments' proof print of that big and pricey beauty. :sick:
     
  21. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber

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    Where did I learn to mount my B&W prints on mount board with cover mats and framed under glass. Why at a museum of course. Also by viewing several Ansel Adams exhibits in museums. Closest B&W print (only) gallery to where I live is/was? in New Orleans (320 miles from here. The only prints that I have seen from there were mounted. Museums are where our camera clubs here learned to mount and frame for display.......Regards!
     
  22. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Subscriber

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    A.A. mounted his prints I saw some of Bruce Barnbaum's prints all mounted. Bruce's print in a museum A.A. at a show. Dismounting a print with Bienfang's Unstik is easy and safe.
     
  23. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    This thread isn't really about what people did back in the day. When Ansel mounted prints they didn't know a whole lot of squat about archivability. It was just getting going at that point. People mounted their prints on straight cardboard. I believe Weston did this and remarkably many have held up. I just recently saw a Weston print of Tina on the Azotea at Art Basel Miami that had yellowing around the edges, so that one, not so much. Probably was mounted or framed with something non archival. The point is if you mount, you run the risk of later having a problem, or passing the problem on to someone else. Odds are a museum won't want to unmount the print just because it is expensive for them and there is a chance that the print might get damaged. In other words, what people do and what museums want are two different things. As others have suggested though, as the size of the print increases there becomes no real alternative to mounting the print. Photo corners on a large print is possible, but the expansion and contraction of the print doesn't do the display of it any favors.

    The times I have tried to unmount a dry mounted print ended up being a pain. The print came off the matt fine, but getting the mounting tissue off the print was practically impossible. That is why I don't mount prints anymore. I don't print big though, so it is an option for me. Not that anyone cares about my prints anyway.....
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    lineco makes little archival strips of translucent stuff
    with archival adhesive on the ends, they fold and make little corners
    when i was archivally mounting my photographs, i used 4 ply for the back
    and a window cut out of 4ply for the front i didn't sign the front of the print but the back
    ( en reverso i think they say ) in pencil. the window was to the edge of the print or if it was
    printed small on a big sheet i let it swim in the mount or with a big matt window on a big piece of board.
    the only time i have ever dry mounted anything was in college and i will never do that again no matter what
    ansell adams or anyone else who knows better does. it was dry mounted to perfection and now IDK 30sumtin years later the wax/glue
    or whatever adhesive is in "archival dry mount adhesive" has come loose from the board. not in crazy humid or dry or
    wild temperature variants just as it is .. corners let you remove the print and put it in a different mat if you want
    or in a flat file or whatever flicks your bic ...you won't catch me dry mounting anything ... BUT that said
    i love bringing machne prints a mini lab makes me to a place called print mount and they mount it to a sheet of wood
    and then laminate glazing over it. they've been making these things for years and they seem to last for as long as they have been made
    they used to this thing called an emulsion peel where they'd peel the image off of the substrate and mount it on some sort of material, mind blowing...
    im sure galleriests are shaking their heads and shaking their fists in the air saying OMG SUCH CONTEMPT FOR HIS PRINTS !
    but they are not archival prints and anyone who would they are is kind of funny ( like funny ha ha not not-funny ha ha ). stuff is to enjoy
    whats the point otherwise. that said, if you like to dry mount stuff and enjoy it, instead of putting it in a museum box away on a humid controlled room
    and look at the photographs in dim light wearing linen gloves or through the bubble john travolta lived in when he was the bubble boy .. go for it.
    i know my work is worthless and i have no preconceptions that even if i was run over by the speeding locomotive superman couldn't stop in time
    my work will be just as worthless tomorrow ..

    ps i used to part own a gallery with a bunch of people and we were not presentation snobs we let people do whatever they wanted ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  25. OP
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    jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    IMO the dominant way museums and significant galleries (not referring to tourist/scenic galleries) is with archival board and beveled archival mat. Has nothing to do with "west coast" in US.

    There's no reason other than cheapness to deliver a print, as anything other than a gift or on a unique mount (e.g. aluminum) without a beveled mat.
     
  26. OP
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    jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    Photo art galleries don't recognize "giclee" , they recognize inkjet print or similar. "Giclee" is a marketing buzzword that's seen only in tourist galleries.
     
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