My prints and objects are of the highest archival quality standards:
Silver Gelatin Prints
have proven to be archivally stable if produced in the right way. Maemi Benten carefully respects the known procedures for achieving these standards. All prints are washed fully and selenium-toned.
Protection from environmental contamination:
Alle prints are waxed with a special mixture of waxes to prevent contamination from the environment the artwork hangs in or accidental moisture penetrating the print.
I use a Dry Mount Film that attaches the print to an aluminium backing sheet. When reheated this film can be peeled of the Alupanel again. This makes it possible to separate the print from the Alupanel for further conservation purposes. We don't laminate because this procedure is not stable anymore with modern Fibre Based Papers
Framing oils and varnishes
The inside and the outside of the frame is fully oiled and sealed. When treated in a normal way, this will prevent the artwork of being damaged by occasional water droplets or fingerprints. It also avoids contamination of the artwork from within the frame (due to condensation buildup).
- When treated properly a silver gelatin print will be yours to enjoy for decades. The most fragile part of the print is in fact the paper which is used in the production of a fibre based photographic paper. All archival procedures are mostly aimed at protecting the silver emulsion (e.g. the selenium toning changes the silver particles in much more stable selenium particles) but the fragility of the paper is a consideration we should never forget. By drymounting onto Aluminium we also protect the paper of occasional damage.
- Even when all precautions have been taken care of, there is always a risk of deterioration. Mostly due to environmental circumstances. In Museums and Art Collections, we find vintage prints that survived decades and are in excellent shape. It proves that when well taken care of, a fiber based photographic print is amongst the most stable artworks that exist.