ICOM-CC Photographic Materials Working Group Interim Meeting

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Photographic Materials Working Group of ICOM-CC are pleased to announce the 2016 Photographic Materials Working Group Interim Meeting, scheduled for 21-24 September 2016 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

foto Photo, anonymous, 1884 - 1892This triennial meeting is an important gathering of photograph conservators and historians from all over the world. Past meetings have been held in Wellington, Athens, Rochester, and Paris, among other locations. Both members and non-members of ICOM are invited to participate. The Technical Committee, the Rijksmuseum, and ICOM-CC PMWG look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam this fall.

Meeting theme: Uniques & Multiples

The joint contemplation of the unique and the multiple touches upon the very essence of photography, from its beginnings in the 19th century until the present. While seemingly contradictory, the two concepts are actually inextricably linked and can be explored on many levels. Nicéphore Niépce, for example, was concerned with the reproduction of works of art in order to multiply and disseminate images of them, and yet in fact very few photographic artefacts form his legacy. Daguerre’s process produced a unique photographic object, but many thousands of daguerreotypes can be found in collections today. Early pioneers duplicated daguerreotypes by etching and printing from them or by creating galvanic copies; these techniques then became obsolete within years of their invention.

In our digital era of mass photography, unique analogue processes such as ambrotypes and tintypes are flourishing. Most recently, a 20th century photographic unique, the instant print, teetered on the brink of obsolescence as a result of the takeover of digital photography, but it has been revived and is currently thriving. Many questions remain unanswered on the materials and techniques, but also on the conservation and exhibition of unique photographs, such as daguerreotypes, photogenic drawings, colour screen plates, and contemporary prints with applied media. Similarly, ethical and practical questions regarding reprinting and replacement may arise with serial objects, such as numbered editions of colour photographs and inkjet prints.


The 2016 meeting comprises two days of tours and workshops (21-22 September, optional participation) followed by two days of lectures and a poster display (23-24 September). The tours and workshops relate to the meeting theme, Uniques & Multiples, and will form a practical basis for the ensuing lectures. On the first day of lectures, technically and temporally recurrent variations of the unique and the multiple will be studied in breadth and depth. The second day comprises lectures on free topics related to the analysis, treatment, study and care of photographic materials.

Information for presenters


Registration is now closed.

Plan your stay

  • Hotels: Amsterdam is especially busy during September, so we recommend you book your hotel soon! Please download our hotel information (pdf). You may also find this link useful.
  • The UNSEEN Photo Fair will take place in Amsterdam 23-25 September. Consider staying an extra day to visit the gallery exhibition halls and to participate in the events.
  • The Photokina trade fair will take place in Cologne, a mere three hours away from Amsterdam by train, 20-25 September. Consider combining your trip to Amsterdam with a stopover in Cologne.
  • There are two photo museums in Amsterdam, both very much worth visiting: FOAM and Huis Marseille. Of course, the Rijksmuseum and the many other museums are as well!
  • Extensive information on the historic city of Amsterdam can be found on the city’s website.

Technical Committee

  • Susie Clark - Conservator of Photographs, and ICOM-CC PMWG Assistant Coordinator
  • Diana Díaz - Conservator of Photographs, Harry Ransom Center, and ICOM-CC PMWG Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook Coordinator
  • Marc Harnly - Senior Conservator and Department Head, J. Paul Getty Museum, and ICOM-CC PMWG Assistant Coordinator
  • Greg Hill - Senior Conservator, Canadian Conservation Institute, and ICOM-CC PMWG Coordinator
  • Martin Jürgens - Conservator of Photographs, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
  • Bertrand Lavedrine - Director, Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections CRCC, Paris
  • Sylvie Pénichon - Conservator, Department of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago, and Chair of PMG-AIC
  • Klaus Pollmeier - Conservator of Photographs, Fine Print Studios, Mühlheim a. d. Ruhr
  • Mark Strange - National Library of New Zealand, and ICOM-CC PMWG Assistant Coordinator
  • Clara von Waldthausen - Coordinator and Lecturer in Photograph Conservation, University of Amsterdam

Key dates to remember

  • 21-22 Sept. 2016 Workshops and tours
  • 23-24 Sept. 2016 Interim meeting



logo www.icom-cc.org


21-24 September 2016


Amsterdam, the Netherlands