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Henry Wilhelm and Carol Brower Wilhelm

Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. <www.wilhelm-research.com> conducts research on the stability and preservation of traditional and digital color photographs and motion pictures. The company publishes brand name-specific permanence data for desktop and large-format inkjet printers and other digital printing devices. Wilhelm Imaging Research also provides consulting services to museums, archives, and commercial collections on sub-zero cold storage for the very long term preservation of still photographs and motion pictures.

Henry Wilhelm is co-founder, president, and director of research at Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. and appears frequently as a speaker on inkjet printing technologies and print permanence at industry conferences, trade shows, and museum conservation meetings.

Wilhelm was a founding member of the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, is a member of the Electronic Materials Group of AIC, and was a founding member of American National Standards Institute/ISO subcommittee IT9-3 (now called ISO WG-5 Task Group 3), which is responsible for developing standardized accelerated test methods for the stability of color photographs and digital print materials. He has served as Secretary of that group since 1984, and is an active member of the ANSI/ISO subcommittees responsible for storage standards for black-and-white films and prints.

Henry Wilhelm has been a consultant to many collecting institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, on various issues related to the display and preservation of both traditional photographic prints and digital print media. Since 1995 he has been an advisor to Corbis on the long-term preservation of the Corbis Bettmann photography collections in a high-security underground storage facility maintained at minus 20 degrees C (minus 4 degrees F) and 35% RH. With more than 65 million images, it is one of the world’s largest privately held photography collections. Corbis is owned by Bill Gates.

Wilhelm received a one-year Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981 for what became a ten-year study of color print fading and staining under low-level tungsten illumination that simulates museum display conditions. In the early 1980’s Wilhelm served as a technical adviser to film director Martin Scorsese in his successful effort to persuade Eastman Kodak and Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. to increase the stability of their motion picture color negative and color print films.

Carol Brower Wilhelm is co-founder and vice-president of Wilhelm Imaging Research. Brower and Wilhelm began their association in 1978 during the early controversy regarding potential adverse effects of alkaline-buffered boards and papers on color photographs. Brower started investigating fine art conservation in 1970, first as a student in the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute (1969–1974), and continuing after graduation as proprietor of the Conservation Matting Studio (1971–1995), located in the Greenwich Village section of New York City.

Working as an artist herself, and coupled with a strong concern about the longevity of photographic papers, drawing papers, pencils, inks, and mounting materials, her studio attracted and served clients for whom preservation was a high priority. Among these were many of the major photography galleries in New York, including Castelli Graphics, Laurence Miller Gallery, Life Picture Gallery, Light Gallery, and Pace/MacGill Gallery.


During this 25-year period, Brower Wilhelm worked closely with numerous photographers, curators, gallery directors, and private collectors, and handled original photographs made with a wide variety of materials spanning the history of photography and representing a broad spectrum of photographers, ranging from the little-known to the historically prominent.

Henry Wilhelm and Carol Brower Wilhelm are the authors of the landmark 744-page book, The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs: Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color Negatives, Slides, and Motion Pictures, published in 1993.

(November 22, 2002)


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