Dating old prints

29-Oct-2017 11:50

As Sarah Meister discusses in her essay for the catalog, Brandt’s “brooding, atmospheric prints” from the 1930s (Soho Bedroom, 1934) eventually gave way to prints with higher contrast and graininess by the 1950s (Harold Pinter, Battersea, London, 1961), which was perhaps a result of his work with magazines and newspapers as well as his changing artistic sensibility after World War II.

To complicate matters, Brandt reprinted many of his earlier images in this new style, especially once he became represented by the Marlborough Gallery in the 1970s.

Chocolate browns are very indicative of the 1870s and ‘80s.

While the color was called antimony or chrome orange in the nineteenth century, historians and collectors often call the color ‘cheddar’ today.

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Lee Ann, who also wrote an illustrated glossary on Brandt’s retouching techniques, recommended we view the works under ultraviolet illumination to check for the presence of Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs).

Many of these prints were dated using good old fashioned connoisseurship (critical judgments based on expertise knowledge of criteria such as style, paper type, markings, etc.) and provenance (the chronology of ownership of an object).