U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: archivalness of gum

Re: archivalness of gum

On Fri, 21 Dec 2007, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
I am writing the gum book in this way, which provides me with a side benefit of a wonderful way to see practice morph through time: I typed up all notes (200 sources plus 60,000 pages of the BJP). Then I cut and paste **in order of appearance** sentences into different topics. One topic, for instance, is pigment (separate from "pigments not to use" (that "cause problems") separate from "pigment mixes"). Not only do I see what morphs through time, but also where myths began.
This sounds like a provocative AND useful construance ("construance" being a word of mine own invention, do you like it?)... but permit me to stick my neck out. If I had some energy left I'd go upstairs and get Wilcox, but given the givens I'll wing it:

I suspect that the terms below ("Indian Yellow," et al... ) are NOT writ in stone, or not a distinct pigment made in a particular way or mined from a particular mountain, but refer to shades or tones, or are often used that way... that is, applied freely (tho "Indian yellow" is horse piss, or maybe the color of curry, or a horse that's been eating curry, no?).

I think gamboge, lakes, etc. are also names of tones, not pigments, tho some pigments could be so named, I suppose...

Of the slew of recommended colors were Indian Yellow, Gamboge, the "Lakes", alizarin crimson, rose madder, etc.--all these colors that we know now fade. Then they got wise and began not recommending these colors, recommending more permanent ones, of which the earths or oxides seem rarely in question (Kuhn loved that iron oxide red). (Still no question of archivalness of gum, though...)

And, Judy, as an aside, I have a nice little chapter on the dreaded stain test, tracing its origins, who brought it from Germany to England and then to America. Word for word..culprit for culprit. I'm dedicating that chapter to you :) There was the distinct feel that the Germans were more scientific about gum and hence "modern" or "better". But we postmodernists know better than to be scientific about gum, heheheheheh.
It's interesting that AFAIK Anderson did NOT share the credit (or the blame)... tho I'm not sure I've read every last thing he wrote, so it could be somewhere...