by George and Mary Ann Clark
Art is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity. Modest Petrovich Moussorgsky (1839-1881)

...what every true artist wants, really wants, is to be paid. Terry Pratchett, 1995 (Soul Music)


Archival Quality of Prints

We want our images to be enjoyed, not only now, but as far into the future as possible.  For this reason, we have invested in a printing system that combines high-stability inks with polymeric coated paper to yield images with display lifetimes estimated at 100 years.  (See ‘details’, below).  These prints are then mounted on acid-free mounting board with archival dry mounting tissue (we’re not sure what makes a dry mounting tissue, whose active ingredient is wax, “archival”, but we pay the money to take no chances).

For sales of unframed prints, we put the mounted print into an archival-quality clear plastic envelope.  Framed prints are backed up with acid-free boards (foam core for the larger frames; mounting board for the smaller) and glazed with UV-blocking, non-glare acrylic sheets (using spacers to separate the image surface from the acrylic).  We use aluminum frames, which of course cannot release chemicals that might affect the prints.

We do not advise removing unframed prints from their protective envelopes until ready to frame.  Although highly stable, the inks and the polymeric coating are not waterproof, and even a simple sneeze could spray droplets that might create visible flaws in the image.


Details: The long-term stability of traditional color photographs has been a concern for many years, and early versions of digital images have had similar problems.  Fortunately the past few years have seen the development of high-stability, dye-based inks, and companion papers with polymeric coatings that encapsulate the applied inks to protect them from oxidation.  We use HP Vivera 84/85 inks and HP Premium Plus Photo Paper, a combination that has been rated by Wilhelm Imaging Research as good for 100 years of display without noticeable fading, if framed under UV-blocking acrylics (as we do).  The same agency estimates 82 years of permanence for display under glass, 45 years for unprotected display, and over 200 years for dark storage (at 73 degrees F and 50% relative humidity).   These ratings are available at, under file name <WIR_HP_130_2005_06_30.pdf> . (back to top)

Frequently asked questions

Artists' biography & Goals

Studio Tour

Schedule of Art Fairs

Print sizes, signatures & numbered series

Orders & Shipping

Scanning Electron Microscope