I was recently alerted to this thread--almost a year late.
from fdi: "Drymounting makes the image a permanent part of the mounting board so if you do this you want to make sure the mounting board is archival if you want the print to last. Drymounting is very popular because it is the easiest way to ensure the print will remain flat.
"High end collectors actually appreciate a little curl and wave in the paper since it indicate the image is not permanently mounted. The average consumer on the other hand views the curl or wave as a poor mounting job. It is usually cost effective if you understand your market and meet their desires."
I do not know where this information comes from or how many prints you have sold to how many high-end collectors. I have sold thousands of black and white prints to over 500 high-end collectors (a collector can be defined as someone who has at least one more photograph then they can hang on their walls0)and to over 130 art museums, and in my 45 years of doing this I have only had one collector and one museum ask for unmounted prints--which I happily gave the, as less work is involved.
If one uses ArtCare board for mounts, overmats, and slipsheets then the board will last far longer than the paper the photograph is printed on. Photo paper itself is not acid-free.
For platinum prints I use methyl cellulose glue. It is fully removable. And for inkjet prints I use paper corners that I make up from ArtCare one-ply.
But for black and white prints made in a darkroom, dry mounting is the only way to go. The print is protected from pollutants but also from physical damage.
Michael A. Smith
I forgot to add that everything Ralph Lambrecht wrote about the artist being fully responsible for the presentation of his or her work is right on.
Michael A. Smith
Well, since this thread was dragged from the grave, here is the preamble to my article on Dry Mounting:
The arguments against dry mounting fine art photographs are based upon the fact that the photograph is more or less permanently affixed to the supporting mount, and cannot easily be removed. This notion is promulgated primarily by art galleries and museums, who prefer loose prints per their own display preferences and storage requirements. All I can say, is that if a gallery's concern over your art trumps your own artistic bent, you are either in a position of not needing to read this article or are willing to subjugate your aesthetic principles to others.
...and I'm not even selling anything or offering workshops ;)
The dark side of dry mounting.
Scenario: Picture falls from wall, frame separates at the corner, glass shatters...
A. Dry mounted? rather than deal with it, pick out the broken glass, throw the rest in the garage against a stack of other art to deal with tomorrow... tomorrow never comes.
B. Taped/hinged? Unhinge and put print back in portfolio case to be displayed another day. Trash the broken frame/mat mess.
I have two pieces in my garage in state A. They are actually doing alright because I wrapped them. But I wished they could be stored in a flat file.
I have a lovely '70s vintage Larry Ulrich hanging by my desk (Summer Snowstorm. Lost Creek, Lassen National Forest Calif). I say lovely sarcastically because the aesthetic was dry-mount on deep olive matboard pressed right up to the glass of a chunky walnut-stained softwood frame. Still beautiful in a direct-from-the-artist kind of way. But I wish I could have a choice about presentation.
I don't mean to come across as voting that dry-mounting is bad. Just that it _can_ be bad.