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