A VINTAGE print is a print that was made within a few years of the making of the negative. Sadly, Imogen did not date her printing dates, only her negative dates. (If there is a date on the print, it refers to the negative date for Imogen's work.)
Experts differ in their exact number of years - vintage work usually references a print that was made anywhere from 1 to 5 years from the date of the negative. At the Trust, we have several tools to research the date of any given print. The paper used, Imogen's notes in her files, the printing process - even her darkroom equipment, notes on the back of the print, and also our knowledge of when and where she used various rubber stamps. Although not an exact science, we work to represent the date of the print as accuratly as we can.
An ORIGINAL print is a print Imogen made herself, in the darkroom, during her lifetime of course. These prints are sometimes referred to as 'lifetime' prints in fact. If the print cannot be determined to be a vintage print, we give it the tite ORIGINAL PRINT.
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY
ORIGINAL and VINTAGE prints carry a Certificate of Authenticity from the Imogen Cunningham Trust. Each print has a unique serial number that is reference on the hand-letterpressed Certificate, with details as to the provenance and title of the print itself.
Our ESTATE PRINTS come directly from Imogen's desire to have well-made, beautiful prints available after her death. Imogen normally printed just a few prints at any one time, but was very aware of the fact that many of her best negatives did not have prints at the time she set up the Imogen Cunningham Trust. It is for this reason that we continue the tradition of making Estate prints as Imogen had requested. These prints are still made from the negative, in the wet darkroom, processed with the best archival protocals and available for viewing in exhibitions and for sale.