This fall, photographer and faculty member Jonathan Kline completed a three-year photographic history project with the Photographic Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, involved recreating five different variants on the paper negative process, a method used by French and British photographers in the 1840s and ’50s and one that, with the advent of the film negative, few photographers are skilled in using today.
For this venture, Kline enlisted the help of current Bennington student Yaronit Nordin ’09, who worked alongside Kline to bring the project to completion. The project yielded 30 paper negatives and 30 positive salt prints—and six institutions across North America have ordered a set of these negatives and positives to use as teaching material in their graduate photographic conservation programs. They include: New York University, Institute of Fine Art; George Eastman House, Rochester; Buffalo State College; Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; University of Texas, Austin; and University of Delaware, Winterthur Program.
Kline’s work is in the collections of the Art Museum at Princeton University, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and the National Park Service, Ellis Island, among others. He is the recipient of the Aaron Siskind Fellowship and the Earthwatch Fellowship in Hungary. He has been a member of the Bennington faculty since 1998 and also has taught at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Kline earned his BFA at San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.