This is a collection that represents what are believed to be George Hurrell’s most important works of which this is the first edition of a series of 200.
The revived Estate of George Hurrell is now offering archival pigment ink prints in mural size formats from the original nitrate negatives, which set a new paradigm of artistry for traditional glamour photography. Under the guidance of Hurrell authority and Estate owner J. Grier Clarke and Hollywood vintage photography expert Christopher Belport, the Edition prints distill the artistic integrity of Hurrell’s original silver print standards using proprietary methods developed by BowHaus Inc. using a Canon ipf 9100 Inkjet 60“ printer to realize museum quality prints of archival permanence and subtle beauty.
These mural size prints are produced from a 200 megabit digitalized negative with zero loss of resolution. The prints convey the widest gradation of true black and white with a tonal separation not possible in vintage papers. The Edition prints are produced on a cotton rag acid-free paper of 310 g/m2 called German Etching, a luminous matte paper which displays each tonal grade with the greatest delicacy in half-tones, whereas vintage silver prints display each tone as a specific value more analytically.
Imagine a tuft of snow against a pale sky. The pigment ink print will show how the white of the snow trails into the sky chromatically as if blending into the horizon. The silver print will show you more crisply where the snow ends and the sky begins, with more specific distinction between the two fields of landscape. What can be missing from the vintage print is the lushness conveyed by a physical space more tactile and approximate, more fully embedded in the fibers of the paper. If George Hurrell had reverted to platinum printing to achieve a meticulously harmonized effect, but instead by using modern methods of printing, he might have produced this type of photographic print.
The question that comes to mind with this analogy is why Hurrell would print in platinum if he could realize ideally crisp and even tones with silver printing using the wide array of vintage papers available to him. Our answer is that since the silver halides provided by emulsion chemicals of Hurrell’s era, and the specific properties of vintage papers unavailable for use today make it unsuitable to re-create his exact working process and results, we have used his original negatives and the working dictates of his eye to maintain his original image space and tonal balance to discretely convey the full content of his negative in another medium to more closely achieve the results that he produced himself.
The pigments used in these prints are more stable and permanent than vintage papers and by utilizing digital image sources we are able to produce enlarged prints without sacrificing the compositional allure and tonal integrity of the original. With the lushness of traditional papers but extremely water resistant, these pigment ink prints convey the soul of the original, the inherent values residing in the negative which cannot be reproduced but can be recreated in a subtly monochrome landscape of encapsulated pigments made more narrow and organically specific in their tonal range due to the advancements in the chemical manipulation of inks.
Each image in the Hurrell Edition was selected for the quality of original compositional genius by the artist and for an elemental integrity of purpose that translates to the larger medium. These are images that feel new and intensely alive today as if newly created — look at the two prints of Jane Russell! These are images that make you feel visually summoned by an electric current of sensual beauty — an impact that conveys the dynamism and confidence of the artist working at white heat. This initial offering consists of 50 mural size 30 x 40-inch prints in Editions of 50 (in addition, there are editions of smaller formats of 11 x 14 inches, 16 x 20 inches, and 24 x 30 inches), each inaugurating the intention of the newly re-formed Estate to expand the known canon of images by an artist who was a principal innovator in traditional glamour and one of the supreme masters of portraiture.