Book — 30 Nov 2017 — Monica Marchesi

Photographs, because of their chemical make-up, are inherently unstable. The process of degradation is relatively fast and cannot be turned around. This puts both artists and conservators in a difficult position.

The idea of reproducing old photographs in order to be able to present them ‘the way they were meant when first created’ is attractive to many contemporary artists as well to museums. However, the concept of the reproduction of photographic artworks as a fountain of eternal youth that protracts a flawless condition is not without problems. Eternal youth comes at a price. That price varies with each individual work of art. Forever Young examines the reproduction of four photographic artworks as a conservation strategy from the vantage point of a conservator working in a museum of contemporary art. This book explores a vast issue in modern and contemporary art. It is a first attempt in its field, and will undoubtedly be the start for future research and scholarly discussion.

Viewing copy Forever Young (pdf)


Monica Marchesi received in 1992 a diploma in paper conservation at the Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro of Florence. In 2000 she was awarded a MA degree in Art History at the University of Florence. Since 2006, she works as a paper conservator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. In 2011 she initiated the research project 'Preservation & Photographs. How to Save Photographic Works of Art for the Future?' together with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Leiden University, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. In 2017 she was awarded a doctoral degree at the University Leiden after the completion of the dissertation Forever Young. The Reproduction of Photographic Artworks as a Conservation Strategy. Her research interests lie in conservation history and theory, museum practice, preservation and conservation of paper and photographic artworks. 

For more information about the book contact:

Monica Marchesi,