Treatment FOCUS: A Signed Freud Photograph
The most famous photograph of Sigmund Freud depicts the psychoanalyst standing with his signature cigar in a stark, chiaroscuro contrapposto. Perhaps fittingly for Freud, the portrait was actually taken by a relative: his son -in -law, a man named Max Halberstadt. Halberstadt —who’d married Freud’s daughter Sophie, the fifth of his six children —was a practicing portrait photographer in the early twentieth century.
A copy of this photograph that Freud himself signed and dated “Nov 1927” recently came to CCAHA for treatment. CCAHA Photograph Conservator Rachel Wetzel treated the photograph. When it arrived, the photograph had a small stain above the cigar. The interaction between the photograph and its mount had also been problematic. The photograph had been tacked to the mount at the top and bottom edges with adhesives that stained the photograph. The area where the photograph rested on the mount was discolored. The center of the top edge of the mount had torn, and both the photograph and the mount exhibited moderate surface grime throughout.