PCPP is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the work of photographers. Our goal is to match collections of important work with the institutional homes best suited to maintain them and ensure their accessibility. In that effort, PCPP functions as a source of information and relationships between the creators and custodians of important collections and institutions committed to historic preservation. We also serve as a connection to related professions, from curators, gallerists, and appraisers to archivists, collectors, and experts in fine art photography and photojournalism.
PCPP acts as a good-faith advisor to all parties, an advocate whose sole commitment is to the work and its preservation for scholars, the public, and future generations.
Penelope Dixon developed the idea of PCPP after witnessing first-hand, throughout her long and distinguished career in the field of photography, the difficulties that artists and archives face in the maintenance and preservation of large bodies of work. By their very nature, collections of photographers' life's work are living, breathing, often sprawling entities, consisting not only of photographs in various forms but also related materials (ephemera such as letters, notebooks, etc.). Such collections are often left by their creators to friends or family members for whom the issues of archiving, digital storage, physical preservation, and legal ownership can be overwhelming. Meanwhile, the cost in time and money to make a coherent archive of such disparate materials can mount quickly if left unaddressed for even a short period of time. Negatives, contact sheets, and prints, for example, are delicate objects that require precise handling and storage, and born-digital objects are equally subject to degradation without meticulous and redundant backup.
Why We're Here
In August 2016, Penelope Dixon and Karen Gaines founded PCPP to address the urgent task of making sure that these irreplaceable cultural, historical, and educational assets are preserved. In their many years of professional leadership as respected authorities in the field of photography, they have seen a crisis developing that places the future integrity of many important twentieth-century collections in imminent jeopardy. Their foremost goal is to identify this imperiled work and ensure its preservation.
Penelope Dixon, Co-Founder and President
Penelope Dixon has more than 35 years of experience in fine art photography, including positions at the auction houses of Phillips Son & Neale and Argus, Ltd., both in Manhattan. She has lectured, served on the boards of a number of arts and appraisal organizations, and contributed to many books and articles relating to fine art photography. Penelope reviews every appraisal produced by her firm, Penelope Dixon & Associates, and provides valuable oversight to each valuation. She is the author of Photographers of the Farm Security Administration: An Annotated Bibliography.
Karen Gaines, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Karen Gaines is a longtime photo editor who served in that capacity at several of Time Inc. magazines, including People and Time, where she worked closely with the preeminent photojournalists of the mid- to late-twentieth century. She also ran photographic coverage for the official record of President Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration and worked with the Smithsonian Institution on its exhibition of those pictures. A graduate of Tufts with a BFA in Photography, she is currently finishing her postgraduate work in information science to better serve PCPP’s mission. She is also certified in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP).
Board of Directors
Co-Founder and President
Secretary; Managing Director, Howard Greenberg Gallery
Director; Founder, Howard Greenberg Gallery
Director; Partner, Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Director; Creative Collections Studio Consultant, Supercargo Consulting LLC
Director; Independent Photographs Specialist, Archivist and Advisor
Director; Co-Founder, The Better Image
Director; Vice President, Penelope Dixon & Associates, Inc.
PCPP is funded by institutional and private donors. Major funders to date include Howard Greenberg, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, and the Trust of Marvin and Alma Glickman.