About Us


Our Mission

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 connects the creators of important collections to institutions committed to historic preservation. We also serve the work we represent by creating a nexus of relevant professionals, including curators, gallerists appraisers, archivists, collectors, and experts in fine art photography and photojournalism.

While PCPP acts as a good-faith advisor to all parties, our allegiance is to the work we represent, and our sole mission is to ensure that it is preserved for scholars, the public, and future generations.

Why We are Here

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.

our story

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's long career in fine-art photography, which began in the auction houses of Manhattan (Phillips Son & Neale and Argus, Ltd.), includes service on the boards of a number of arts organizations, frequent lectures to professional audiences, and contributions to articles and books. Among other works, she is the author of Photographers of the Farm Security Administration: An Annotated Bibliography. She is best known, however, as the proprietor of the well-known appraisal firm she founded some 35 years ago, Penelope Dixon & Associates, which numbers some of the most prominent photographers and collections in the world among its clients. 

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. 

Lesley Cannady, Director of Development

Lesley Cannady is a fundraising and strategy professional with ten years of experience helping arts organizations thrive. Previously, she oversaw foundation and education fundraising for The Museum of Modern Art and was a senior development officer for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lesley received her M.A. in Museum Anthropology from Columbia University and her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. 

Olivia Dillingham, Assistant Director

Olivia Dillingham is a content creator and arts-and-photography enthusiast. A recent graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she has taken on freelance projects ranging from a cookbook collaboration to auction house marketing and social media to travel pieces. Photography has played a central role in each of these projects, and she has spent many recent weekends in a darkroom in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Olivia received her B.A in Art History and Comparative Literature at the University of Virginia.

Youn Lee, Freelance Web Designer

Youn Lee is a freelance web designer responsible for website design and technical support. She is currently in the master's degree program in Information Experience Design at Pratt Institute, and has experience with cultural institute website usability research. 


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.