Founded in Chicago in 1976 by Doug Munson and Joel Snyder, CAW moved to the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts in 1982 and opened a New York satellite studio in 2009.

The Chicago Albumen Works puts decades of experience to work for some of the finest collections from around the world. A combination of technical expertise and historical perspective, operating in a controlled, conservation environment, directs our solutions to the diverse challenges presented by photograph collections.

The staff at CAW has a wide range of training and experience. Its size is large enough to accommodate professional diversity, and at the same time small enough to encourage the sharing of expertise and ideas. Across the staff, we possess advanced degrees or certificates in photograph conservation, fine art photography, art (photographic) history, and digital photography, plus years of accumulated experience in the photographic laboratory.

At CAW, the synergy of technical understanding, a conservator’s approach, an artist’s eye and a historian’s perspective creates a unique, productive, and collegial environment.

The CAW digital laboratories are not a one-way street heading away from traditional media; we constantly ask, “Will this file be sufficient to produce a surrogate of the original?” The production of surrogates, in both digital and traditional media, is an important service that can provide institutions with the ability to display objects that may be too fragile for exhibition or to allow display in venues with less than optimal security.


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