Henry G. Wilhelm '68
A photograph captures a moment in time. Henry G. Wilhelm '68 has dedicated his life to ensuring that the photos we create last a lifetime--and beyond.
Wilhelm first gained notice as a photographer for the infamous 1966 Grinnell yearbook. The publication included photographs addressing the era's defining issues, from civil rights protests to Vietnam War activism. The yearbook was banned by the College, and was not published until 1986.
After Grinnell, Wilhelm began a lifetime of research to help protect and preserve photographs. For more than a decade, he manufactured archival print washers and print dryers. He served as a technical adviser to director Martin Scorsese on motion picture preservation issues. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship to do a long-term study of color print fading.
His clients include some of the largest and best-known institutions and companies in the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, Kodak, and Canon. When Bill Gates purchased the Corbis Bettman Archive with more than 12 million photographs, Wilhelm advised a radical cold-storage solution to preserve the deteriorating collection. His work with manufacturers has helped create printers that can produce long-lasting images for our personal collections.
He has earned a special commendation from the Society of American Archivists for his book, The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs. Last year, the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association honored him with a lifetime achievement award.
For helping preserve some of society's most important photographs, as well as our own, Grinnell is proud to recognize Henry G. Wilhelm '68.