In Memory: Lenny Hanson, Conservator of Hulton Archive


Lenny Hanson, a conservator at Getty Images’ Hulton Archive facility in East London passed away while on holiday a year ago on the 30 June 2017. He was 60 years old.
To mark his work the team at the Hulton Archive have named one of the conservation rooms to his memory – I took a photo of the door to the room on a recent visit to the archive below.


I wanted to mark Lenny’s contribution to the press photo industry here on the PPHP so I asked Matt Butson at the Hulton Getty archive for a few words on Lenny to mark the first anniversary of his death, Matt sent me this great photo of Lenny and the Krays and the words below.

Photo supplied

“30th June marks the first year anniversary of Lenny Hanson’s passing. Lenny was a revered, long-standing member of the Hulton Archive team at Getty Images, having been with the business for over 28 years, and his contribution to looking after our cultural photographic heritage cannot be overstated. He was a unique and hugely talented individual – as well as a much-loved and respected colleague and friend. Lenny was one of a very small band of conservators worldwide skilled in both paper-based and glass plate conservation. For those who had the privilege of meeting Lenny and observing at first hand his traditional conservation methods, he left an indelible and lasting impression on all who met him.  He is much missed by family, friends and those of us here at the Archive and the photographic community in general.” Matt Butson.

Mel Hough at Getty Images sent me a link to this Vimeo video featuring Lenny at work, yes Mel as you say,a fitting tribute:

Watch above: Lenny Hanson at work: ‘A Conversation with Conservation’ (published 2000)

• I found this on Lenny from a Hulton Archive blog (no longer updated):
Lenny Hanson completed his BA in conservation course, with honors, at London’s Camberwell College of Arts. His graduation was followed by a placement at the National Maritime Museum. In 1989, he joined the British Museum as an intern in the Prints and Drawings Department. Later that same year he was appointed full-time conservator at the Hulton Deutsch Collection (now Hulton Archive). Lenny also has an MA in photography history and culture from the London School of Printing.
Each day, Lenny essentially helps preserve our heritage through preserving the archive’s unique illustrative record. As a glass-plate-negative conservationist, he is one of an elite group in the UK (one of just four in the entire country). Lenny’s skills are extensive and specialized, and his advice is much sought after. Along with routinely cleaning and resleeving negatives and prints, his tasks range from delicately removing a 150-year-old albumen print from an acid-laden backboard to floating the emulsion layer off of a cockled diacetate cellulose negative and restoring it, like new, onto glass.
Lenny uses traditional photographic conservation methods as he works with myriad types of negatives and photographs in the archive (prints produced using albumen, colloidal, carbon, silver gelatin, salt processes and other negative types invented since the birth of photography). Also a paper conservationist, Lenny looks after the entire archival collection of some 35 million assets including prints, etchings, engravings, film-based negatives, glass negatives, maps, cartoons, lithographs, letters, playbills and more.