In 2005, the International Center of Photography opened an exhibit called “Young America”. The exhibit largely featured a collection of ghostly daguerreotypes - antique images made through the pioneer process that paved the way for modern photography. The exhibit opened to rave reviews - but within weeks many of the historic images began disappearing before the curators very eyes, aging decades in a matter of days.
It was one of the greatest museum mysteries to date, and an art conservationist’s worst nightmare. Daniel Grushkin is a freelance journalist – his article “The Case of the Disappearing Daguerreotypes” was published in the December Issue of Scientific American.