45°/ 25% – Cold and Dry As A Bone

Hidden in the side streets of Hollywood, California is a place known as the vaults: The Hollywood Vaults.

Chilled to 45° and humidity kept to 25%, this is the perfect environment for the preservation of photographs, negatives, video tape, and more.

The facility exceeds the earthquake code by 9 times! There are jackets hanging by every entrance to warm your bones as you enter the storage units themselves.

We can’t tell you about the famous property that is stored here. But trust us,it is mind blowing.

Go ahead……take a look inside.

There is one vault we CAN reveal to you though: the Leigh Wiener collection.

Now we’ve discussed this photographers’ work before when we first met his son Devik, the keeper of the archive.

Let’s show you what goes on here.

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As his work schedule permits, Devik has come here at every opportunity to pour through his dad’s lifetime of photography, and selectively scan images.

At the risk of sounding trite, it’s a herculean task. No BS. I saw some of the boxes of slides alone and it was astounding.

The vaults have work stations with scanners, and heated comfort to those that need to facilitate their stored materials.

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As we donned the winter gear and pressed the special combination, the James Bond-ian metal door slid open to reveal the row of blue spinner handles, each on coordinated to open the selected vault.

Devik spun the specific handle and the lights came on and revealed a lifetime of photographic work.

Now in the image above you get a glimpse of the archive. But when you see the full height and length of this vault and know that every inch covers a part of our history in photographic terms, it truly is mind boggling.

Take a close look at some of the names on the boxes:

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This will be just a start on this series as it can’t all be told in one article. We’ll fill in more info as time goes on.
And sharing some video and an interview with Devik.

But most importantly.. sharing Leigh Wiener’s photographs. We’ll be starting a special gallery with images that have been chosen by his son.

Some other things currently going on are Devik has been revisiting some of his dad’s subjects and photographing them as they are today.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Cheers!
Damon Webster

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