Our New Jersey studio in the Milford Opera House

The Better Image® was established as a partnership in January 1991 by Nora Kennedy and Peter Mustardo and incorporated in the State of New Jersey as ProPhoto International Inc. dba The Better Image (TBI) in January 1998. The Better Image® is a domestically and internationally registered service mark. On the East Coast, The Better Image® has two convenient locations allowing for increased access for clients in the tri-state region and optimum space to handle a range of projects both large and small. In addition to our New York City studio, our facility in the Opera House in Milford, New Jersey is situated along the scenic Delaware River in Hunterdon County. One hour west of New York City and one and one-half hours north of Philadelphia, this facility gives us ample space for large projects and quiet research. For clients and projects on the West Coast, The Better Image® has a studio in the Bay Area of California.


Image by Kristin Blair

Peter Mustardo graduated from Columbia University's Advanced Certificate Program in Preservation Administration. He was the Assistant Conservator at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House from 1978 to 1982, Head of the Preservation Section at the New York City Municipal Archives from 1985 to 1990, and the Regional Preservation Coordinator for the National Archives in Washington, D.C. At various times he has worked at the Biblioteca Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, the Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica in Puebla, Mexico, and the Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia (C.R.A.F.) in Spilembergo Italy. He established his private practice in New York City in 1982 prior to co-founding The Better Image®.

Nora Kennedy graduated from the University of Delaware's Winterthur Conservation Program in 1986 with a Masters degree in Photograph Conservation. She has worked at the Center for Conservation of Art and Historic Artifacts, Philadelphia; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and the Centro de Conservação Fotográfico, Rio de Janeiro. She currently is the Sherman Fairchild Conservator of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an adjunct professor at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Nora is very active both nationally and internationally, teaching and conducting various workshops relating to photograph conservation. She established a private practice of photograph conservation in New York City in 1988 prior to co-founding The Better Image®.

Alison Rossiter studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts in Alberta, Canada. She has taught fine art photography courses at Drexel University in Philadelphia, The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, and the University of Ottawa in Ontario. For two years Alison worked as a volunteer in the Sherman Fairchild Photograph Conservation Laboratory at the Metropolitan Museum of Art under the supervision of Nora Kennedy. She has participated in photograph conservation and preservation workshops at the Image Permanence Institute at RIT in Rochester, New York and the Andrew W. Mellon funded Workshop in Preservation at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Alison has an extensive exhibition record as a photographer, and her work may be found in several major collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Canada, The Minneapolis Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and The J. Paul Getty Museum. She brings years of of practical experience with photographic materials and processes to The Better Image®.

Michelle Kloehn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Michelle joined The Better Image® in 2005 after interning at both the Sherman Fairchild Photograph Conservation Laboratory at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the private studio of Jose Orraca. She has participated in numerous Andrew W. Mellon funded workshops in photograph conservation and preservation and continues to show her fine art work throughout the country. Michelle is a 2011 Baum Award nominee for Emerging American Photographers and the recipient of two MacDowell Colony Fellowships. Michelle is currently the West Coast representative for The Better Image in the Bay Area.

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Richard Stenman joined the staff at The Better Image® after graduating from the University of Delaware/Winterthur Program in 2006 with a Masters degree in Photograph Conservation. Prior to graduation he performed internships at the Chicago Albumen Works in Housatonic, Massachusetts, the Center for Conservation of Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia,and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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Hanako Murata joined the staff of The Better Image® after working in the photograph conservation laboratories at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She received her Master of Arts (MA) in the Conservation of Works of Art on Paper from the University of The Arts London, Camberwell College of Arts, London, and a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Museum & Gallery Studies from the School of Art History at University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. She was also an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Advanced Residency Program in photograph conservation and completed the Certificate Program in Photographic Preservation and Archival Practice both from the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York.

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J. Luca Ackerman studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art and earned a Bachelors degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Luca joined the staff at The Better Image® after graduating from FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2012 with a Masters degree in Photograph Conservation. During his graduate studies he performed an internship at the National Archives of the Czech Republic, as well as having worked on projects for the National Technical Museum, National Film Archive, and several regional historical museums and institutions. Luca is an active black and white fine art printer, platinum printer and an occasional author of essays and articles on the history of photography.

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Tatiana Cole has practiced preservation and conservation of artistic and historic works since 2007, and holds a Master of Science in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program (Class of 2012). Tatiana joined The Better Image® in 2014, and has held fellowships at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX, and Harvard University's Weissman Preservation Center in Cambridge, MA. She has interned at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. Cole's past research has focused on the technical development and conservation treatment of Kodak Dye Transfer printing materials, the Platinum Renaissance of the late 1960s, and the materials and methods used by platinum master printers over the past 20 years. Cole also spent time with Harvard University's audiovisual preservation initiative and the Harvard Film Archive, gaining exposure to the preservation of time-based media.

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Anne Spence joined the staff at The Better Image® in 2013, bringing over ten years of experience in Office Administration and Human Resources, becoming certified in HR in 2007. Previously she held positions in museum exhibition supplies, art galleries and in the non-profit sector providing arts in education to underserved communities. She earned her Bachelors degree in Philosophy and East Asian Studies from Wittenberg University in 1988, and studied filmmaking at Columbia College in Chicago from 1991 to 1993. An artist working in constructed sculpture, she was selected for membership to the National Association of Women Artists in 2009, and selected for signature membership to the National Collage Society in 2012. Her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marin County, California and the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona among others.

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Kristin Blair studied photography at Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from The College of New Jersey in 2013. Prior to joining the staff at The Better Image® she worked as a freelance photographer, picture framer, and exhibition installation consultant in Nyack, New York, and as a photojournalist and photo editor at the SandPaper in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Kristin continues to study photo-microscopy and abstract painting independently, and her work has been exhibited at the University of Southern Indiana as well as venues throughout New Jersey.

Image by Kristin Blair

Alyssa Rina holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The School of Visual Arts. She joined the staff at The Better Image® in 2015 as a pre-program intern with previous experience in paper conservation. She has interned at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and broadened her experience in book conservation. As an AIC member she currently holds the position of Co-Communications Officer for Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (2016-18). In addition to her art conservation work, Alyssa is a tutor at Raritan Valley Community College specializing in general and organic chemistry. She continues to garner conservation experience and has worked with object conservators in both private practice and at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

* Image by Pavel Romaniko