So i've had a burst of optimism. Narrowed down my list of photographers to the best one available. She does all the documentation work for the National Gallery. She has a super impressive portfolio and lots of experience photographing artwork at high resolutions for reproduction. Managed to negotiate a small prospective discount for a full day's photography. Figured it would be better to go for someone really good, and her affiliation with the National Gallery was sure to make my grandfather a little more relaxed about letting her photograph his work.
Knowing my grandfather, i also tracked down the lady who frames his pictures. I just knew that when i suggest getting them photographed, his first objection would be that nobody would be qualified to remove them from her frames. So i asked nice framer lady if she could be present when this happens, and she agreed.
And so tonight i tentatively broached the subject with him, emphasising the benefits of having his work documented (it creates a record of all his achievements which he would get to see all in one place for the first time, and that it would be of tremendous value to the family to have a preservation of all his work if we are not able to accommodate it all when he is no longer around), and he agreed to let it happen. He's not showing much emotion, but i think a small bit of him is actually pleased to have this done.
I'm delighted. At any other time in his life he would have certainly declined this, and i was surprised how little resistance he put up. He says it's all incredibly stressful and that he'll probably have nightmares about it tonight, but he's saying so with a fraction of a smile on his face. He's quite stuck in his ways so i think he has trouble outwardly communicating that he's sort of pleased for this to be happening.