Re: Editions

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/04/04-04:52:56 AM Z
Message-id: <>

A couple of comments:
(1) I agree with John: If a person can say this image is being printed
in an edition of 5, and then when that edition sells out make another
edition of 5 and another, then the word "edition" has no meaning
whatever. Buyers expect that 1/5 means 1/5, not 1/25. If you're going to
do editions, then it seems to me that whatever you decided in the
beginning was going to be the size of the edition, you should stick to;
if you're not going to do that you should just not pretend to be doing
editions. Otherwise the whole idea of limited editions is bankrupt.
Which, actually I think it is anyway, but that's more a philosophical
question than a practical one. I think the most cogent statement ever
made about editions for photographs is David Vestal's essay on the

(2) While I understand that some people do this thing of putting out
another edition in another size, I personally wouldn't do it, even if I
weren't making unique prints.

(3) The question was asked: is there a way of designating a print as
completely unique, that would be recognized to everyone as meaning that
only one print of that image will be made? I personally think 1/1 does
that, although even that apparently can be interpreted different ways.
One gallery owner, when I started showing work in her gallery, put 1/1
beside all my prints, and I asked her to take it off. She felt that the
1/1 designation was appropriate even if I made other prints from the
same negative, since I would never make two identical gum prints even
from the same negative. But to me, the 1/1 meant I was promising buyers
that I would never make another print of that set of negatives. While I
almost never make two prints of the same image, (only two of the
hundreds of prints I've sold are made from the same negatives as another
print) I want to keep that option open to me.

(3) I like (was it Kate's?) idea of 1 of 6 rather than 1/6 but don't
know whether buyers would understand it without explanation.

(4) I use the designation Title (II) very differently than Judy does: I
do this for a series, and the (I) (II) etc are different images in the
series, as in Fishing Boat Named Desire I, Fishing Boat Named Desire II,
Katharine Thayer

John Cremati wrote:
> I have a group of friends who are sculptors... I have seen them do
> over the years make images in clay, make molds and then cast them in
> bronze.... What has happened is that the edition ( typically 6 to 10 ) of
> several of the figures have sold out quickly as they were very desirable
> ....
> Most artists lack money so some of them continued the edition with
> out numbering them and with out informing the previous clients who had
> purchased numbered pieces ......They sold them elseware in the
> US......Others continued making castings from the same mold only using
> other metals such as stainless steel.. They would create a edition of
> Stainless, bronze, aluminum, silver, ect Although I feel this is ethical
> they did it with out informing previous clients... ....
> My feelings are in photography a edition would be a print made from a
> particular negative and a particular process combination no matter the
> suptile differences ( actually a good selling point as they in reality are
> one of a kind images) ... I think it is perfectly ethical to create a
> special separate edition made from a entirely different processes and
> still using the same negative. But when it runs out , let it runs out ,
> no matter how popular the image. Keep this in mind when you start the
> image edition... In other words, do not place a edition of 6 on one of your
> best images that you have ever taken.....
> I think we should live by our word ... If we do not , our word
> becomes meaningless.. In other words no matter what you say or do has any
> meaning or substance... If we do not live by our word there is a price to
> pay.......... As a example I have seen these sculptors that cheat a little
> go into cycles where they do not create much of any new work.. They get
> stuck in a rut of only doing the figures that sell. Then when doing new
> work, it highly resembles the very successful work they had previously
> made..... They are stuck in the mud as far as I am concerned and are paying
> that price whether they know it or not....
> John Cremati
Received on Sun Jul 4 11:49:04 2004

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