Editioning and trying to make identical prints

From: John Cremati ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/05/04-01:30:41 PM Z
Message-id: <001101c462c6$8fa63e60$fea551d1@k1t0l0>

This is a question for Tom Ferguson...
     Tom, I think your thread is very interesting.... .. The question I have for you is : As a collector how do you feel of various editions using the same negative but printing separate editions using other printing processes..Say one in Carbon, another in silver, gum, and yet another in Platinum...? As a example do you think the previous buyers of silver prints should be made aware of a edition of Platinum? Many photographers evolve as time goes on... They had no idea that they would be making platinum prints 5 years ago..
John Cremati
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Tom Ferguson
  To: alt-photo-process-l@skyway.usask.ca
  Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 1:11 PM
  Subject: Re: Editioning and trying to make identical prints

  For a few decades I've been an active collector of photography. I've been a good customer to a number of galleries. So, let me speak from the collector's viewpoint (as opposed to the photographer's viewpoint).

  The whole concept of editions in photography is a mess. Partly due to the fact that it isn't a natural part of photography (negatives don't wear out like printing plates) and partly because the galleries and photographers have been plainly dishonest. There are few laws (or few laws enforced) in this area. I have a wonderful Brett Weston print of leaves in Hawaii. It is market 5/45 (I think). It is a total lie (and I knew that when I bought it). He had printed it as an unlimited edition for many years. A particular gallery then wanted a limited edition to raise pre publication funds for one of his books. My print is only an "edition" because it is 10x13 inches rather than 11x14 inches!! Yes, thats right, an edition of 45 10x13 inch prints in an unlimited image :-(

  I love the image and the price was right, so I bought it. Probably a good thing, now that he is dead I can't afford his work. I gave the gallery a good lecture, but assume it went in one ear and right out the other.

  This sort of dishonesty hurts all of us. My suggestion: most of us have some sort of stamp we use on the back of our mats. Put any "funny business" about your editioning there for all to see. If 1/45 means "of this size" or "of this edition" or "negative may be used in other collages", then SAY SO TO THE BUYER and all is well. If you don't want to commit to an honest and stated edition, run it as an unlimited image (that didn't hurt Ansel Adams or Edward Weston).

  On Sunday, July 4, 2004, at 08:50 PM, res1dvao@verizon.net wrote:

    When you put up for sale an edition of 5 the representation to the buyer is there will be only 5 printed. The buyer gets the print and the assurance he/she will be only 1 of 5 in the entire world to ever own that image. Subsequent sales of additional prints lower the value of the original 5 because now there may be no end of the number of prints. No only that, your word is no longer to be trusted and your value to collectors is nil.

Received on Mon Jul 5 13:29:53 2004

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