segunda-feira, 2 de maio de 2011

As prices for vintage photographs rise, some collectors are forgoing the aura of an original in favor of a sharper image.

At Christie’s New York last April, a rare signed print from 1925 of Imogen Cunningham’s exotic close-up "Magnolia Blossom" (est. $250-350,000) sold for $242,500. A month later at Swann Galleries, in New York, another print of the same image brought just $31,200. Why the disparity? The Swann version was "late," executed in the 1960s or ’70s, while the Christie’s one was vin- tage. In the photography market, where rarity and provenance are revered, those designations mean the difference between six figures and seven. For young collectors, they also mean the difference between an unattainable treasure and a prize within their financial grasp.

A vintage print must have been made from the original negative within a variable but typically short span of years from the date the image was taken and with the artist’s direct involvement. Later, or modern, prints are also made from original negatives but beyond the time limit for vintage designation, and they may be executed by the photographer himself, by technicians or collaborators working under his supervision, or posthumously, with the authorization of the artists’s estate. Vintage material is increasingly rare. As a result, says Denise Bethel, the longtime head of photography at Sotheby’s New York, "we are seeing an even bigger increment in price between the early print and the later print."

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Texto de: Judd Tully, fev. 2011.

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