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Sunday, August 23, 2009

“It’ll go great next to my Herring.”

*sigh of the times* Now I know how Paul must’ve felt when Michael sold half the Beatles’ collection to Sony. A collection of Ansel Adams’ Polaroid images are going up for auction after the company had declared bankruptcy. It’ll probably sell with no problem once Sotheby’s puts it up for auction, that’s not the issue so much. (The legality of the sale is actually challenged by one critic who says works from artists like Adams and others may have been on loan to Polaroid, not donated.)

It’s more about seeing something you dug get sold to someone who likely could care less about it beyond its market value. (Tangential to the discussion is the possible loss of all of photographer Annie Leibovitz’s work because of an outstanding loan due next month.)

As for Adams, I grew up a fan of his work as the old man was into him. I also studied him in college photography classes, and even worked with an agency photographer for a few years who’d studied with him as well as spent time with his family. (How that influenced his shots on the rum account we were on, I’m not sure.) Just seems that a collection though that’s been in major museums around the world should be donated to those institutions or universities. Instead, they end up owned by anonymous bidders who appreciate the investment more than the art.

As for the “art,” Vogue editor Anna Wintour said something about Leibovitz in that article that really applies to all the artists I mentioned: Budget isn’t the concern, because at the end of the day, they give you something that nobody else can.


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