Originals or limited editions?

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I'm now selling my image transfers and need to know: since each one is an original, with variations, can I sell an unlimited number of one or do they need to be limited editions? I feel that they are all original (they never look exactly the same) and any number of them should be able to be sold. But I'm afraid of devalueing (?) the pieces if they flood the market. Thanks for any help. We are crossing unchartered waters with this since this isn't the same as traditional photography.

-- Leslie Parker (lparker@bendnet.com), July 25, 2002


Hi Leslie,

I wondered the same thing a few years ago and e-mailed Kathleen Carr who wrote the book "Polaroid Transfers". She said, "I sell each original transfer as an original, even if it is from the same slide, because each one is unique."

I didn't follow her advice because I was worried about the rules for the art fairs I was applying to stating that all photographs must be in numbered editions. So I started out numbering them and had so many customers ask me if they were reproductions and not originals because they were numbered that I have stopped numbering my new work and I have never had a problem with the art fair people. I do emulsion transfers rather than image transfers, but I think the same would apply as they are each different too.

Good luck! Angela

-- Angela (angmaywin@hotmail.com), July 25, 2002.

Leslie, this seems to be a hot topic as of late on other lists as well. I don't think there is a right and wrong regarding this issue. It should remain up to the artist/photographer as how they want to bring their work to the marketplace. The general consensus seems to be that, however you decide to promote your work, you are forthcoming with all information regarding numbering of prints, what editions they are run in, if they are open editions, etc., etc. As long as a buyer or gallery is given full disclosure of this information and they are content, then everyone should be happy.

-- Bill Mull (paintedhorse@in-tch.com), August 24, 2002.

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