The Wall Street Journal gives the details of the case but not the background issue which is the shift from photography collectors to Contemporary art collectors. Eggleston made the new prints to appeal to the latter. The aggrieved party is one of the former:
On Wednesday, New York collector Jonathan Sobel filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Mr. Eggleston, alleging that the artist’s recent decision to print and sell oversized versions of some of his famous images in a Christie’s auction has diluted the rarity—and therefore the resale value—of the originals. Mr. Sobel is seeking unspecified damages and has asked the court to forbid the artist from making additional varieties of his older prints.
John Cahill, a New York lawyer representing Mr. Eggleston, said the suit has “no merit” because the artist’s decision to revisit his oeuvre and “create new editions in new formats” falls within his creative rights. Mr. Cahill also represents Mr. Eggleston’s two sons and the family’s Eggleston Artistic Trust, who are also named in the lawsuit.
Mr. Sobel, who manages a financial-services firm called DTF Holdings, said he has spent the past decade amassing 192 photographs by Mr. Eggleston. He’s also bought and given additional works to major museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art, where Mr. Sobel serves as a trustee. Mr. Sobel said the Egglestons in his private collection are worth between $3 million and $5 million combined.
Collector Sues Over Copies (Wall Street Journal)
- Lot 56 Richard AvedonThe Beatles Portfolio: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, musicians, London, 1967, $722,500
- Lot 221 Nadar (Gaspard Félix) and Adrien Tournachon, Pierrot with Fruit, 1854-1855, $542,500
- Lot 226 Man Ray, Untitled (Self-portrait of Man Ray), 1933, $398,500
- Lot 32 Irving Penn, Black and White Vogue Cover (Jean Patchett), New York, 1950, $374,500
- Lot 251 Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait, 1935, $146,500
- Lot 140 Bernd & Hilla Becher, Cooling Towers, Ruhr District, 1983, $140,500
- Lot 73 Man Ray, Torso, 1930, $134,500
- Lot 46 Candida Höfer, Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal Den Haag III, 2004, $104,500
- Lot 141 Richard Avedon, Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, 14 June, 1981, $98,500
- Lot 66 Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1987, $86,500
Sales highlights include Nadar (Gaspard Félix) and Adrien Tournachon’s Pierrot with Fruit, 1854-1855, which brought $542,500 and set a world auction record for the fraternal duo as well as Nadar; Richard Avedon’s The Beatles Portfolio: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, musicians, London, 1967, which brought $722,500, becoming the second-highest price ever achieved for a work by Avedon at auction as well as a world auction record for the portfolio; Man Ray’s Untitled (Self-portrait of Man Ray), 1933, which brought $398,500, more than tripling the presale high estimate; and Candida Höfer’s Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal Den Haag III, 2004, which sold for $104,500 and set a new world auction record for the Libraries series by the artist.
Carol Vogel reports on the Philadelphia Museum’s acquisition of a huge body of photographer Paul Strand’s work:
Although the museum already had one of the most complete holdings of Strand’s work, now through a combination of partial and promised gifts from the Philadelphia philanthropists Lynne and Harold Honickman, Marjorie and Jeffrey Honickman and Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, it has received 1,422 images from the Paul Strand Archive at the Aperture Foundation, which is based in New York. [Read more...]
Phillips de Pury is bulking up its photo department by promoting from within:
Vanessa Kramer has been appointed Worldwide Head of Photographs. She will assume her new role effective immediately, overseeing both the creative and business aspects of a united global department. She also continues to be Head of Photographs, New York. Throughout her five years with Phillips de Pury, and especially during her year and a half overseeing the New York team, Vanessa’s energy and dedication have resulted in an ever-expanding profile for the department.
Louise Proud has been appointed Head of Photographs, London. In her time as a Senior Specialist, Louise’s outstanding performance and leadership abilities have helped to expand Phillips de Pury’s position as an important player in the European photographs market, and we look forward to continuing growth in the field.
Lindsay Pollock announces the demise of one of the ArtBasel MiamiBeach satellite fairs — Photo Miami – with this post mortem:
In recent years Photo Miami, which focused on contemporary work, had struggled to land high caliber exhibitors and the show suffered. The canceled fair was slated for Dec. 1-5, timed to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.
Photo Miami Cancels 2010 Edition (Lindsay Pollock)
Sotheby’s sale of works from the Polaroid collectiong was primarily an Ansel Adams affair with numerous examples of the photographer’s work finding strong competition (though there were more than a few disappointments or average sellers.)
The total for the four sessions came in at $12,467,636. We’ll have more details on the sell-through when we get them.