Edition commitment in photographic art

Limited photographic art is expensive, rare and exclusive. For purchases and collectors, maintaining limited editions is of enormous importance, as limitation will crucially decide the price and the value stability or value development of a photograph in the future.

As well as unique works, editions of very exclusive photography or by the masters of the industry number in the single digit range and valuable photographic artwork rarely exceeds 25 copies.

What is important for the purchaser here is that there is an underlying verifiable practice whereby there is a serious commitment to producing editions.

Very successful first-time editions are often followed by various “exclusive” secondary or follow-up editions. These nonchalant processes increase the purchase success of photographs enormously, but the investments purchasers have made in the “first-time limitations” are greatly devalued or damaged,

At this point, both the gallery owners and photographers can be legally challenged and are liable for damages.

For purchasers, it is recommended that you request proof from the gallery and the photographer. Reputable galleries, such as Inside-Gallery, keep lists of editions and catalogues of works for the editions they sell. Enthusiasts and collectors mostly purchase exclusive, limited editions; they can recognise a legitimate offer through coherent proof of the amount of editions produced and enforce their interests in protecting their investments in photographic art.

Exhibition copies, created purely for exhibition purposes, are an exception.

These so-called “exhibition copies” are produced outside of their usual limitation. They enable expensive photographic artwork to be accessible to the general public by being displayed in galleries or at exhibitions.

However, these works remain in ownership of the artist or galleries, with no exception, and they are correspondingly labelled to indicate that they are for exhibition purposes and not for resale. They are also unsigned. It is often indicated for which exhibition or gallery they were produced/supplied for, for example using initials on the work. These works are of no interest to collectors and investors and seen as worthless copies.


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Limited editions