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Polaroid Collection: Update 22

Based on the precedent that Sotheby’s and Trustee themselves set in withdrawing selected contested works from the auction, it would seem that all those with work in the collection have standing that would enable them to challenge the disposition of the remaining collection, if that disposition takes the form of a sale. It wouldn’t surprise me if more of the photographers in the collection decided to make their voices heard on this issue as placement of the rest of the collection moves to the front burner. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 16

Even assuming the auction by Sotheby’s goes through as planned, it includes only 1260 works out of an inventoried total of 15,936. That leaves 14,676 still in the hands of the court-appointed trustee, John R. Stoebner, for disposition. So we need to turn some of our attention to alerting suitable repositories to the desirability and ongoing availability of the bulk of the collection, which remains a unique anthology of twentieth-century visual culture. In short, we need to help the trustee find this collection — complete as is, or minus the auction selection but otherwise intact — a good new home. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 4

What lesson can we extract from this? When an institution that houses any important photo/art collection gets into financial trouble, the photo/art community needs to sound an alert and, collectively and aggressively, monitor the situation and seek solutions thereto. The earlier the better. […]

Guest Post 4: George Slade on Polaroid

There is no clear disposition of the roughly 14,300 less valuable objects, which remain in the hands of whoever runs Polaroid as of August 31, when Polaroid converts from Chapter 11 bankruptcy to Chapter 7. (Friday, August 28 is the last day for all employees, though some will transfer roles and become contractors.) Sotheby’s has, apparently, offered to serve as an agent for institutions that might want to acquire the collection. Although earlier attempts to find buyers, with the 1700 “cream” works still part of the bargain, met with no acceptable offers, the auction house now has the freedom to go through the entire collection and make unspecified further arrangements regarding the items it has been given permission to auction. […]

Polaroid Collection: Urgent Photographer Alert

If you have work in either the U.S. or European Polaroid Collections, want to prevent the destruction of this world-famous archive via sale of its individual works at auction, and want to establish your claim to ownership of works you deposited in that collection on long-term loan, the time to act is now. […]