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Polaroid Collection: Update 24

A most perplexing series of grandiose, self-flattering, and wildly inaccurate statements has appeared in a press release posted at the website of WestLicht Schauplatz für Fotografie in Vienna, the museum that acquired the portion of the former Polaroid Collection designated by the Trustee for the Minneapolis Bankruptcy Court as the “Swiss Assets,” which resided until recently in the holdings of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. My concern remains the issuance of false and misleading statements that, inevitably, go viral and contaminate the knowledge base. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 17

Continuing her detailed coverage of the crisis of the Polaroid Collection, Charlotte Burns in the April issue of The Art Newspaper reports that a considerable number of artists and photographers with work in the collection stand ready to participate in a legal effort to intervene in its imminent dismantling. In her article titled “Polaroid row hots up,” she specifically identifies Chuck Close as having committed himself to fighting the planned June 21-22 auction of the cream of the collection at Sotheby’s in New York. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 11

I think it is incumbent on the Polaroid Corporation to answer some increasingly urgent questions. To wit: How does the Polaroid Corporation account for the discrepancy between the repeated estimate of 22,000-24,000 prints in the collection, given out by the Polaroid Corporation as recently as summer 2009, and the official inventory of 16,000 presented to the Minnesota court in spring 2009? Can the Polaroid Corporation verify its actual acquisition and legal ownership of all the works it claims as its outright property in the Polaroid Collection, above and beyond authorization from the courts to sell them? […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 2

Based on my admittedly layman’s reading of these documents, they constitute non-exclusive subsidiary-rights licenses based on the exchange of either money or goods for those rights, not transfers of ownership. What Polaroid acquired by that exchange appears voluntarily restricted on Polaroid’s part to “the right to republish my image(s)” and/or “the worldwide non-exclusive rights for exhibition and editorial (non-commercial) publication purposes of the following images in perpetuity.” Since these letters of agreement and release forms originated with the Polaroid Corporation, we can reasonably assume that their terms represent what Polaroid sought to obtain from the photographers with whom they chose to collaborate in this way. […]