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Polaroid Collection: Update 25

At the request of court-appointed Trustee John R. Stoebner, charged with the task of recovering as much money as possible for the creditors of the collapsed Ponzi scheme created by the now-jailed Tom Petters, the Minnesota Bankruptcy Court has approved the transfer of the cluster of works known collectively known as the “Sotheby’s Assets” from Sotheby’s in New York City to Swann Auction Galleries in the same metropolis, for inclusion in a series of auctions, beginning with one coming up in April 2012. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 23

I find myself wondering if the malevolent ghost of J. P. Morgan himself, still furious with Edward Steichen for making that iconic 1903 portrait, lurked around JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters while this deal went down in order to exact revenge on the entire medium through which his murderous inner child had been evoked for all to see. […]

Polaroid Collection: Urgent Institutional Alert 2

I’ll put my dollar on 20 Exchange Place turning the Polaroid Collection into trophy lobby decor, using it to accessorize its newly gentrified location, with perhaps a small dedicated gallery on the ground floor or in the retail area. That gallery will be rentable for social events, of course; nothing tones up a corporate cocktail party or an upscale wedding reception like world-class fine art on the walls, as museums around the country have discovered. And access to any part of the collection not on display will become so restricted that we might as well kiss it goodbye. (You read it here first.) […]

Polaroid Collection: Urgent Institutional Alert 1

John R. Stoebner, the court-appointed Chapter 7 Trustee in the PBE Corporation bankruptcy proceeding that involves the Polaroid Collection, anounced on January 3, 2010 that he has found buyers for most of the collection. This opens the way for a poential auction for the several remaining components of the Polaroid Collection, with competitive bids due no later that 5 p.m. CST on January 20, 2011 — 10 days hence. That leaves a very brief window of opportunity for any institution or other potential purchaser to submit an offer. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 19

I propose that the creation of a virtual version of the Polaroid Collection, in the form of a comprehensive annotated database of its contents placed online, should become a priority as we move inexorably toward some disposition of the collection that will certainly include sales of individual pieces (the auction), as well as sales or donations of chunks of the remainder to one or more institutions. This should start with the gathering together of existing databases and other annotated records cataloguing portions of the collection or its entirety. From the standpoint of the collection’s significance to the history of photography and our understanding of visual culture in the second half of the twentieth century, the production and availability of such a resource would go along way to making up for the dispersal of its analog contents. […]