Friday, July 30, 2010

Garage Sale Find

According to several news outlets, a California man (Rick Norsigian ) claims to have unearthed a number of original Ansel Adams film negatives. The story from the BBC News can be read here.

Verification on the authenticity of these negatives is in dispute. People from both viewpoints have commented on this issue. From the article, it seems that the central theme of these arguments is whether or not Mr. Norsigian should profit from his find.

Establishing the dollar amount of any one work of art is often an inconsistent process. Many factors go into this decision, including the “brand name” of the artist. Artists’ names fluctuate in popularity just as companies on the stock market. I would add however, that this is unimportant.

I have often made the comparison between the visual arts and literature. Both are forms of communication, and they are both frequently used to tell a story. With regards to the visual arts, I think how that story is told and how the viewer responds to the story has far more value than a monetary sum. The same could be said for literature as well. While original manuscripts from authors have a high dollar amount, people don’t really purchase and trade these items. They are reprinted and people acquire their favorites because of the content.

To own a work of art, regardless of the media, only for its dollar amount is not a wise decision. If one enjoys the work, let that be the reason to own it. Do you agree?

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