August 6th, 2013

Now in Beta: Amazon’s Platform for Selling Fine-Art Prints

Amazon-Fine-Art-Print-Cartier-BressonAmazon, the online retailer, has launched the beta version of its new online marketplace for photographic prints. You can take a look here.

Amazon is currently offering over 5,000 photographic prints on the site. Like other goods that are advertised on the Amazon marketplace, fulfillment is handled by another retailer — in this case, art galleries.  If you’ve ever shopped for a hairdryer or a wristwatch on Amazon, you know how it works: A breakdown of categories and prices appears on the left. Click on “Photographs” and Amazon lets you sort them by medium (C-prints, silver gelatin photographs, archival digital photographs), subject (architecture, nature, fashion, people) and “style,” which Amazon defines by terms such as Art Photography, Digital Art, Modern Art, Postmodern & Contemporary Styles. You can also set the price range you would like to browse.

The highest priced print on the site is a one-of-a-kind print by Dieter Blum; it’s $120,000. The site also offers a set of four images, the 32nd in an edition of 35, by Ed Ruscha; it’s offered for $80,000, and is sold through the Richard Levy Gallery (which is selling 43 images on the site by many photographers including Gregory Crewdson). A $75,000 Julius Shulman on the site and a $50,000 print of Sebastiao Salgado’s image “Bombay, India, (Churchgate Station), 1995″ are being sold through Fahey/Klein Gallery, which has 171 images on Amazon. The edition sizes of the Shulman and the Salgado are not listed. The least expensive prints on the site sell for under $30.

Other photographers whose prints are sold through Amazon include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mark Laita, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Vik Muniz, Michael Kenna, Julie Blackmon, Harry Benson, William Abranowicz, Camille Seaman and Jennifer Shaw. Among the participating galleries are Modernbook Gallery, Oxenberg Fine Art, Holden Luntz Gallery, RoGallery, Afterimage Gallery and Soulcatcher Studio.

It seems that customers will also be able to post reviews of the works once they’ve bought them.  Are you at all curious to know how the buyer of a Julius Shulman “rates” that purchase? We think we might cringe reading it.

*Photo, above: The Amazon page that displays “On the Banks of the Marne, France” by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Photo © Henri Cartier-Bresson/courtesy Fahey/Klein Gallery.

Related Articles:
How To Sell Your Photos Professionally

A Guide to Pricing Your Prints

August 17th, 2012

Magnum Photographer Martine Franck Dies

Magnum photographer Martine Franck, who was best known for her portraits of artists and writers, died in Paris yesterday at the age of 74. The cause of death was cancer, according to a family friend. Franck became a full member of Magnum in 1983, and was married to renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died in 2004. Read the full story at PDNOnline.

November 17th, 2011

Cartier-Bresson Photo Sets Record at Christie’s Auction in Paris

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Derriere la Gare

© Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Christie's

Christie’s took advantage of the interest surrounding Paris Photo last week by holding three auctions at their Paris auction house, one of which saw a photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson fetch a record price for the photographer of $590,455.

The record-breaking 1946 print of Derrière la Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, 1932, the famous photograph of a man jumping over a puddle, was part of an auction of 100 photographs from the collection of the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson. The sale more than doubled the $243,000 high estimate for the print. Total sales for the auction reached $2,818,097.

A sale of 51 Irving Penn prints from an unnamed private collection generated $2,848,546. The highest sale at the auction was $492,273, paid for Penn’s Woman in Moroccan Palace (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1951.

The top two sales in the general photography auction also belonged to Penn prints. The still life Two Liqueurs, New York, 1951, and Mouth, New York, 1986, both earned more than $200,000. A pair of Peter Beard prints were the next highest sales. The auction of 56 lots brought in $2,320,576.