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Selling Unsigned Prints After Artist Dies

Discussion in 'Art Matters & News' started by shayla, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    In 2000, a local artist ran off 500 posters, signed and numbered half of them, and sold them around town. Between our gallery and another local place, around half sold in the next decade. He then came got Alzheimers and died, at which point his son took over the estate. Half of the prints are still there, unsigned, and for two years since his death, nothing has been done with them. These aren't high end things, having sold for $50.00 each signed and numbered, but we still want to honor the spirit of it. I'm curious as to whether it's considered okay to go ahead and sell the unsigned/unnumbered prints at a lower price, to differentiate from those that sold for more, or if that's unacceptable.
     
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  2. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    I would talk to the son, and see if he has any idea of what his dad's wishes were wrt the owners of the signed prints. I would do nothing until I had direction from the son.

    We went through this with Brenda Carter's work. She's a noted wildlife artist who passed away about five years ago.
     
    AaronF and Dave like this.
  3. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If the original prints were sold as an edition of "500 posters, signed and numbered" representing an edition of 500, I would say it's not cool to sell the rest as unsigned/unnumbered. That would devalue the original 250 that did sell.
     
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  4. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't think it would be out of order for a family member to sign certifying they were part of the original limited edition of 500.

    Jane Doe for John Doe
    251/500
     
  5. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I wouldn't do anything either without talking to the son first.

    Maybe just number the prints, but not signing them would be an option?
     
  6. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    They should be marked as "posthumous edition of ..." or "estate edition of ...). There were printed by a commercial printer to the artist specifications.
     
  7. Justan2

    Justan2 CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Talk with the family and suggest they have a high quality stamp made of dad’s signature and then stamp and sell the remainder.

    The family may have many more of dad's works on hand.

    This is nothing new.

    As an aside it's possible to find authentic works by Thomas Kinkade made after his passing which bear his signature.
     
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