Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Sold out prints by NZ artists & publisher deletions

Keeping prints of paintings by NZ artists in print can be a juggle for art publishers and galleries because of the size of the New Zealand art market.  Prints done in a tiny edition on a world scale can be in stock for years. It is only the very top percentage of sellers that get re-printed into a second edition.  This means that although prints are technically "open edition" - in that they are not numbered and can be re-printed they are really a "limited edition" of between 300-1000 prints.  This means that once a print sells out it is most often never available again.

Once a New Zealand print is deleted (sold out) that's usually it because the original plates used for printing the print are probably lost. 

Christmas/New Year has seen New Zealand Fine Prints sell out of several prints from our endangered prints gallery (the place where we list all editions that are about to sell out).  Including one of the last Menzies kowhaiwhai panels from our Maori art and design collection, a Jane Evans print (only two prints left in stock of two different paintings by this popular Nelson artist) plus several Matisse prints are no longer available.

Since I wrote this post a couple of days ago we have since sold out of a popular Pasifika image from Valerie Beale called Friendly Disagreement and after sending prints of a sketch by Kathe Kollwitz that we happened to end up with all remaining stock when the US publisher deleted the image all over the world this edition has finally run out completely (we still have another deleted title from Kollwitz in stock).  Like prints by Graciela Rodo Boulanger it is an amusing quirk of the internet's reach that we are sending these prints back to where they were originally printed but are now unavailable.

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