Saturday, February 13, 2010

Keeping collections together in bankruptcy

The New York Times and Bloomberg recently reported on a forthcoming Sotheby's auction offering the cream of Polaroid's photography collection. John R. Stoebner, court-appointed trustee for Polaroid, offered the complete collection to several museums, but none was able to purchase it. Well, it's a lot harder to buy the cultural rights along with possession than it is to buy the cultural rights alone.

The trustee should Coaccession the collection, not deaccession it. Museums could bid for the set of Cultural Titles to the entire collection, keeping the cultural rights together under a single owner, while individual collectors could bid for Collector Titles to individual photos.

Perhaps AD Coleman can persuade the interested parties to propose this to the trustee and Sotheby's. He seems better positioned to get their attention than anyone around here that I know.

UPDATE: The hat tip here goes to Donn Zaretsky, but kud0s go to Marion Maneker, who publishes comments about his posts. I'm glad they finally started catching me up on this.

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