In the late 1960s, the Polaroid Corp. had an
interesting idea. The company recruited the world's best-known
photographers, such as Ansel Adams, William Wegman, and Andy Warhol,
provided them with free film and studio space, and said: Have a ball.
When you are finished, please give us a few prints, which we will
include in our corporate collection.
Four decades later, the Polaroid Collection has
16,000 prints by 120 recognized masters. It's not just Polaroids. Some
of the pictures, by Margaret Bourke-White, Edward Weston, and Dorothea
Lange, hung in Polaroid founder Edwin Land's library. Sotheby's has
chosen 1,300 prints from the collection, valued between $7 million and
$11 million, and plans to auction them off next spring.
"Hey, wait a minute!'' is the widespread reaction of some photographers
and former Polaroid employees blindsided by the proposed sale.
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