"Imogen Cunningham self-portaits have no market value"
Last month here in Paris, the yearly international gallery trade show, “Paris Photo” was held.
While roaming around, I saw that Bruce Silverstein, the knowledgeable and reputable New York galleryist, was free. I decided to ask him a question which has been on my mind for many years.
Background : In the early 1970’s I visited and photographed Imogen Cunningham at her home in San Francisco. I’ve never published or exhibited the portraits, but I’ve always presumed that they have some value, particularly because Imogen was wearing her “peace symbol” necklace, representative of her anti-war politics at the time.
I asked Bruce Silverstein if such a portrait would have any market value (for the record, I didn’t mention the peace symbol necklace, as his answer came quickly and, I would say, vehemently). His answer so surprised me that I wrote it down on his business card a few minutes later : “No. Not only would it not have any market value, but even if Imogen Cunningham took a picture of Imogen Cunningham, it wouldn’t have any market value either ”.
Any thoughts ?