Buying Prints - Some things to consider
I recently came across a woodcut print by Barbara Leighton I am interested in purchasing. This lead me down a rabbit hole of questions about prints. Working for Frank this past year I have come across many fine examples of lithographs and etchings in addition to woodcarvings and more. It wasn't until I was considering making a purchase of my own that I got really serious about some of the bigger questions.
Are prints considered originals or copies? What is the difference in these mediums and how do these differences effect the printing process and the value? Like most of us, I took to the internet for some answers, I found this great breakdown by Christie's on purchasing prints I highly recommend reading, it helped answer many of my questions.
I also have the added benefit of having Frank Hall as my walking google reference, and he also had some things to say about prints. He explained that these types of prints previously mentioned are typically termed Original Prints. They fall into a unique category because they are a replication of an image, but one that has been replicated by hand by the artist themselves keeping them true to a very particular and important form of art. Frank also mentioned how many people believe the first few prints made from an etching or lithograph are the most important because they are when the image is the sharpest and the most bright in colour. He explained this is a common misconception and not always the case. It's something to consider but not something as highly weighted as some might believe.
Wether you are looking to purchase a print, an original print or an original painting, like all art I think it's most important to like the piece. If you truly enjoy it it will never be a purchase you regret.
Leighton, Barbara "Lunette Peak, Mount Assiniboine" Wood cut