Fine Art Photography

What Does Limited Edition Really Mean?

June 6, 2012

By David Walker

© Eggleston Artistic Trust/Cheim & Read

A new digital edition of this William Eggleston image, "Untitled c. 1971-1974," sold for $386,500.

The legal fight between photographer William Eggleston and a wealthy patron over new prints of images issued years ago as limited editions has put a controversial practice under scrutiny, and raised several questions. What does “limited edition” mean, exactly? Is it legal to reprint images in larger sizes or using a different process after those images have been issued as...

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