A.D. Coleman has been leading the fight against the sale of the Polaroid collection. He points out some errors in our coverage and the New York Times:
Vogel gets one substantial fact dead wrong when she writes, “To pay off creditors, a bankruptcy court in Minnesota is forcing Polaroid to sell a portion of its collection at Sotheby’s in New York on June 21 and 22.” The Minnesota Bankruptcy Court is definitely not “forcing Polaroid to sell a portion of its collection at Sotheby’s.” The Minnesota Bankruptcy Court has merely endorsed the debtors’ fervent plea to allow this sale to go forward; it didn’t require it of them. In short, the current holders of the collection initiated this sale, not the court; the fact that this will happen under a ruling known generically as a court order should not get interpreted as the court requiring reluctant parties to conduct a fire sale. In this case, the sellers can’t wait to get rid of the stuff, in which they have no interest outside of its cash value.
That’s the Times’s error. Ours is a little more complicated. Coleman points out that there is plenty of money in the photography market–witness the MSD purchase of Magnum’s prints for a price around $100 million–just not for the Polaroid collection. Coleman will tell you the issue is that Polaroid doesn’t own the works. That may be his the explanation but it doesn’t seem to be stopping Sotheby’s from offering the works for sale. (Update: And, of course, a judge has already cleared the works of any encumbrance. The photographs can be sold without any fear about questions of ownership.)
Polaroid Collection: Update 12 (Photocritic International)