“sale of reproductions”

The record of The Scream and its amusing consequences

New York, 9 May 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The world record set by a pastel version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, sold for €92.6 million on 2 May 2012 at Sotheby’s New York, has caused a number of previously unanticipated phenomena to which the international press have responded over the past few days. L’Agence France Press has celebrated the way in which drawing has returned to the spotlight with Munch’s pastel piece. Citing an analysis by Artprice, the article suggests that the era dominated by the duo of paint and sculpture may be coming to an end. Artprice also notes that The Scream’s auction was followed by sales such as a drawing by Raphaël achieving $42.7 million at Christie’s London, and that the value of drawings has increased by 197% since 2002, compared with “only” 161% for paintings. More surprisingly, the website Bloomberg Businessweek (businessweek.com) reports that Art.com, which sells posters reproducing millions of works of art, saw sales of replicas of The Scream increase tenfold in less than a day, greatly surpassing the usual best-sellers on the site, such as Trois Elvis by Andy Warhol or Jardin de l’artiste à Giverny by Claude Monet. One amusing detail was that the poster of The Scream is usually less popular than one of its many spoofs, which features the cartoon character Homer Simpson. Bloomberg Businessweek’s article also reports that the sum obtained by the owner of the work, Petter Olsen, will be poured into the construction of a museum in the locality of Hyitsten, where Olsen comes from and where Munch resided in a workshop during the 1910s and 1920s....

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