I thoroughly enjoy the occasional series on Washington art collectors. The latest in the series [“The work spreads, and people are inspired,” Sunday Arts, Sept. 25] included a remark by the collector that must be commented on. In a caption under one of the pictures, the collector said, “Yinka’s work is the only print in my collection (I primarily have original works). However, he’s an internationally recognized artist, and to own even one of his prints is wonderful.” Emphasis added.
As a longtime collector of prints, I must point out that fine-art prints are original works of art. They are not reproductions. The artist creates the work on a copper plate or stone or other medium, then prints the work, usually in a series; the first would be, say, one of 15. After the 15th image is printed, he or she destroys the plate.
Unfortunately, the word “print” is often used to label a mechanical reproduction of an original work, like a painting or watercolor, when it should be labeled as a reproduction. If prints were not original works of art, they wouldn’t be in the collections of the world’s great museums.
George Bennett, Palmyra, Va.