Dr. Seuss
September 19, 2006 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Seuss The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.
posted by ashbury (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I like to eat cake in a tub!
posted by Lockjaw at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2006

Perhaps now would be a good time to settle my questions regarding the world of art prints. Specifically, why is this worth $425? It's a print, correct? The hand of the Good Doctor has never touched this paper, unless I am mistaken. An infinite number of copies could be created. So why does it cost so much money? Is there any reason apart from artificial scarcity and heaping profits? Thank you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:50 AM on September 19, 2006

An infinite number of copies could be created. So why does it cost so much money?

Ever bought a CD? It's kinda like that.
posted by reklaw at 11:52 AM on September 19, 2006

Interesting post. i wasn't aware of this art.

and, FoB... any item is only worth what the purchaser will pay for it. If you won't pay $475 for that item, then it isn't worth $475 to you.

But, to the person that is willing to pay that amount, and finds some sort of satisfaction in the ownership of the item, then all is well.

Debating the value of art (or, for that matter, nearly anything, now that I think of it) is a pretty subjective discussion, for which there will probably seldom be agreement between those that value the item and those that don't.
posted by HuronBob at 12:03 PM on September 19, 2006

Figured it was something like that. Sorry for the derail. Back on track, those taxidermy sculptures are really cool. I never knew Dr. Seuss did anything like that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:09 PM on September 19, 2006

FoB, it says it's a limited edition, which is used to inflate the price. An infinite number of copies could be created, but the idea is that they won't be. (I still wouldn't pay $425 for it.)
posted by black bile at 12:12 PM on September 19, 2006

Uh, on actually reading your entire comment, I see you already understand that. I'll shut up now.
posted by black bile at 12:13 PM on September 19, 2006

I thought this guy was the eminent authority, but I like 'em both.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:14 PM on September 19, 2006

Really nice sculptures. What does the "99 Patron's Collection, 155 Collaborator Proofs" mean, though? I don't get it.

And speaking of Seuss, Blue Sky looks like they're doing a fine job with (the look, at least, of) Horton Hears a Who.
posted by crumbly at 12:51 PM on September 19, 2006

Ah, but does he have a jackalope in his collection?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:20 PM on September 19, 2006

Wow - they're made out of bits of other animals. Not so much Suess as Moreau.
posted by Sparx at 4:48 PM on September 19, 2006

When I worked as a nanny a couple of years ago, the baby I cared for had every one of these hanging in her nursery. They were absolutely fascinating to look at because of the detail, and well.. the surrealism of seeing a 3d Dr Suess character. Now that I look at the price of them, I should've asked for a raise.
posted by Ugh at 4:54 PM on September 19, 2006

Dr. Seuss is a genius! Having a 6-year-old child, I've had the chance to reacquaint myself with his wonderful books, most all of which I'd not seen since my own childhood. Yertle the Turtle is one of the great masterpieces of children's literature. I was unaware of these sculptures, though. They're fun and of course very Seuss. I find it a little disturbing that they're presented as heads-only, hunting trophy-type thingies, though... it means all these cute little buggers were, um shot. Or maybe died slowly of starvation as they lay helpless in the wild with their leg caught in a trap. Oh well... viva Seuss!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:41 PM on September 19, 2006

The real value of limited editions is mainly as a marketing tool for the artist or company selling them. Although there are real costs involved in producing accurate reproductions of the original art, they are basically high-quality copies. The sales argument is that art reproductions allow many people (who could not afford to purchase the single original) to enjoy the artist's vision.

In this case, since Theodore Geisel is dead, he cannot sign and number each copy, which otherwise tends to raise its value. Thus, as the FAQ explains, there is a copy of his signature on the finished reproductions:
Are these works signed by Dr. Seuss?

Nearly all of Geisel’s original artwork was signed by him over the approximately 60 years in which it was created. Because the reproductions included in The Art of Dr. Seuss project were created after his lifetime, each limited edition lithograph and serigraph bears an Authorized Printed Signature and each sculpture an Authorized Engraved Signature, identifying the work as an exclusively authorized limited edition commissioned by the Seuss Estate. (Works published in this manner are oftentimes referred to as estate or posthumous editions.)
The typical meanings of the edition terms are:
  • Limited Edition — a limited number of identical prints/sculptures are produced from the lithographic plates/casting molds, then those specific plates/molds are defaced or destroyed. However, should the current edition sell out, new editions can be produced from new plates/molds.
  • Patron's Collection — a small number of copies typically offered to patrons of the arts before the public sale of limited editions begins.
  • Collaborator Proofs — copies belonging to individuals or companies involved in the artistic production of the edition. Since this was after the artist's death (and consequently without his participation or supervision), there aren't any Artist's Proofs.
  • Hors d’Commerce — unsold copies used as samples shown to art dealers and galleries.
The perceived value of identical, mass-produced objets d'art lies mostly within the mind of the buyer (and the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of other buyers who have purchased exactly the same thing.)

As with any other non-essential item, the retail price depends on the perception of the target market and vice versa. Even if the Unorthodox Taxidermy sculptures are painted plastic (cast resin, per the FAQ), your mind's eye gets what you pay for.

Personally, I'd rather have all the books: that's where Dr. Suess's real artistry lies.
posted by cenoxo at 9:15 PM on September 19, 2006

Those sculptures are fascinating. I love Dr. Seuss (4 kids means many chances to revisit!), got to meet him once at a book signing (and got a signed first edition!), all goodness. But every time I see one of these posts that whispers "Here's something I bet you never knew about this person...", I get worried that my illusions are going to be dashed yet again. Like with that other famous children's author (links to his not-so-famous works bottom right).
posted by JParker at 11:32 PM on September 19, 2006

Thanks Cenoxo. Flagged as Super!
posted by Sparx at 1:55 AM on September 20, 2006

JParker, I hope I'm not about to ruin any illusions you may have about Roald Dahl, but his short fiction for adults is truly excellent.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:14 AM on September 20, 2006

I liked this, don't get me wrong... but Taxidermy? Isn't that a little morbid? I loved the creatures from Dr. Seuss so much I had them killed and mounted on my wall? Has the Lorax taught us NOTHING?
posted by Hanover Phist at 8:18 AM on September 20, 2006

No worries, Faint. Dahl's weirdness was outed with his publicly anti-Semitic diatribes.

I loves me my Dr. Suess. Although now that everybody points it out, I am a little troubled by the stuffing and mounting of the characters, particularly the blue green abelard which looks he snuck on it and shot it in its sleep.
posted by JParker at 10:58 AM on September 20, 2006

« Older Much Murch   |   Machine-made synthesizer weirdness. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments