New York Collector Sues Photographer Over Large Images

April 12, 2012

A New York collector claims in a lawsuit that photographer William Eggleston’s decision to sell oversized versions of some of his iconic images has diluted the resale value of the originals.

Jonathan Sobel filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. He’s seeking unspecified damages and asked the court to bar Eggleston from printing additional varieties of his 1960s images of American suburbia.

Eggleston’s lawyer told the Wall Street Journal the lawsuit has “no merit.” He said the Memphis photographer’s new format falls within his creative rights.

Sobel manages the financial services firm DTF Holdings. He’s collected 192 photographs by Eggleston over the years. He’s estimated their value at up to $5 million. He’s also donated the artist’s works to major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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