What is it worth? – The Appraisal Business

The last few lines of an article in the NYT explains very well the appraisal business, which tries to answer the question, “What is it worth?” …

For Michael Ochs, sharing his collection of rock ‘n’ roll photographs with the occasional stranger is his passion, but sharing it with millions is his life. Over the last 30 years the Michael Ochs Archives has grown to become the premier source of musician photography in the world, every day licensing shots of hayseeds and headbangers to illustrate books (about half of recent rock ‘n’ roll books have included photos from the collection), dress up documentaries (like Martin Scorsese’s recent PBS feature on Bob Dylan) and otherwise adorn television programs and feature films (in “Ray,” session sets were based on images from the Ochs Archives).

With tips from industry friends, he would save troves of photographs from labels going under, occasionally rushing to empty file cabinets before the wrecking balls arrived. (Once, when he arrived too late, he researched which garbage trucks went to which city dump.) As Mr. Ochs became more prominent in the field, music insiders made sure extra material would be sent his way. Similarly, several retired and aging photographers, rather than throwing the material out, turned to Mr. Ochs to give their work a proper, permanent home.

They Had Faces Then: An Archive Keeps Stars Ever Young,” by Alan Schwarz, The New York Times, May 28, 2006
Post by Peter