Anima McKertcher

The Dreaming Garden

Should you Buy a Giclee Print?

The buzz is stong and building: Giclee prints are everywhere - from your local gallery to world renound museums. And they're selling too! But not without controversy.

A lot of this controversy comes from the misunderstanding of exactly what you get when you buy a giclee or the misrepresentation of works for sale. (I'll be posting an article on how to protect yourself from this kind of misrepresentation called Giclee Buyer Beware! in the future.) Some in the art world also try to discredit giclee prints. Maybe you've heard statements like "Giclee is not art." An interesting article at debunks some common myths and misconceptions about giclee prints.

In light of this controversy it's only reasonable to ask, "Should you buy a giclee print?" Here are 3 reasons why giclee prints are not only worth your money but deserve your respect too.

1. Accepted & endorsed by fine art experts. Prominent and famous museums from around the world display and collect giclee prints. Here is a list of just some of these:

  • Metropolitan Museum, New York

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York

  • Guggenheim, New York

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

  • San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco

  • Los Angeles Museum of Art, Los Angeles

  • The High Museum, Atlanta

  • The Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC

  • The Louvre

  • The British Art Museum

  • The National Museum of Mexico

2. Appreciates in value. Because of it's high quality and relative rarity, a limited edition giclee is valuable from it's initial printing. But these giclee prints also become more valuable over time as the artist gains more and more recognition and the edition of the print sells out. In fact, at recent auctions, giclee prints have been purchased for thousands of dollars. The following are some examples:

  • $10,800 for Annie Leibovitz

  • $9,600 for Chuck Close

  • $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans

3. High quality, archival image. The giclee print medium has been a revolution in fine art printing. Recognized as the most accurate printing technique, giclees are 98% true to the original. In fact, without a close inspection some giclees are difficult to distinguish from the original painting. The professional 8 to 12-color ink jet printers used in the process produce a high resolution image of 1400 to 1800 dpi (dots per inch). And because no screens are used, continuous color is achieved. That means no visible dots as you would get with lithographs. Authentic giclees are made with the finest pigments and printed on acid-free substrates such as canvas. They are guaranteed to be light fast for 75 years. If framed under glass, this can even extend to 200 years.

It's no wonder Giclees are quickly gaining popularity over other fine art printing mediums like lithographs. So should you buy a giclee print? If you want to own a print that's archival, valuable and respected by fine art experts, then the answer is simple: Absolutely.