What is an Artist Proof?


When artist’s first became able to replicate their work through advancements in printing, many artists were quite involved with the printing process. During this time, as the artist worked to get colors and quality to replicate correctly, the artist would set aside those prints with slight imperfections to the print quality or coloring. These would be kept out of their normal limited edition sales.

At some point the artists began selling these prints that were set aside as an “Artist Proof.” Demand for these artist proof prints became increasingly popular among collectors because of their much smaller edition sizes.  So instead of being part of a limited edition run of let’s say 500 pieces, the artist proof prints would usually be around 10% of that number or less. Because of the extreme limitedness of the prints deemed Artist’s Proofs or “A/P,” artists would sell these prints for a higher cost than the regular edition.

Eventually, Artist Proofs became a standard in print production, and today while there is usually little or no difference between an artist proof and a limited edition print, many art collectors still seek out the APs for their exclusivity.  The thought here is that because of their extremely limited nature, the artist’s proofs will hold their value or increase in value quicker than a regular limited edition print. So for the ultimate in exclusivity, inquire about an artist proof!

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