Sunday, December 4, 2016

International Museum Directors Seek to Stop Deaccessioning Via Legislation

Leading international museum directors have restated their opposition to the financially motivated sale of works of art from public collections when the proceeds are used for “anything other than acquisitions or the direct care of the collection”.

Via The Art Newspaper.


School District Sought to Ban Goya, Manet, Boticelli

After careful consideration, The Plano Independent School District in Texas has decided against removing a humanities textbook, Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities, from its classrooms.

The debate began last week when the District pulled the book from circulation citing parental concerns that the book contained nude images inappropriate for young teenagers. The books were primarily used in the “gifted and talented” program, and contained images from artists such as Goya, Rubens, Manet, Boticelli, Eakins, and Rodin.

Via The Dallas Morning News and the National Coalition Against Censorship.


Walking the Law

Larry Rivers is in trouble again.

This time, a sculpture of a pair of legs, measuring over 16-feet and installed in Sag Harbor, NY, have been found to be in violation of local building and zoning codes. The recent controversy poses those that believe these local laws should not apply to a work of art, and more so to the venerable Larry Rivers.

Via the Wall Street Journal.


Right of Publicity As Copyright?

In a class-action lawsuit filed in 2009, former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller sued Electronic Arts, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Collegiate Licensing Company, claiming that they illegally profited from the images of college players portrayed in the games NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball. Although the players’ names are not used in the video games, Keller and his supporters argue that the players’ rights of publicity have been infringed because in most cases the virtual players in the video games have the same jersey number, height, weight, home state as the real college athletes.

This past February, a United States District Court judge rejected a request to dismiss the case, arguing that Electronic Arts did not sufficiently “transform” the images into a work that would qualify as free speech. Keller and his supporters argue that the video games in question are not protected by the First Amendment because the company was using the likenesses of college athletes for purely commercial gain.

What does this mean? Arent Fox has a good summary:

The February 8, 2010 ruling means that EAI could be found liable for violating college players’ rights of publicity through its use of their likenesses and characteristics in its NCAA Football video game. While this would be a huge financial blow to EAI, the ultimate importance of this case lies in the court’s analysis of the publicity right claims and the guidance it provides regarding how closely a video game avatar can be modeled on a real life individual before violating that individual’s publicity rights.

Keep in mind that in some legal circles, the right of publicity is considered an intellectual property right.

Via the paper of record.


On Vacation, Cop Spots Stolen Statue

Two ancient statues stolen in the 1980s from Italian museums are now back home, thanks in part to a police art squad expert who spotted one of them in a New York gallery while window-shopping on vacation in the United States.

Via NPR.


Ray Charles’ Estate Sues His Son For Copyright Infringement

If only Jr. had eaten his veggies.

The Ray Charles Foundation is suing Charles’ son for copyright infringement, alleging Jr. used a photo of Sr. on the cover of Jr.’s new book, You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father, Ray Charles. The publisher, Random House, is also named in the lawsuit.

According to the Foundation, the photo was taken by by an employee of Ray Charles in 1965, thus making the photo a “work made for hire” and granting the Foundation copyright ownership over the photograph.

Guess Jr. really didn’t know him. Ouch! Via the LA Times and Hollywood Reporter. (My guess? This settles!)


Via Postcards, El Paso Distances Itself From Bloody Juarez

We love postcards. Who doesn’t?

A gallery in my hometown of El Paso, Texas is installing an art exhibition consisting of paintings and postcards to proclaim that El Paso is not bloody Juarez, Mexico. According to The Houston Chronicle, “The 49 works of art in El Paso Postcards, which opens with a reception at 6 p.m. today at the Hal Marcus Studio and Gallery, 800 N. Mesa, are designed to counter some of the negative publicity the area has received since a drug war in Juarez began claiming lives.”

Postcard images include familiar and famous El Paso images and hangouts, such as the Star on the Mountain, the Plaza Theatre marquee, poppies, missions, Chico’s Tacos and the University of Texas at El Paso. The postcards are for sale: 50 cents each or $19.95 for a pack of 49. I’ve already ordered mine!

What: “El Paso Postcards.”

When: Today through Feb. 11. Reception: 6-9 p.m. today (patrons are encouraged to “dress like a tourist”).

Where: Hal Marcus Studio and Gallery, 800 N. Mesa.

How much: Free.


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