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Lesson Plans

Re: beauty/destruction

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
R. Moore (ronmoore)
Tue, 1 Dec 1998 16:35:52 -0800 (PST)

Carla is right about the general position of rights of artworks in this
country. But, this is changing. The State-by-state codification of
protections similar to "moral rights" protections recognized abroad
(chiefly under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works (1886, revised 1971) began with the California Art
Preservation Acto of 1979. Massachusetts followed two years later, and
several other states have joined in since. In 1990, Congress passed the
Visual Artists' Rights Act, providing some nationawide protection of
rights of attribution and integrity for works of visual art, but not so
sweepingly as the European rights had become. It is too early to know
what impact the VARA is going to have; but it is clear that this is an
evolving area of American law, and one in which aesthetic values are being
politically contemplated and contested. (You might want to look at the
article on "Moral Rights of Art," in the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics
(Oxford U. Press, 1998), vol 3, pp. 288-295 [authors are Ronald Moore and
Peter Karlen]).
Ron Moore

On Mon, 23 Nov 1998, carla schiller wrote:

> In the law there has long been an issue in the intellectual property
> rights area over who has the right to do what to a work of art. In our
> country, we have permitted an artist to sell an entire work with all its
> accompanying rights (reproduction, exhibition, etc.) to someone and the
> buyer thereafter can do whatever he/she wishes to it, including destroy
> it. But in other parts of the world (I think countries that subscribe to
> the Berne Copyright Convention, but I'm not sure), physical ownership of a
> work and its other accompanying licensing rights still does not give that
> owner the right to modify or destroy the work -- that right remains with
> the artist and the artist's heirs, at least for some time period.
> --Carla
> Carla Schiller, Esq.
> Teacher, Highly Gifted Magnet
> North Hollywood High School, CA
> e-mail:
> webpage index:
> *************************************************************************************
> "We all make the best choices from among those we see, but we don't always
> see all the choices available." --Author unknown
> *************************************************************************************
> On Mon, 23 Nov 1998, R. Moore wrote:
> > L. Muelder has been discussing the destruction of artworks with his
> > students, and has found them horrified by the wanton violence done against
> > art, historically. There are some very interesting works on this topic,
> > and some wonderful examples of willing destruction. I can't remember the
> > name of the new book (published just last year) on DESTRUCTION OF ART, but
> > I'll look it up when I get home and get back to you. It's a dandy. And
> > there's an essay by James O. Young called "Destroying Artworks," In
> > JOURNAL OF AESTHETICS AND ART CRITICISM (I'll look up the volume, etc. on
> > that one too). If you are interested in pursuing this topic in class, I
> > recommend you start by consider the historical phenomenon of the
> > ICONOCLASTS, literally "image breakers," who systematically destroyed
> > artworks they held to be antithetical to regligious precepts. Then
> > consider the trial of Paolo Veronese before the Holy Tribunal of the
> > Inquisition (1537), documented in Veronese, "Trial Before the Holy
> > Tribunal," in Elizabeth G. Holt, ed., LITERARY SOURCES OF ART HISTORY: AN
> > censorship. Then the well-documented acts of Hitler's Third Reich against
> > "degenerate" artworks (Schlemmer, Nolde, etc.). And then, of course the
> > NEA flap.
> > It is also worthwhile considering the question of when artworks
> > SHOULD be destroyed. There are some recent works that have to be
> > destroyed after a while because of the limited temporal endurance of their
> > material. "Shirt for an Anorexic," a work made entirely of flank steak,
> > and shown in a Seattle Museum recently, had to be destroyed once the
> > steak started rotting. Similarly with Beuys's works made of lard. Or
> > butter. Museum curators have faced problems of deteriorating materials
> > for a long time. One very interesting twist comes with totem poles. Some
> > Native Americans have claimed that totem poles should have a life, just as
> > we have, with a natural beginning, middle, and end; so they should be left
> > outside where they can weather and eventually return to the earth. And
> > then there is the famous "Erased De Kooning," by Robert Rauschenberg, a
> > work that consisted in the complete erasure (and hence destruction) of a
> > previous artwork.
> > This is clearly an area in which a great deal of interesting
> > discussion can be generated.
> > Ron Moore
> >
> >