“The New York Observer” recently posted an article on the problems of replicas and how Museums and the art community this issue. Though this article doesn’t specifically address the legal issues involved with replicas and intense restoration efforts, there are some questions that popped into mind:

What are the legal ramifications of the practice of restoring a work to the point that the original materials are proportionately less than the new, restoration materials? How does this threaten the authenticity of the work? How does this affect the copyright in the work when copies can be easily made (e.g., digital works)? Will the Museums and conservators have to ask permission from the copyright owner to make such a replica or perform such restoration work? What if the artist doesn’t want their work restored? Could the artists’ unwanted alteration of a work (even if to preserve it for later generations) violate VARA?

GA_googleCreateDomIframe(‘google_ads_div_Obs_Style_Article_Top_728x90′ ,’Obs_Style_Article_Top_728x90’);

Copy That! Wait, Don’t. Whitney Ponders Problem of Replication in Modern Art

Copy That! Wait, Don't. Whitney Ponders Problem of Replication in Modern Art

$(document).ready(function() { $(‘#lb_startlink, .lb_wrapper’).click(function(evt) { evt.preventDefault(); $(‘a.lb_wrapper’).lightbox({start:true,events:false}); }); });Earlier this year, the conservation department at the Whitney Museum of American Art was given the task of preparing Claes Oldenburg’s Ice Bag-Scale C for exhibition in a retrospective. The work, a massive, fan-powered contraption 12 feet in diameter made of nylon cloth and polyester resin, was first created in 1971 and had fallen into disrepair while in storage. When functioning properly, the bag was meant to subtly inflate and deflate, evoking something like a sleeping creature. It needed extensive restoration before it could be exhibitable. . . .

Article continues at http://www.observer.com/2009/culture/copy-wait-dont-whitney-ponders-problem-replication-modern-art?page=0