Volume 9, Number 1, Jan. 1987, pp.12-13

In the News


Portrait Patchers Optimistic

On 3 December 1986 the San Diego Union published an article (on the editorial page, not the arts section), "Portrait Patchers Optimistic," describing work at BACC on the 1974 official portrait of Ronald Reagan as Governor of California, which had been vandalized in Sacramento. A ragged 25 inch gash shredded fabric and shattered paint from Reagan's forehead down below his belt. Elizabeth Court, Chief Conservator of Paintings at BACC, worked through the holiday season to return the painting to the State Capitol by the New Year. San Diego KGTV-10 News also taped a segment on the conservation which was broadcast 3 December 1986.

Kennedy Bill Would Provide Copyright Protection for Artists

Late in the last session of Congress, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced legislation to provide copyright protection for visual artists and provide them with resale royalties from the sale of their works. The legislation would prohibit the intentional distortion, mutilation, or destruction of works of art, and would allow an artist to claim authorship of his work or to disclaim such authorship if the work has been distorted. (A work of art that is a part of a building is exempted from this provision, unless the artist expressly reserves his rights at the time of commission.)

The bill would also abolish the current requirement that copyright notice appear on all works for which a copyright is claimed. In the past, many artists have declined full copyright protection because they did not wish to diminish the aesthetic value of their work with the required copyright notation.

Perhaps the most controversial portion of the Kennedy bill is the requirement that an artist be paid 7 percent of the difference between the purchase price and the sales price each time the artist's work is resold. Such payments would be required in sales in excess of $500 and when the value of the work appreciates by at least 120 percent during the lifetime of the artist and 50 years after his death. Artists seeking royalties would have to register with the U.S. Copyright Office where all sales of works of art would also have to be registered.

Although there was no time for action on the bill before the 99th Congress adjourned, Senator Kennedy is expected to reintroduce similar legislation as soon as the new Congress convenes next year.

Reprinted from AVISO, December 1986

In the News

November 16, 1986. Los Angeles Times, Calendar section, pages 4- 7. "A Place for Modern Art to Hang Out", "Still Building for the Future", "Portraying the Invisible". Articles include sections on and photographs of conservators helping to prepare LACMA'S new Anderson Building installations.

December 29, 1986. Los Angeles Times, Section VI, pages 1, 4, 10. "Freeway Lady Opens Eyes Again". Los Angeles conservator, Nathan Zakheim, is helping to remove a layer of white block-out paint from a well-known wall mural visible from the Hollywood freeway. The stubborn paint layer, which is only one month old, is being removed using methylene chloride and a hand-held hot air gun. Fortunately several layers of synthetic varnish separate the block-out paint from the painted surface of the mural.

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