CREATe contributes to Interdisciplinary Conference: ‘Art, Copyright and the Image Revolutions of the Nineteenth Century’

Dr Elena Cooper and Dr Marta Iljadica, both of CREATe, recently presented a co-authored paper, Architectural Copyright, Painters and Rights to Public Space in Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain, at an interdisciplinary conference held at Columbia University’s Institute in Paris. The conference, jointly organised by Dr Will Slauter, Université Paris Diderot, and Dr Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire, Winterhur Museum, Delaware, USA, drew together art curators and scholars from a wide range of disciplines (law, art history, history and photography) and jurisdictions (USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, France and the UK). Each paper examined a different facet of the law as it applied to the ‘image revolutions’ of the nineteenth century, for example press photography, typography and photographic portraits. The paper presented by Cooper and Iljadica, explored tensions between architects and painters in the mid-nineteenth century debate of proposals for the protection of three-dimensional works of architecture. At stake in these debates, were competing perspectives about the nature of public space and its experience; early forerunners to the ‘right to the city’ were on both sides of the mid-nineteenth century architectural copyright debate, both the notion that architectural copyright would improve public experience of architecture, and the opposition by painters on the basis that image making is part of the discourse of representing the city. The paper will also be presented at the forthcoming annual workshop of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property in Sydney, Australia in July 2019.


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