Circulation and Control: Artistic Culture and Intellectual Property in the Nineteenth Century

Circulation and Control: Artistic Culture and Intellectual Property in the Nineteenth Century Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire and Will Slauter (eds)
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The nineteenth century witnessed a series of revolutions in the production and circulation of images. From lithographs and engraved reproductions of paintings to daguerreotypes, stereoscopic views, and mass-produced sculptures, works of visual art became available in a wider range of media than ever before. But the circulation and reproduction of artworks also raised new questions about the legal rights of painters, sculptors, engravers, photographers, architects, collectors, publishers, and subjects of representation (such as sitters in paintings or photographs). Copyright and patent laws tussled with informal cultural norms and business strategies as individuals and groups attempted to exert some degree of control over these visual creations.

With contributions by art historians, legal scholars, historians of publishing, and specialists of painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic arts, this rich collection of essays explores the relationship between intellectual property laws and the cultural, economic, and technological factors that transformed the pictorial landscape during the nineteenth century.

This book will be valuable reading for historians of art and visual culture; legal scholars who work on the history of copyright and patent law; and literary scholars and historians who work in the field of book history. It will also resonate with anyone interested in current debates about the circulation and control of images in our digital age.

Circulation and Control: Artistic Culture and Intellectual Property in the Nineteenth Century
Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire and Will Slauter (eds) | October 2021
540 pp. | 114 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781800641464
ISBN Hardback: 9781800641471
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781800641488
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781800641495
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781800641518
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783746538
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0247
BIC subject codes: LNR (Intellectual property law), LNRC (Copyright law), KNTP (Publishing industry and book trade), HBTB (Social & cultural history), AV (Music), BGF (Biography: arts and entertainment), APF (Films, cinema), AJ (Photography and photograps); BISAC: LAW050010 (LAW / Intellectual Property / Copyright), HIS000000 (HISTORY / General), PHO000000 (PHOTOGRAPHY / General), BIO001000 (BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers); OCLC Number: 1276901821.

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Contributor Biographies


Introductory Essay

1. Law, Culture, and Industry: Toward a History of Intellectual Property for Visual Works in the Long Nineteenth Century Download
Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire and Will Slauter

Part I: Who Owns What? Images and Copyright Law

2. The First Copyright Case under the 1735 Engravings Act: The Germination of Visual Copyright? Download
Isabella Alexander and Cristina S. Martinez

3. Who Owns Washington?: Gilbert Stuart and the Battle for Artistic Property in the Early American Republic Download
Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire

4. The Scope of Artistic Copyright in Nineteenth-Century England Download
Simon Stern

5. The ‘Death of Chatterton’ Case: Reproductive Engraving, Stereoscopic Photography, and Copyright for Paintings circa 1860 Download
Will Slauter

6. Before an Image Was Worth a Thousand Words: Ben-Hur and Copyright’s Right of Derivatives Download
Oren Bracha

Part II: Agents of Circulation: Entrepreneurs and Rivals

7. The Frame Maker/Picture Dealer: A Crucial Intermediary in the Nineteenth-Century American Popular Print Market Download
Erika Piola

8. Piracy, Copyright, and the Transnational Trade in Illustrations of News in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Download
Thomas Smits

9. (Re)Assembling Reference Books and Recycling Images: The Wood Engravings of the W. and R. Chambers Firm Download
Rose Roberto

Part III: Navigating Intellectual Property: Architects, Sculptors, and Photographers

10. Architectural Copyright, Painters and Public Space in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Britain Download
Elena Cooper and Marta Iljadica

11. Nineteenth-Century American Sculpture and United States Design Patents Download
Karen Lemmey

12. New or Improved?: American Photography and Patents c. 1840s to 1860s Download
Shannon Perich

13. King Tāwhiao’s Photograph: Copyright, Celebrity, and the Commercial Image in Nineteenth-Century New Zealand Download
Jill Haley

14. ‘Photography VS the Press’: Copyright Law and the Rise of the Photographically Illustrated Press Download
Katherine Mintie

List of Illustrations


Isabella Alexander is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney (Australia). She is a specialist of the history of copyright and is the author of Copyright and the Public Interest in the Nineteenth Century (Hart Publishing, 2010). She is currently working on a project on the history of copyright and cartography ( and is lead CI on the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Hacking Copyright Law in the 21st Century: Art, Law, History and Technology.

Oren Bracha is the William C. Conner Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. He is the author of Owning Ideas: The Intellectual Origins of American Intellectual Property 1790–1909 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) as well as numerous articles on the history of intellectual property.

Elena Cooper is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at CREATe, School of Law, University of Glasgow, having joined CREATe in 2014. Prior to this, she was Orton Fellow in Intellectual Property Law at Trinity Hall Cambridge. Her first monograph — Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image (Cambridge University Press, 2018) — is the first in-depth account of artistic copyright law in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and was shortlisted for the Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship by the Society of Legal Scholars in 2020. This significantly extends her PhD thesis, completed under the supervision of Prof. Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge, which was awarded a Yorke Prize by the Faculty of Law, Cambridge, in 2011. Elena is a member of the British Art Network (organized by the Tate to connect experts in British art) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2020.

Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire is the Associate Curator of Fine Arts at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and an affiliated assistant professor at the University of Delaware/Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Her research interests include artistic encounters in the post-colonization period, printmaking, and the transnational art market. The author of several articles and book chapters on the circulation and appropriation of printed images, she is also the project director of The Denig Illuminated Manuscript of 1784: A Digital Project Exploring Artmaking in the Early American Borderlands.

Jill Haley is Curator Human History at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her work explores the material and social aspects of photography in nineteenth-century New Zealand. She is currently investigating the contributions that women made to the development of commercial photography in the colony.

Marta Iljadica is Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property at the University of Glasgow. She completed her PhD in law at King’s College London under the supervision of Prof. Tanya Aplin and Prof. Penny Green and was previously Lecturer in Law at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Southampton. Marta researches within (the intersection of) intellectual property and land law including on copyright law and geography, and creativity and non-legal norms. Her current research projects engage with copyright and freedom of panorama, and the digitization and circulation of cultural heritage in European cities. Her monograph on UK copyright law and graffiti norms, Copyright Beyond Law: Regulating Creativity in the Graffiti Subculture (Hart Publishing, 2016) was shortlisted for the Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship by the Society of Legal Scholars in 2018.

Karen Lemmey is the Lucy S. Rhame Curator of Sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She holds a PhD in art history and a Certificate in American Culture from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She previously worked as a research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as monuments coordinator for the City of New York’s Parks & Recreation Department. Her research interests include public art and monuments, the history of materials and methods, American artist colonies in nineteenth-century Italy, the construction of race in American sculpture, the history of sculpture conservation, and direct carving.

Cristina S. Martinez holds a PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London, and teaches in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on graphic satire, the history of copyright law and encounters between art and law. She is currently completing the book Art, Law and Order: The Legal Life of Artists in Eighteenth-Century Britain which is to be published by Manchester University Press, and is co-editor for the forthcoming collection Female Printmakers, Printsellers and Publishers in the Eighteenth Century: The Imprint of Women in Graphic Media, 1735–1830, under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Katherine Mintie is the Senior Researcher in Art History at the Lens Media Lab at the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University. She received her PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining the Lens Media Lab, she was the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Curatorial Fellow in Photography at the Harvard Art Museums.

Shannon Perich is Curator of the Photographic History Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Her publications include When the Circus Came to Town: An American Tradition in Photographs (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2020), The Changing Face of Photography: Daguerreotype to Digital (Smithsonian, 2011) and Portrait of a Family: Richard Avedon’s Photographs of the Kennedys (Harper Collins, 2007). Perich has curated and co-curated a number of exhibitions including the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service’s Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic that is currently traveling. She has curated several exhibitions of Richard Avedon’s photographs of the John F. Kennedy family for SITES and NMAH. Her exhibition Laughing Matters explored women and comedy. She co-curated Country: Portrait of a Sound at the Annenberg Center for Photography in Los Angeles with curators from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Perich has taught history of photography at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her blogs can be found on the NMAH and NPR websites. Perich is the project director and co-content manager for Stories of 2020, a story-gathering and archiving website for NMAH. Her photography research and collecting interests are broad, building upon the history of the medium and intersections with national narratives to explore how we can better see and understand history.

Erika Piola is Curator of Graphic Arts and Director of the Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia. In addition to her work in collections stewardship and public exhibitions, Piola has authored or edited a number of publications on nineteenth-century American art and visual culture, including Philadelphia on Stone: Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828–1878 (Penn State University Press, 2012).

Rose Roberto’s interdisciplinary research covers nineteenth- and early twentieth-century visual culture, the intellectual, economic and social history of the transnational book trade, and the hidden histories related to class, gender, race, and personal identity imbedded in material culture. Rose manages two library special collections at Bishop Grosseteste University, where she also lectures part-time on history and heritage education courses. She has previously lectured in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA.

Will Slauter is a professor at Sorbonne Université. His research interests include the history of publishing, the history of news and journalism, and the history of copyright law in the United Kingdom and the United States. He is the author of Who Owns the News? A History of Copyright (Stanford, 2019) and editor of a special issue of Victorian Periodicals Review on ‘Copyright Law and Publishing Practice in the Nineteenth-Century Press’ (2018).

Thomas Smits is a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century visual (news) culture. He applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to analyse large collections of historical images and is the author of the prize-winning The European Illustrated Press and the Emergence of a Transnational Visual Culture of the News, 1842–1870 (Routledge, 2019).

Simon Stern is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Innovation Law & Policy at University of Toronto. He works at the borders of law and literature, and has published extensively on the history of copyright and the public domain in Great Britain. He is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities (Oxford University Press, 2020), and is completing a book titled Reasonable Doubters, on changing ideas about deception, proof, and verification in Anglo-American culture from the eighteenth century to the present.