JAIC 1997, Volume 36, Number 2, Article 6 (pp. 165 to 179)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1997, Volume 36, Number 2, Article 6 (pp. 165 to 179)

ART CONSERVATION AND THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PRESERVE ARTISTIC INTENT

ANN M. GARFINKLE, JANET FRIES, DANIEL LOPEZ, & LAURA POSSESSKY


ABSTRACT—This article explains the basic principles of the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) of 1990 and how the new rights it provides to artists may affect the work of conservators. To aid in this explanation, a brief overview is provided on the evolution of copyright law in Western legal thought and the development of moral rights. After a general background on the adoption of moral rights in the United States through VARA, the article addresses the specific provisions of this statute and their potential impact on the work of conservators. Because an artist may seek other legal remedies against a conservator in addition to VARA if restoration of a work is not successful, the article also looks at the existence of “VARA-like” protections in state and federal laws, the effect of VARA on similar preexisting state provisions, and the possibility that VARA has rendered such provisions invalid. The article concludes with some recommendations to help conservators to avoid incurring legal liability.
[Spanish Abstract] [French Abstract]

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
3. THE BERNE CONVENTION AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCES
4. MORAL RIGHTS UNDER THE FEDERAL STATUTE
5. OTHER DOCTRINES PROVIDING PROTECTION IN THE UNITED STATES
6. PRECAUTIONS AND AVOIDING LEGAL LIABILITY
7. CONCLUSIONS
a: Notes , References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 1997 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works