Montserrat Professor Martha Buskirk’s 2016 Talk Made Publicly Available

May 6, 2020

The Clark Art Institute has been sharing some past lectures as part of their ongoing RAP in the Archives series. This week they shared a lecture by Montserrat Professor of Art history and Criticism, Martha Buskirk.

The talk, entitled “The Convenient Fiction of Authorship (On the Intertwined Fortunes of Art and Copywrite),” concerns the relationship between modern and contemporary art and the intellectual property laws that govern it. In it she explores the intertwined and sometimes conflicting issues of authorship, ownership, and public interest.

The talk itself was based on an early draft of the introduction to Buskirk’s upcoming book, Is it Ours? Art, Copywrite, and Public Interest, which will be published in 2021 by University of California Press. The book expands upon issues raised in her talk, using legal cases involving artists and copywrite infringement claims as a means of exploring the competing network of interests involved in intellectual and artistic property.

“My ultimate goal, in examining multiple points of intersection between artistic authorship and intellectual property is to affirm the importance of sustaining a vital cultural commons.”

The Clark’s RAP in the Archives series can be found here, and Martha Buskirk’s talk is currently over on The Clark’s YouTube channel.