Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Bridgeman Art Library

More exciting activity to report on! Yesterday Margaret Mytton and I travelled to London to meet with Leonora Gummer of the Artists' Collecting Society (ACS) and Lucy Innes Williams of the Bridgeman Studio to discuss Dave's work being licensed by the Bridgeman Art Library. The original suggestions for the meeting came from our old friends Edward Lucie-Smith and Sergei Reviakin. 

The two organisations are separate but closely linked. The ACS is a not-for-profit organisation that deals with collecting artists re-sale rights for works resold over 1000 euros. This means a small percentage of the resale price of an artwork goes back to the artist, or their estate, if it is resold. This is an EU law, only available to artists in the UK since 2006. 

The Bridgeman Art Library is a commercial picture library that specialises is images of art and holds over a million images from collections throughout the world. It has offices in New York, Berlin and Paris, as well as London. It licenses the reproduction of artwork, and splits the income equally with the artists, or their estates.

So, for example,  Bridgeman holds the copyright for the work of Lucien Freud, Augustus John, John Nash, Sir Frank Brangwyn, Arthur Rackham, Carel Weight and Eric Gill. They also hold copyrights for the collections of the Ashmolean, Fitzwilliam, the Royal Collections and Manchester Museums and Galleries as well as the British Library. So this is clearly a good place for Dave Pearson's work to be made available.

We had a number of questions for Lucy - would it affect our ability to use the images locally without cost? No. Would people be able to download images and avoid payment? No, every image is water-marked until a fee has been paid. What use could the images be put to? Lucy showed us examples of artists' images used on book-covers, magazines, advertising; she assured us that the DPT could have a final say on usage, when and how it is used, and she reassured us that it is a condition of use that all images are credited. 

We went away feeling very positive about ACS and the Bridgeman the Art Library. The atmosphere in their offices was very friendly and open, as were the people we met. It seems like another opportunity to get Dave's work seen and more widely known. Over the next few days I'll be looking at the small print, and almost certainly signing the forms that will bring Dave's work to a new platform.