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Council for Artists Rights

P.O Box 34516


Chicago, IL 606345
john2618@comcast.net

Truly Educated is Heather Hope Stephen’s blog. Her Master’s thesis published in May of
2008, "Visualizing the Path Forward: The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 and
Recommendations for a Response by American Museums," is available here:
http://domapp01.shu.edu/depts/uc/apps/libraryrepository.nsf/resourceid/
367D96F8FA766F1F85257487004F2D1E/$File/Stephens-Heather-Hope_Masters.pdf?Open .

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The Art Law Blog is attorney Donn Zaretsky’s blog. His "Ugh," October 2008
comment, expresses his frustration with the final ruling the Visual Artists Rights Act case of
Chapman Kelley Vs. Chicago Park District. Available online at
http://theartlawblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/ugh.html .

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Alexandra Solodkaya, a graduate student studying Arts Administration at Boston


University wrote an academic paper in 2007 called, "Chapman Kelley, the Chicago Park
District and VARA," and said "This case is very exciting...the precedent that it establishes
has the art world, specifically those who deal with public art and art created in non-
traditional materials, watching. These types of cases push for broader interpretations of
laws dealing with the arts and looser definition of what art is in the legal sense. For people
who love and appreciate the arts one of the most exciting things about them is their ability
to be anything and everything. Artists who push the boundaries of what art can be,
especially those working in the public sphere, whose work is accessible to everybody that
walks into a particular public building, walks down a particular city block or through a park,
are doing important work. Their efforts should be rewarded with more than the possibility of
destruction and controversy. Laws need to be established that can actually protect their
work and make sure their efforts aren’t wasted. Public art is so important in our cities and
towns." The paper is available upon request from John Viramontes.

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The Rand Corporation’s "A Portrait of the Visual Arts, Meeting the Challenges of a
New Era," published in 2005. Available online at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/
MG290/ . In its conclusion, the paper warns that government intervention, in the form of
regulations, are likely if museums do not police themselves in a timely and open fashion.

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"Speaking of Sculpture" by Wilbur "Bill" Verhelst dated 1991 and reprinted in the
Texas Sculpture Association newsletter in 2008. Verhelst points to the deterioration and
commercialization of the art world, in contrast to, its glory years of the 1950's and 1960's.
Copy available upon request from John Viramontes.

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Lynne Munson’s book, "Exhibitionism: Art in the Era of Intolerance" published in


2000. A anonymous customer review from Amazon.com, says about the book: "This is a
brave, well-informed, smart book which takes on the art and art history establishment with
devastating results. A major cultural critic, Munson demonstrates how conformist and
narrow the art establishment has become. Her chapters on the National Endowment for the
Arts (NEA), Harvard, and the contemporary art scene are compelling, harrowing, and
amusing, all at the same time. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the state of
today's art and how it got to be that way. Those with vested interests in the status quo are
already starting to squeak!"

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Alice Goldfarb Marquis’ book "Art Lessons: Learning from the Rise and Fall of Public
Arts Funding" published in 1995. An Amazon.com customer review by Lawrence Jarvik:
"...This book gives the best account of the background to the NEA controversy and explains
why the NEA has been a bureaucratic mess since it was first set up in the Johnson
administration. If anyone wants to know why there is still controversy about the subject,
this book is the place to begin." And another comment, anonymously, from Amazon.com,
"Finally, an objective and impartial history of the troubled NEA. Fascinating to read,
engrossing in its details, brilliant in its analysis, ART LESSONS is a ‘must read’ for anyone
who wants to understand why the NEA has gotten in the trouble it finds itself."

Alice Goldfarb Marquis’ book, "The Art Biz: The Covert World of Collectors, Dealers,
Auction Houses, Museums and Curators" published in 1991. From the book’s first chapter,
"Meet the Art Biz," taken from Alice Goldfarb Marquis’ website, http://www.amazon.com/
Art-Biz-Collectors-Dealers-Auction/dp/0809242834/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top . "The
architecture of this book tells its own story about today's world of fine art. Fewer than one-
fifth of its pages deal with that mythical prime mover of the visual universe: the artist.
Around this figure, so shrouded in legend, history, mystery, reverence, and celebration
swirls a tumult of unseemly commerce. The person whose role since before recorded history
has been to show us who and what we are, and what sort of world we inhabit today
practices his or her magic, if any, in the center of a jostling marketplace. There, words once
used to describe the marvelous now attach to the mundane, the meaningless, the mediocre,
the mercenary. Around the artist now is gathered an indecorous throng, collectively styled
the art world, whose activities have come to overshadow whatever the artist produces...."

And from the end of the first chapter, "...So the first objective of this book is to
provide the art outsider with a map and compass on the road to joining the art insiders.
Past profundities and inanities, through hyperbole and hype, skirting the fog-fields of
jargon, over the treacherous glaciers of snobbery and arrogance, the reader will enter into
the gathering of extraordinary personalities who inhabit the Art Biz. Each of the next five
sections focuses on one group of players or institutions comprising the art world: artists,
critics and media, collectors, dealers, and museums. Each chapter describes one or two
representatives in detail, while discussing many others. Necessarily, this is not an all-
inclusive work, but rather a fair overview. The final chapter presents some speculations
about the position of "fine art" in contemporary society and why its perhaps unrealistic role
as a cultural fetish encourages worship and investment in it rather than appreciation. The
concluding section also offers some strategies for navigating through—and savoring to the
fullest—the immensely rich panorama called visual glut."

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RayMing Chang’s "Revisiting the Visual Artists Rights Act (or VARA) of 1990: A
Follow-up Survey About Awareness and Waiver," published in 2004. Twenty-three pages
ending with recommendations for practitioners who represent those who purchase artwork,
practitioners who represent artists, and Congress. Chang’s work can be accessed on the
web at http://ssrn.com/abstract=902151.

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The New York Times published an article on Febrary 15, 2009 called "The Art Boom is
Over Long Live the Art!" that calls on artists themselves to clean up the art world...again.
View the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/arts/design/
15cott.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=the%20boom%20is% .

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The New York Times Magazine published an article on March 5, 2009 called "Is
Anybody Buying Art These Days?" which tells of how the art world is being corrupted
through the manipulation of the art market. View the article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/magazine/01Brothers-
t.html?scp=1&sq=is%20anybody%20buying% .

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The New York Times Magazine published two letters to the editor on March 15, 2009
which condemn art market manipulation. View the letters here: http://query.nytimes.com/
gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06EEDB103FF936A25750C0A96F9C8B63

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