Art and Copyright in the Nineteenth Century: A talk before Hunt’s The Light of the World*
28 February 2019
Dr Elena Cooper, University of Glasgow
* Please note the change of venue for this seminar. The talk will commence in the Keble College Chapel and then move to Seminar room: Stafford Crane room in the ARCO building nearby.
Due to size of venue, numbers for this seminar will be capped; if you wish to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 13 February 2019.
This talk is being jointly hosted by the OIPRC and Keble College.
The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt is well known today as a popular painting of the Victorian era. In this talk, Dr Elena Cooper asks what the picture can tell us about the nineteenth century history of copyright law concerning the visual arts. Using the painting as a starting point, Dr Cooper will unravel more general themes of her research: the role of illegal trade in ‘pirate’ photographs of art-works in widening public access to art, and copyright debates concerning painters’ repetitions of their own work. The talk will take place in the side-chapel in Keble College which holds the version of Hunt’s The Light of the World exhibited at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1854 and made famous through William Henry Simmons’ engraving published in 1860.
Dr Elena Cooper is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at CREATe, the copyright research centre at the University of Glasgow. She is the author of Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image (CUP, 2018), the first in-depth and longitudinal study of copyright protecting the visual arts (painting, engraving and photography, 1850-1911) which was recently launched with a talk at the Victorian Picture Gallery, Royal Holloway, University of London. Prior to her post in Glasgow, Dr Cooper was Orton Fellow in Intellectual Property Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
Unauthorised photograph of Simmons' engraving of Hunt's The Light of the World, c.1860
Each year the OIPRC hosts a number of leading academics from around the world as part of its Invited Speaker Series. These events typically run from 5:15-6:45pm on Thursday evenings at St. Peter’s College; if the venue or time is different, it will be noted on the Events calendar. The Speaker Series consists of a presentation of about 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session with the assembled group of academic staff, students (both undergraduate and graduate), researchers, and interested members of the public. Discussion is informal and includes participants from several disciplines, with a wide range of prior knowledge.
Refreshments and snacks are served at the conclusion of the discussion. All are welcome.