Art, Cultural Heritage, and Law

Having recently completed a thesis on copyright for cultural heritage, and started an archiving contract with a law firm, I felt reasonably confident about my grasp of most aspects legal of the GLAM field. (I have also read the Canada Evidence Act. A lot.)

Boy, was my face red when I discovered there is a Center for Cultural Heritage Law, that had somehow eluded all my research attempts. And similar think tanks, under various names, like the Institute for Art and Law. There is a very real legal sub-field, just for us!

The Center and the Institute have their respective blogs (mostly promotional, sometimes informative), issuing opinions and decrees on everything from: how Detroit’s bankruptcy relates to their art collections, the return of looted cultural property, tax exemptions and receipts for art, theft and forgery, copyright and originality, technology and privacy …. it’s all there.

The Center also publishes the Journal of Art, Technology, and Intellectual Property Law, which I am now bulk-downloading before I graduate and lose my database access. They’re even hosting a debate competition on changes to the Visual Artists’ Rights Act, in February 2015.

The American Bar Association has a committee (loosely associated with the Center) on Art and Cultural Heritage Law, and the Center also collaborates with the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (I’ve linked to their list of art-and-law courses offered by American universities, just in case you need an elective).

It looks to be an emerging field, and I question whether there is space within information-science programs to incorporate the numerous lessons that cultural heritage law can offer. In my experience, legal compliance was mentioned ambiguously in my records-management class, and copyright was alluded to in the introductory “information and society” course. But pursuing a more in-depth course of study on legal issues was left to independent credits.

Besides the legal angles of running a cultural heritage group / institution / consultancy / what-have-you, we obviously have an interest in questions such as whether Vivian Maier’s phenomenal photos are considered “property” in the case of defaulting on a storage locker (and whether copyright is a “property” included in a storage contract):

“… not only will a lot of Maier’s work be tied up in litigation for years, it may not be able to be reproduced in books or shown in art galleries until everything is said and done. This is beyond unfortunate, and, in many ways, not what copyright law was intended to do.”

Or how to deal with art forgeries in our collections:

“… the former registrar of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Matthew Leininger, one of the first museum professionals to latch on to Landis’s faked donations, but whose obsession with his nemesis led to his eventual dismissal and whose young daughter can readily identify the subject of her father’s crusade with a disturbing familiarity.”

Or where our work sits on the line between intellectual freedoms, privacy, and protection from “hostile work environments:”

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Minneapolis Area Office, issued a Determination that the Minneapolis Public Library subjected librarians employed by the library to a “sexually hostile work environment” in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for maintaining a policy of unrestricted Internet access.

(I also zipped through this long-form about rare book theft last week, which has some hilariously botched sting operations, among other things.)

Let me know about your program in the comments — does your project management class discuss insurance, appraisals, and liability? Do you talk about salaries and working conditions in the field, and delve into issues of gender parity and harassment, workplace health and safety (like breathing mould), or academic rights and freedoms? Could you write an acceptable term paper on the issues surrounding the indexing and return of looted art (and how linked data could aid this work in the future)? Or the contract issues around hiring an independent conservator? Or what happens when collections merge, as in the Corcoran, or the Glenbow? Or a comparative look at legal environments for cultural heritage work across the world?

Job Postings in Canada this week

OCAD University needs an intern in their makerspace: $15 an hour, 10-15 hours per week, preferably someone completing or having completed their Library Technician diploma. Applications are due September 10th.

http://bc.tbe.taleo.net/BC5/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=OCADU&cws=1&rid=475&source=Indeed

 

The University of Saskatchewan needs a Library Assistant for the Education & Music Library. This is a full-time position with a monthly salary of $3,906.93 to $5,268.90. The position is heavy on reference and instruction, and there is no stated deadline for applications.

http://jobs.usask.ca/job_postings/jobs/14336c.php#.VAZAN2OwHDd

 

The Yukon Arts Society is looking for a Gallery Administration Assistant in Whitehorse. The position is for 15-22 hours a week, paid at $18 an hour, and the deadline was posted as yesterday (oops!) but the job post is still up…..

http://yuwin.ca/Jobs/Posting?Id=9994

Job Posting: Archivist, Helen and Morris Belkin Art Gallery at UBC, Vancouver

This Archivist position at the The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a 40% FTE ongoing position. The posted salary range is $57,417.00 – $68,929.00  — so, $22,966 – $27,571 when pro-rated. It asks for a minimum of five years’ relevant experience, but work in a gallery or museum or participation in a contemporary arts scene would be applicable, so I think our readership probably qualifies. Just an FYI, I would totally apply for this job.

The deadline for applications is September 2nd, and the position is slated to start October 1st. You’ll need a cover letter and resume to apply.

www.staffcareers.ubc.ca/19115

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC is mandated to research, exhibit, collect, publish, educate and develop programs in the field of contemporary art.  The Belkin Art Gallery houses the University’s permanent collection of over 3,500 works of art, one of the largest public collections of art in British Columbia. Complementing its collections of art, the Belkin houses an archival collection relating to the post-war history of art in Vancouver and the avant-garde narratives of the 1960s and 1970s. The Belkin’s holdings provide a resource for exhibitions, teaching, and learning, and scholarly research.

Reporting to the Director of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Archivist oversees the Gallery’s archives, a repository for records relating especially to contemporary art since the 1960s, including papers of artists, art historians and collectors, and material in multiple media (textual, graphic, moving image and sound), which is used as a research facility for researchers, staff and students. The Archivist is responsible for managing the archive’s day-to-day operations, developing long-term plans, and implementing records management for the Gallery, and oversees the registration, conservation,
appraisal, loans, travelling exhibitions, access, security, and storage related to the archives collection.

The Archivist presents lectures to undergraduate and graduate classes in the School of Library, Archival,
and Information Studies and Departments of Anthropology and Art History, Visual Art and Theory.  The Archivist works closely with the Gallery’s Registrar and cooperatively with all staff.  The position contributes to the policy and priorities of the Gallery’s Archives and record management practices and procedures.

.    A Masters of Archival Studies is required for this position.
.    A minimum of five years related professional experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
.    Knowledge of archival arrangement, description, and creating finding aids according to the Canadian Rules for Archival Description (RAD).
.    Knowledge of standards and practices for preventative conservation of archival materials, and preservation techniques and treatments.
.    Knowledge of records management policies and procedures.
.    Knowledge of BC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.
.    Knowledge of art history, contemporary art and contemporary art practices.
.    Experience hiring, training, and supervising staff, work-study students, and professional experience students.
.    Experience working in a professional gallery or museum.

Volunteer (?) Opportunity: American Theatre Archive Project, New York City (also across America and Canada)

The following was sent out on the SLA Arts / Design / etc listserv re: the NYC team, but I had never heard of the American Theatre Archive Project before. If you visit their website you can see all their initiatives in various cities, and probably join in, if you’re so inclined.

 

American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP) NYC Team Wants You!

Want to be part of a troupe of New York City archivists and librarians with a passion for theatre?

Do you have a knowledge of basic archival principles, the ability to survey collections, some familiarity with theater terminology; are you able to attend at least half of our monthly meetings the first Monday of each month at the New Amsterdam Theatre?  Then ATAP is an organization where your talents will truly make a difference.

Founded in 2009, the American Theatre Archive Project supports theatre makers in archiving records of their work for the benefit of artists, scholars, patrons, and the public.

An initiative of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), ATAP is a nationwide network of archivists, dramaturgs and scholars dedicated to preserving the legacy of the American theatre.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, ATAP teams (usually an archivist and documentarian) have completed surveys and developed plans for the archives of Roundabout Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theater, and New York Theatre Workshop (with more to come).

Our Goals

  • To preserve records of current theatrical process and product for future generations.
  • To employ theatre legacy to develop theatres’ fiscal health and support new work.
  • To promote a better understanding of theatre as a vital element of cultural history.
  • To encourage scholarly research in contemporary American theatre.
  • To increase funding for establishing and maintaining theatre archives.
  • To support collaborations among theatre archivists, practitioners, and scholars.

ATAP holds training sessions and has developed a manual and brochure for theater companies.

To learn more and see our manual and brochure, please visit our website:

http://americantheatrearchiveproject.org

Please join us for the love of theater!

Contact:   atap.ny@gmail.com

Next Meeting:  Monday, Sept. 8th at 6:30 New Amsterdam Theatre Lobby
to Set Goals and Plans for the Coming Year

Job Posting: Administrative and Curatorial Assistant, Ryerson University, Toronto

http://current.ischool.utoronto.ca/jobsite/2014/administrative-and-curatorial-assistant

The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) is an international centre of excellence at Ryerson University, dedicated to the public exhibition, research, study and teaching of photography and related disciplines, including new media, installation art and film.

To ensure the efficient operation of the unit, we are currently seeking an Administrative and Curatorial Assistant to provide administrative and curatorial support to the Director, Ryerson Image Centre (RIC). This position will support the Director in the research, writing, and editing of essays, fundraising proposals, speeches, press and advertising materials, and other forms of written communication designed to build the profile and reputation of the Ryerson Image Centre and generate public interest. The successful candidate will also support and coordinate the Director’s relations with RIC staff, the Provost’s Office, the RIC Advisory Committee and Sub-Committees, University partners and stakeholders, and fundraising prospects, collectors, and professional colleagues. The selected candidate will also assist in the planning and coordination of RIC programs and events in support of exhibitions, collection, and research.

Qualifications:

•Successful completion of a post-secondary degree program in Art History or related discipline is required, with a specialization in history of photography, cultural management/administration, history, literary studies or visual arts. With a minimum of three (3) years of relevant administrative work experience, preferably within the setting of a cultural institution. Experience coordinating various activities, and conducting research, writing and editing is required. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
•Demonstrated experience providing front of the house administrative support in order to carry out complex administrative tasks such as developing and implementing internal administrative processes and guidelines to facilitate efficient operations.
•Excellent written communication skills are required in order to draft and edit curatorial and scholarly texts, essays, speeches, media releases and advertising materials in support of the director.
•Strong analytical and financial skills in order to monitor and review revenues and expenses, as well as identify and investigate any discrepancies or trends and recommend actions to address variances accordingly.
•Excellent organizational skills are required in order to assist the Director in managing interaction, reporting and relations with the Office of the Provost and Vice President, Academic, Office of the President, and other significant University partners such as colleagues, Advisory Committees and Sub-Committees.
•Demonstrated experience in event planning in order to support the Director’s fundraising activities as well as coordinate gallery functions such as receptions and other public and private events.
•A demonstrated commitment to client service, specifically students, staff, faculty and external contacts. Excellent interpersonal and technical skills required when assisting students and faculty and when assisting in the production of special events and centre initiatives.
•Working knowledge and demonstrated experience with various software applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint). Experience with ORACLE would be considered an asset.
•Ability to work independently with minimal supervision using sound judgment, excellent creative skills as well as utilizing problem solving/troubleshooting skills to identify and find solutions to administrative issues and conduct post-activity assessments in order to identify opportunity areas for development.

Additional information :

•Candidates may be asked to demonstrate qualifications through occupational testing as a first step in the evaluation process prior to being granted an interview.
•Candidates must have a demonstrated record of dependability/reliability and a commitment to maintain confidentiality.

Ryerson University is strongly committed to fostering diversity within our community. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our staff, our faculty and its scholarship including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply but applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Application deadline:

Aug 25 2014

Job Posting: Archivist, National Gallery of Art, Washington

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/377089100

This Archivist position is permanent / full-time, with a salary range of $75,621 to $98,305. It requires five years of progressively responsible experience, so it’s at the max experience of the ArLiSNAP mandate, but I would (personally) encourage art-oriented archivists to apply anyways. I’d apply myself if it weren’t so adamant about US citizens only ….

This is a permanent private funded position that does not incur federal status, but does affords the complete federal benefits package including the Federal Employees Retirement (FERS) program. Located in the Gallery Archives (GA)Division of The National Gallery of Art.

The purpose of this position is to perform professional archival duties in the Gallery Archives of the National Gallery of Art, especially in working with electronic records, digital information systems, and internet technologies and in describing and analyzing Gallery history and records in various media. The incumbent also is responsible for supporting the Gallery Archives program in preserving records in every physical form, and interpreting Gallery history and records through various communication channels, including internet. The incumbent participates in the full range of archival activities, including understanding and managing traditional architectural and institutional records as well as electronic record-keeping systems. The incumbent also is responsible for providing records guidance to Gallery offices; for appraising records; for identifying preserving and organizing complex bodies of historical records; and for advising the Chief Archivist concerning policies for archival management of digital images.

The incumbent:

Implements policies for ingest, preservation and use of digital records and management of the Gallerys digital archival repository based on best archival practice and published standards.

Prepares complex descriptions of Gallery records and interprets institutional history for various audiences via electronic and traditional systems.

Oversees projects for records conservation and digitization.

Serves as liaison with records-creating offices and oversees all steps in transfer of records.

Appraises records for permanent evidential or informational values and manages acquisition activities.

Works with on-site researchers and coordinates responses to complex reference inquiries, including specialized inquiries relating to architectural records or Gallery history.

Writes articles, texts, captions and exhibition narratives based on archival records and history.

This requires at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service or a Masters degree in archival science or with a major that includes at least 18 hours in archival science, history and /or political science or government. Specialized experience is experience working as an archivist in a cultural institution and working with institutional records.

In addition to a minimum of one years experience equivalent to the GS-11 level as required by the GS-12 qualification standards, candidates must have a minimum of five years of progressively responsible independent professional experience as an archivist in a cultural institution and working with institutional records.

Academy of Certified Archivists Archival Certification is preferred. Please provide information on the date and term of certification.

More details and the application form at the link above.

Unpaid (for-credit) Internships: The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

http://clients.njoyn.com/CL2/xweb/XWeb.asp?tbtoken=Z1pdShgXCB90FgN4QiRcCFJKBhZEcCIuc0hYJVAIExUpUEJtK0BodxN0BQkbURRRSXAqWA%3D%3D&chk=dFlbQBJe&clid=51300&Page=JobDetails&Jobid=J0714-0069&BRID=77185&lang=1

If you’re in school and would like to get internship or practicum credit at THE big art museum, the application process is now open. There are separate applications for each internship period (the earliest, linked above, is October – December of this year, the deadline for which is September 1st). The other internships are posted here:

http://clients.njoyn.com/CL2/xweb/XWeb.asp?tbtoken=Z1pdShgXCB90FgN4QiRcCFJKBhZEcCIuc0hYJVAIExUpUEJtK0BodxN0BQkbURRRSXAqWA%3D%3D&chk=dFlbQBJe&clid=51300&page=joblisting

Interns are given a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire valuable work experience in a museum environment under the direction of specialists. Duties and content are chosen to suit the intern’s academic background, interests, career plans and to fit with the projects underway at the Gallery at the time. Interns may work in the official language of their choice.

As an intern, you will work under the supervision of a National Gallery of Canada staff member who specializes in your field of interest. You will be introduced to the daily activities of the section and be responsible for a specific project.

The internship is non-remunerated and the intern is responsible for their own living costs (housing, meals, travelling costs, etc.).

The internships, vary in length and format, depending on the program of study of each candidate and the ongoing projects at the Gallery. It is essential to verify what are the requirements of your academic institution for the granting of credits.

I don’t know anyone personally who has completed this internship; if anyone reading has done it, or would be interested in reading an interview about the experience, let me know in the comments!

Sunday Soliloquies no. 2: A haunting tragedy

Image

Detroit Public Library, Mark Twain Branch, Detroit, Michigan

This image to me, is by far the scariest thing I have seen this Halloween season. The demise of the Detroit Public Library, Mark Twain Branch is not new news. More upsetting images can be found on flickr at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpdphotography/sets/72157626713779604/

It closed for renovations in 1996 and unfortunately, never re-opened.

But there’s no blood and gore! No skeletons, no creepy spiders, no boiling cauldrons of smelly goo…. How can I think this is scary? Take a good long look at it. Make it your wallpaper, stare at it, and try not to be terrified. I dare you. From the viewer’s perspective, you might be at the entrance to this large, nearly vacant room. A misplaced couch and two armchairs dwarfed by the enormous windows and fireplace bemoan a solitary torment. There are no books, and no other vestiges of a library. The silence, the loneliness, and the emptiness disturbs. I am getting very uncomfortable.  Are you?

What do you see? What does this image “say” to you?

Sunday Soliloquies #1

I hope “Soliloquy” is a misnomer for a discussion blog, but it does alliterate well with “Sunday”, right?

By this point in Fall semester 2013, I hope those of us in graduate school have gotten into somewhat of a routine and are conquering the wonderful world of art librarianship one assignment, presentation, group project and term paper at a time! This is my first semester of classes at University of North Texas’s MLIS program and I was a bit worried that my time management skills would be put to the test early and I might give up on this before I really got started. So far, so good though, and honestly, I am loving it! I am one of those folks who has come to art librarianship by a circuitous route.  How about you? I wonder how many of us ArLiSnappers were born with a burning desire for this career path or did you sort of discover it along the way? So, basically, why are you doing this? What are your degrees and in what order did you pursue them? What were the influential factors in your life that led you to this point? Did you attain your advanced degrees concurrently or spread them out? What do you see as the benefits and/or drawbacks to the degrees you have and/or are working on? For those new professionals with degrees in hand, do you see yourself returning for a PhD? Or do you already have one? Discuss!

Job Posting: Project Archivist at Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library – Project Archivist

(posted November 14, 2011)
The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library is searching for an experienced archivist to process the architectural drawings and personal papers of the New York architect Edgar Tafel. This position will be funded for 12 months with the possibility of extension. Funding for the position will begin on the selectee’s start date. The collection covers the architectural projects of Tafel’s career as well as personal papers and writings, especially his research and writing on Frank Lloyd Wright.

Working under the supervision of the Curator of Drawing and Archives, the Project Archivist will be responsible for:

-Processing of architectural drawings, files, and photography of Tafel’s career. Includes sorting and appraising materials for possible reduction of collection. Includes preparing materials for transport and storage to offsite facility.

-Processing of papers and other files relating to Tafel’s role as historian of Frank Lloyd Wright and related Wright
collections. Includes sorting and appraising materials for possible reduction of collection.
-Arranging and describing architectural collections in an electronic database following DACS and other emerging standards. Includes searching, authority work, description & subject analysis.
-Assigning, revising, and training students and graduate interns to provide assistance with tasks above, including inputting, processing, and research in archival files. The position will also be responsible for other duties as assigned.

Requirements are: ALA accredited M.L.S. with formal course work in archives administration or an M.A. in archival management, and two years related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The incumbent must have thorough knowledge of archival processing and preservation theories and procedure; ability to work effectively, both independently and as a member or a team; ability to combine accuracy and efficiency; proven organizational and supervisory skills; proven interpersonal skills. Must be able to lift and carry heavy boxes and must be able to climb ladders. Knowledge of American architecture, historic preservation, urban planning or design history, especially relating to Frank Lloyd Wright, highly desirable.

This position has been classified as a PC I position.

Applications will be accepted immediately and until the position is filled, for immediate consideration please apply online at:

https://academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=55601

Application deadline: December 12, 2011
The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is one of the most comprehensive architecture and fine arts library collections in the world. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced study of architecture, historic preservation, art history, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archaeology. The Library contains 500,000 volumes including 40,000 rare books, and receives approximately 1,900 periodicals. Avery’s Drawings and Archives collection includes 1.5 million architectural drawings and records.

The Avery Library is home to the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, the only comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design.

The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals offers broad coverage of journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, archaeology, city planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. With more than 675,000 records, the Index continues to be the pre-eminent discovery resource for research in architecture and related fields.
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.