Sculpture, logs, and a moral copyright lawsuit in the US


The 1709 blog published an interesting article which concerns an alleged infringement of moral copyrights over the sculpture “Log Cabin” made out of wood and created by Cady Noland in the nineties in the US.

The collector Wilhelm Schurmann bought this work and gave it to a museum where it was being exhibited for 10 years. After that, the work was been transferred to Michael Janssen Gallery.

Over the years “Log Cabin” had deteriorated because of which after consultation with a conservator it was been reconstructed with new materials and new logs.

This provoked a lawsuit initiated by the author according to which she hadn’t given any permission for such reconstruction which in turn infringed her moral copyright over the work.

According to the US Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA): authors of a work of visual arts have the right “to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work is a violation of that right, and… to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right.”

More information can be found here.