May I please . . .

Posted in books, reviews by Editor on July 25, 2009

0226046389.jpegFor many art historians, summer is the season for securing permissions for publishing images in forthcoming articles and books. Even without the copyright challenges that face our colleagues working on twentieth-century topics, the process is still often laborious and expensive. Susan Bielstein, Executive Editor for Art, Architecture, Classical Studies and Film at the University of Chicago Press, provides an essential starting point with her 2006 book, Permissions, A Survival Guide: Blunt Talk About Art as Intellectual Property.

Writing for caa.reviews, Christine Kuan, Senior Editor for Grove Art Online/Grove Dictionaries of Art, Oxford University Press, calls the book “concise, engaging, and digestible,” a valuable guide to a “convoluted and vexed subject.”

In thirteen chapters containing summaries of major court cases and their ramifications, countless hilarious anecdotes illustrative of copyright conundrums, footnotes, sample letters, useful sidebars, a sample image permissions log, a list of image sources, and suggested further reading, this book deftly interweaves explanations of intellectual property issues with real-life experiences in academic publishing.

Soon after the book’s release, Bielstein appeared on “The Library Café,” a weekly radio program from Vassar College then hosted by Dr. Thomas Hill. The website for WVKR FM 91.3 includes a ‘Listen Link’ for the 2007 episode featuring Bielstein. In addition to talking about her book, Bielstein addresses the state of the field of art history publishing more generally.

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