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Q: Copyright status of a painting ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Copyright status of a painting
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: sam41653-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 18 Nov 2002 09:43 PST
Expires: 18 Dec 2002 09:43 PST
Question ID: 109973
Is the Georgia O'Keefe painting named "Pink Gladiolas" under
copyright? If so, who is the owner of the copyright and what is their
telephone number?

Clarification of Question by sam41653-ga on 19 Nov 2002 10:34 PST
Why did you retract the answer you gave me? Who owns the O'Keeffe
painting "Pink Gladiolas"?
Subject: Re: Copyright status of a painting
Answered By: byrd-ga on 20 Nov 2002 16:01 PST
The owner of a work of art, and the owner of the copyright of that
work of art are not always and necessarily the same. This is the case
as regards O'Keeffe's 1928 work, "Pink Gladiolas"

Under current law, copyrights are valid for seventy years from the
death of the original holder, at which time rights pass to the stated
heir(s) or to the artist’s/owner’s estate, which is the case with
O’Keeffe’s works.  The Artists Rights Society currently manages
copyright affairs for the O'Keeffe estate, and any permission or other
information about these works must be sought from them.  As they

"The claim is frequently made by some proprietors of works of art in
the U.S., and by some American museums, that ownership of a physical
work of art also carries with it ownership of the copyright. This is
quite simply a false and misleading assumption."

You can read additional information together with applicable excerpts
from the U.S. Copyright law at their website here:  Click on "copyright information."  Also click
on "Artists Represented" to see a list of their clientele, which
includes O'Keeffe.


I emailed ARS seeking information about this work, and here is the
reply I received:

"The work by O'Keeffe "Pink Gladiolas" is currently listed as having
been acquired in 1987 by a "Private Collection, Dallas, TX" (this from
the most recent catalogue raisonnee of O'Keeffe's work).  The
Spanierman Gallery, NY, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, and
Hirschl and Adler, NY have all exhibited the work in the last 15
years, so they may have transparencies (photographs) of the work if
the private collection in Dallas does not lead to much.

The estate owns the underlying copyright to the work, and all
permissions must be sought through ARS.


Laura Straus
Artists Rights Society
536 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 212-420-9160
Fax: 212-420-9286
Check the ARS web site for complete membership listings:"


Websites for the above named galleries are as follows:
The Spanierman Gallery:
The Gerald Peters Gallery:
Hirschl and Adler Galleries:

I sent emails to all of them inquiring about any information and/or
contact(s)  they may have with regard to this painting.


Reply from Mike Horvath at the Spanierman Gallery:

From: Mike Horvath 	
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: O'Keeffe painting
I see no record in our inventory of ever having that painting on
exhibit here. Sorry.


I did email him back, citing the following link, which appears to show
that this gallery sold the painting:  I will
post a clarification if/when I receive a further reply from him.


Now for the good news.  While I have not been able to learn of whose
private collection this work is a part, I have heard from Catherine
Whitney of the Gerald Peters Gallery as follows:

From: Donna Davies 
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 3:03 PM
Subject: RE: O'Keeffe painting

That piece is actually back in our collection right now, on
consignment from a collection in Texas.
Are you looking for reproduction permission or what is the nature of
your request? Hopefully we can help in a more direct manner now that
it is with us again.
Catherine Whitney
Director, Twentieth-Century American Art

I've emailed her back telling her to expect a reply from a third party
on whose behalf I made the inquiry.


I have not yet heard from Hirschl and Adler.  However, if/when I do, I
will clarify my answer also with any information they relay.  However,
please bear in mind that many private art collectors do not wish their
names or information released publicly due to understandable security
concerns, and so working through an intermediary such as Ms. Whitney
may be the only way to contact the current owner.

My recommendation is to contact her regardless of the reason for your
interest, bearing in mind that if you wish to use images of this work,
ARS is the only party with the authority to grant that permission,
though from their guidelines, it sounds as if you would not have too
much trouble.

If, on the other hand, you are a serious collector and interested in
pursuing the possibility of obtaining this painting either for
exhibition and/or purchase, then you would likely be able to work
through Ms. Whitney and the Gerald Peters Gallery.

If there is anything not clear, I would request that you please ask
for clarification before rating this answer.  Again, I will post any
further replies received.  Thank you and best of luck in your quest,


Search terms used:

Georgia O’Keeffe copyright “Pink Gladiolas”  -posters -prints
location O’Keeffe works
permissions O’Keeffe paintings

Clarification of Answer by byrd-ga on 20 Nov 2002 16:06 PST
My apologies, I see that the emails did not post with clickable links.
 Here they are:

Catherine Whitney (Gerald Peters Galleries):
Mike Horvath (Spanierman Gallery):

Clarification of Answer by byrd-ga on 21 Nov 2002 06:41 PST
As promised, here is the reply received from Hirschl and Adler
Galleries this morning.  It also points to the Gerald Peters Gallery
as your most likely source of assistance.

From: Eric Baumgartner 
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 6:36 AM
Subject: RE: O'Keeffe painting

Thank you for your email regarding the Georgia O'Keeffe painting, Pink
Gladiolas (about 1934). Yes, indeed, Hirschl & Adler Galleries did
handle this picture in 1986, but it was sold through our partner in
the 1986 O'Keeffe gallery exhibition, Gerald Peters Gallery. Perhaps
they will be able to help you in your research.

Good luck,
Eric W. Baumgartner 
Director, Dept. of American Art 
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc. 
21 East 70th Street 
New York, NY 10021 
212-535-8810 phone 
212-772-7237 fax

Clarification of Answer by byrd-ga on 21 Nov 2002 07:55 PST
One more bit of correspondence (and contact info) to pass along - I
had emailed Mike Horvath of the Spanierman Gallery with a further
question, as it appeard their gallery had sold the painting at one
time - this is his reply to that:

From: Mike Horvath  
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2002 7:51 AM
Subject: Re: O'Keeffe painting

You're right; we had this long before our current inventory system,
some time ago. Can you call me at 212-832-0208?

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