Sunday, February 28, 2010

Publisher Concoctions

The lack of enforcement of copyright laws and the absence of any regard for artistic integrity at the start of the 20th century combined with the extreme popularity of Catharina Klein's paintings resulted in publishers creating entirely new postcard to sell using rearrangements, exagerated details, recombinations, and mixtures of others' artwork with hers.

The practice originated in the great printing houses of Germany, but eventually crossed the Atlantic. I can only imagine what Catharina Klein thought of such misuse of her work. I assume she got paid for the original submission and that was the end of any control she had.

These examples from my collection show how inventive the publishers were in getting the most from her artwork. The two selections from her alphabet series were designed and painted by Catharina Klein. The project may have been a publisher's idea, but she executed the commission beautifully. The other examples are copies of her work rearranged by publishers. These are some of the better "concoctions" but they do not show that great sense of composition and line that she had.

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