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Objects created in antiquity differ from modern and contemporary sculpture in that the maker’s identity may not be known or knowable.
Concerns with regard to authenticity, however, underscore the need to assert standards for how and when a sculpture may or may not be restored or reproduced, either in the era of its making or later by heirs, owners, and institutions.
The Problem of Definitions In evaluating sculptural reproduction we face such difficulties as historical and customary usage challenging dictionary definitions.
The word “replica,” for example, is often used to signify an anonymously made commercial imitation or reduction of sculpture in a museum or other public place, but it is sometimes also used to indicate a casting made by the sculptor.
In this way, the 1974 recommendations listed in the section “Measures to Inhibit International Traffic in Unethical Sculptural Reproduction” should be applied to all forms of sculpture production and reproduction, regardless of whether or not the art consists of cast bronze or other processes and materials, unless the artist intends for the work to be open source and, therefore, without restriction.
A STATEMENT ON STANDARDS FOR SCULPTURAL REPRODUCTION AND PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO COMBAT UNETHICAL CASTING IN BRONZE Approved by the CAA Board of Directors on April 27, 1974.
As the 1974 Statement, when adopted, pre-dated the enactment of the Copyright Act of 1976 of the United States Code (which became effective October 1, 1978), it was revised in 2012 to reflect current United States copyright law and practice.
The Statement continues as a point reference for certain issues and terminology surrounding the production and reproduction of sculpture.
Before the Copyright Act, responses to this demand may have included recasting or unauthorized new casting of works.Another example of confusion over definitions occurs in response to the question of what constitutes an original bronze sculpture or an original print; the crux of the problem is that casting and printing are reproductive methods, and the word “reproduction” does not convey in the public’s mind the values associated with the word “original.” Even when used with a contemporaneous cast by Rodin or etching by Rembrandt, the word “reproduction” suggests to many people that they are not looking at the real thing.Uniqueness or rarity are so prized by the public that many individuals are dismayed to see the same works by Rodin and Rembrandt in several museums.In light of these issues, College Art Association’s (the “1974 Statement”) has largely remained intact since its adoption in 1974.The practice of creating form through computer-based technology, an important development since 1974, is addressed below.