Amongst the artists whose work has entered the public domain, we have the sculptor behind Mount Rushmore, a cubist, an anti-cubist, a “Glasgow Boy”, the most expensive female Indian painter and several photographers and designers.
We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible but if there are any artists who died in 1941 that we have missed, please use the comments section below to let us know.
|Simultaneous Windows on the City, 1912|
His later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee (whose works entered the public domain last year).
Sources: Art Icons and Wikipedia
|Building Mount Rushmore|
Gutzon Borglum was an artist with a penchant for carving political figures. He is most famous for creating the Presidents’ heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota (and for being referenced in National Treasure 2!). He also created the famous carving on Stone Mountain which depicts three figures of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis, as well as other public works of art including a six-ton bust of Abraham Lincoln, and a series of sculptures in Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
In 1916, Borglum was appointed to cut away much of the copper surface of the statue of liberty torch's flame and install glass windows. Snow and rain leaked in through the windows leading to corrosion. In the mid-1980s the old torch was removed and placed in a museum. The replacement torch is covered with gold leaf.
For a gallery of Borglum’s work, see here.
Sources: NNDB.com, Statue of Liberty Blog and wikipedia
|Churchill by Lavery|
Although appointed an official artist in the First World War a combination of illness and a car crash during a zeppelin bombing raid kept him from fulfilling this role as war artist. He later moved on to portraiture and painted everyone from Winston Churchill to John McCormack. After the war he was knighted and in 1921 he was elected to the Royal Academy.
Sources: Wikipedia and ulsterhistory.co.uk
Amrita Sher-Gil was an eminent Indian painter, sometimes known as India's Frida Kahlo. She is reportedly the 'most expensive' woman painter of India. She had a Eurasian upbringing, born in Hungary, studying art in France but living much of the intervening period in the Punjab. After receiving considerable critical acclaim in France, in 1934, Sher-Gil returned to India and evolved her own distinct style which tended to take Indian villagers and beggars as her subject.
Sources: iloveindia.com and wikipedia
|Alexander Sakharoff, 1909|
|1919 propaganda - Beat the Whites|
El Lissitzky developed a suprematist style of his own, a series of abstract, geometric paintings which he called Proun (effectively suprematism in 3D). He took the principles one step further and between 1923 to 1925 developed the idea of “horizontal skyscrapers”. Each proposed “sky scraper” was a flat three-story, 180-meter-wide L-shaped slab raised 50 meters above street level. Lissitzky argued that as long as humans cannot fly, moving horizontally is natural and moving vertically is not.
|Fountain of Naiads, Rome|
Among his surviving works are the statue of Goethe at Munich, and a war memorial in Aberystwyth.
Source: Rome Tour
|Alice in Wonderland furnishing fabric|
Voysey was influenced by the work of William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau. Unlike most Vicotorian design, he was concerned with form and function i.e. simplicity over the ornamental and decorative.
Sources: The V&A and Wikipedia
His most famous photograph, Water Rats, was taken in 1886.
A selection of his photos available here.
Seiki Kayamori was a Japanese photographer who spent the latter part of his life in Alaska. The FBI suspected him of spying. Two days after the attack, awaiting his arrest, Kayamori committed suicide. No credible evidence has ever been produced to indicate that he was a spy. Many of Kayamori's photographs are now kept in the Alaska State Library.
Maximilien Luce was a French Neo-impressionist artist. Luce is best known for his pointillist canvases. Like Pissarro, he was active with anarchist groups in Paris in the 1890s. During World War I, Luce painted war scenes, depicting soldiers struggling against the horrors of the Great War.
|The Kolkhoznik, 1931|
Pavel Filonov formulated the principles of analytical realism, or "anti-Cubism". According to Filonov, Cubism represents objects using elements of their surface geometry but "analytical realists" should represent objects using elements of their inner soul.
From 1932 onward, Filonov literally starved but refused to sell his works to private collectors. He wanted to give all his works to the Russian Museum as a gift so as to start a Museum of Analytical Realism. He died of starvation on December 3, 1941 during the Nazi Siege of Leningrad.
As the advance of technology / medical knowledge extends the human lifetime, one wonders if "copyright terrorist" groups will spring up which will plot to murder creators so that their works will enter the public domain earlier.
What if science discovers the secret of how to accomplish cryogenic suspension and reanimation? Will the copyrights of frozen creators never expire? What a chilling thought!
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