As a public artist, I appreciate this thoughtful discussion. Also, although it may seem obvious to some, absolutely include the artist’s name and the name of the artwork — in addition to the photo credit. I have seen many instances where that information is missing, AND no didactic appears with the work itself. 

I’m a big advocate of contacting the artist for a photo. I, for one, always have professional shots taken of my final installations. 


Stacia Goodman, Lead Artist
Phone: 612.718.7946

Website: StaciaGoodmanMosaics
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On Dec 2, 2019, at 9:42 AM, Julia Muney Moore <> wrote:

It's always safe to contact the artist first for the rights, and they may give you a photo they like. However, the rights to some pieces executed prior to 1976 (last copyright law revision) may be controlled by the person that owns it, so ask them as well. And some older pieces may be in the public domain by now so you can take your own photo and use it. Finally, if you want to use a particular photo of the work, the photographer probably owns the rights to it so you'd have to ask them, or purchase the rights from a stock agency.

Julia Muney Moore
Director of Public Art
Arts Council of Indianapolis

924 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN  46204
(317) 631-3301 x 240
(317) 332-8382 mobile

On Mon, Dec 2, 2019 at 10:18 AM Eric <> wrote:

Hi –


What are the proper steps that should be employed if you are publishing a book and want to include an image of a public art piece?

For sake of discussion, this is not a book about public art, but might use the art to illustrate concepts on space or well-being, or even anatomy.


Thanks in advance.


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