Spotlight On: Works In The Public Domain for 2013 Which You Might Have Missed
By Rachael O'Halloran
Published September 16, 2014
What Works Entered Public Domain in 2013?
Public Domain Day, January 1, 2013
If you live in the United States, this was the last year that a work entered the public domain. There are only two people and they are A E Waite (think Tarot cards!) and Grant Wood.
Until 2019, absolutely nothing else will enter the public domain in the US due to a Supreme Court ruling and the 1998 Sonny Bono Law. Sorry, but you will have to sit tight until 2019.
If you live in one of the countries of the European Union, you are in luck!
Have I got a treasure trove of public domain works for you!
This article will list them by name and a short biography (very short!) with links I hope you will click to be able to get a full list of their works and perhaps learn a little more about them as people and authors.
At the end of this list, I will showcase Grant Wood's painting "American Gothic" in order to show you how artists adapt works of art - to make their own statement, so to speak.
If you ever see a work that inspires you, where you would like to adapt it into your own work, please check to make sure it is in the public domain. If it is not, you will need to locate the licensing agent and inquire what the fee schedule is for the type of use you have in mind.
Without further ado, here are the people whose work entered public domain on January 1, 2013. Enjoy!
Persons Whose Work Entered Public Domain in 2013
The following authors, scientists, musicians and artists had copyright terms which expired in their country of origin, thereby releasing their work into the public domain.
- Please click the links so you can learn more about what they have contributed to our world. Because I also write for Wikipedia and other wikis, almost all of the links will lead to those sites to give you more biographical details as well as a list of their works.
Arthur Edward Waite (A E Waite) October 2, 1857- May 19, 1942 - U.S. author of occult and fantasy novels, co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.
Artturi Järviluoma - August 9, 1879 - January 31, 1942 - Finnish playwright, journalist, wrote a libretto for an opera.
Bronislaw_Malinowski - April 7, 1884 (Krakow, Poland) -May 16, 1942 - Polish author and anthropologist.
Bruno Schulz - July 12, 1892 in Drohobych (present Ukraine), - November 19, 1942 (killed by Gestapo near his home) - Polish author, painter, illustrator, art teacher, graphic artist. Most famous for his 1934 collection of short stories called The Street of Crocodiles.
Edith Stein (St. Teresa - Carmelite nun) - October 12, 1891 - August 9, 1942. A Jewish philosopher/author who became a Carmelite nun in 1933. Killed in gas chambers at Auschwitz concentration camp, with her sister Rosa, also a Carmelite nun.
Eric Ravilious - July 22, 1903 - September 2, 1942 - English painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver
Ernest Bramah - March 20, 1868 - June 27, 1942 - English author (Max Carrados Mysteries and others)
Francis Younghusband - May 31, 1863 - July 31, 1942 - British explorer and spiritual author.
Franz Boas - July 9, 1858 – December 21, 1942 - German anthropologist and author.
Janusz Korczak - July 22, 1878 - August 6, 1942 - Polish physician, author, social activist, and journalist. Killed at Treblinka concentration camp.
Léon Daudet - November 16, 1867 - June 30, 1942 - French novelist and journalist
Lucy Maud Montgomery (L.M. Montgomery) - November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942, Canadian author best known for Anne of Green Gables
Neel Doff (Cornelia Doff) - January 27, 1858 - July 14, 1942 - Dutch author.
Peadar Toner Mac Fhionnlaoich - October 5, 1857 - July 1, 1942 - Irish author
Ramon Casas i Carbó - January 4, 1866 - February 29, 1932 - Spanish artist and painter (Spain's copyright is 80 years).
Robert Musil - November 6, 1880 - April 15, 1942, Austrian author
Stefan Zweig - November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942 - Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer.
Tatu Vaaskivi - July 19, 1912 - September 21, 1942 - Finnish novelist, critic and essayist.
Terézia Vansová - April 18, 1857 - October 10, 1942 - Slovak author and poet
Violet Hunt -September 28, 1862 – January 16, 1942 - British novelist
Wilhelm Peterson-Berger - February 27, 1867 – December 3, 1942 - Swedish composer
William Pierpont Black - 1877 – April 29, 1942 -New Zealand wood carver, journal editor and publisher, journalist.
Grant Wood - February 13, 1891 – February 12, 1942 - American painter known for his paintings depicting the rural American Midwest. His famous work "American Gothic" is showcased below.
American Gothic By Grant Wood And ParodiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Grant Wood - 1910 at age 18
Birth Name: Grant DeVolson Wood
Date and Place of Birth: Feb. 13, 1891 Anamosa, Iowa
Date and Place of Death: Feb. 12, 1942 (at age 50) Iowa City, Iowa
Spouse: Sara Sherman Maxon 1935-1938, divorced
Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer
Heir To His Works: Sister Nan Wood - died in 1990, her estate, along with Wood's personal effects and various works of art, was donated for public use to the Figge Art Museum in Iowa.
Works Entered Public Domain: January 1, 2013. Since he died in 1942, copyright ended December 31, 2012 - 70 years.
Most Famous Work: American Gothic (1930)
Grant Wood - Self Portrait
Rachael O'Halloran's Guide To Cool (But Useful) Stuff™
Guide To Finding Interesting Public Domain Works Online - go exploring on this informative site.
List of Famous Books In The Public Domain - many works you see in everyday life (movies, books, advertisements, songs, etc.) which you might think are original, are in fact spun from these public domain works of yesteryear
University of North Carolina's Chart - lists copyright term expiration dates of when United States works become public domain. (US only)
List of Copyright Terms By Country - based on author death, and also by creation date
Copyright Term & Public Domain Dates (US) - this was updated on January 1, 2014 - sound, film, literary, and never published works
The Story Behind American Gothic
This most famous painting measures a rather small 29¼ inches × 24½ inches. I guess when I first saw it, I was expecting a canvas about 3 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. At any rate, I expected BIG. So I was rather surprised at the size.
Wood used brilliant, intense colors and he liked patterns. He used oil glazes in most of his work and his paintings resembled lithographs. He enjoyed drawing caricatures and also liked to sketch in charcoal.
His style was compared to American folk art and to artist Norman Rockwell.
From 1927 to 1929, he went to Germany to learn how to make and paint a stained glass window. While there, he picked up German and Gothic influences in his work. When he came back to Iowa, upon passing through the town of Eldon, he found a small Gothic Revival style cottage with a unique window in the upstairs part of the house.
He imagined the kind of people who might have lived in the house and decided to paint a farmer with his spinster daughter by his side. (And I always thought it was his wife!)
Grant Wood asked his dentist and his sister Nan to model for him. Nan liked to say that it was the farmer's spinster daughter because it made her appear younger as the model. In most articles, the characters are referred to as a farmer and his wife, which are depicted in the traditional married couple role.
But Wood referred to them as father and daughter in this 1941 letter written shortly before his death in reply to a fan. The letter is interesting because he describes what he imagined to be their life.
The wife's cameo brooch, dark apron and dimunitive tie are a bit severe, but typical for 19th century life. The husband's pitchfork is meant to indicate hard work on a farm.
When it was done, Grant Wood named his painting "American Gothic."
- Although Wood had been married for a short time, he left his entire estate to his sister, Nan. She died at the age of 90 in 1990 and she donated everything to the University of Iowa, stipulating that it was for public use.
He exhibited his painting at the Art Institute of Chicago (who purchased the painting). The museum gave the painting a bronze medal and awarded it $300 in prize money. The newspapers picked up his story, gaining him national recognition. His painting immediately was praised by art critics and soon it became a cultural icon.
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. His work "American Gothic" has been imitated and parodied for many years and used in advertisements and cartoons.
I wonder what he would think of that.
Discover Grant Wood!
- Detailed description of the Grant Wood collection, 1930-1983 - Digitized Collection | Archives of Am
In-depth description and inventory of Grant Wood collection, with information about the history of the collection and its creator.
- Gallery - Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Famous for its Grant Wood collection and Studio, the CRMA has more than 5,000 works of art spanning 2,000 years.
- Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection - The University of Iowa Libraries
Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection.
Public Domain Use
Do you think works in the public domain can help you in your chosen field?
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- Spotlight On: Works In The Public Domain Explained
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- What Can I Do With Public Domain Works?
What's the big deal about public domain? What can you do with old books, songs and movies? PLENTY! Many of today's works are shadows of former works. Once they go in public domain, it's a free for all
- Spotlight On: Works In The Public Domain for 2011 Which You Might Have Missed
From Australia to United States, this article shows works now in public domain according to the copyright laws of their respective countries. My hope is to make copyright law less confusing for you.
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© Rachael O'Halloran, September 16, 2014
© 2014 Rachael O'Halloran