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exhibitions (where they exist) are usually periodical.
“It appears, that among our workmen, a great desire
“Among exhibitions connected with the encourageor voluntary Asso- ment of Art, the attention of your Committee has been the Encou- called to the institutions established in Germany, under ragement of the name of Kunstvereine, (Art-Unions,) and now be
coming prevalent in this country. These associations for
the purchase of pictures to be distributed by lot, form one ! of the many instances in the present age of the advan
tages of combination. The smallness of the contribution
The last division in the arrangement we have adopted tion and rewards of treats of the LEGAL PROTECTION of artistic property, Artists.
and the rewards of successful labour. Fiscal
“The Arts," say the Committee, “both generally duties.
and in so far as they are connected with manufactures,
have obstructed the exercise of art in that material. The window duty acts injuriously on the proportion and beauty of our buildings. The paper duty has been extensively detrimental in its effects on periodical publications on the arts, on the use of drawing-paper, on the employment of cards in the Jacquard loom, and in its oppressive application to the whole trade of paper-staining The glass duties have fettered the Arts in their endeavours to restore painting on glass,
and have restricted the adoption of engravings as ornaments in dwelling-houses. The lower cost of glass in France has encouraged a much more extended use of engravings in private residences.
“The difficult and delicate question of COPYRIGHT Copyright. has already engaged the attention of the House; and numerous complaints of want of protection for their designs have been laid before the Committee by artists Complaints and manufacturers. Mr. Smith, an eminent manu
of Artists facturer of Sheffield, states, that the piracy of his facturers. designs will compel him altogether to abandon designing as connected with his trade. A similar or corroborative statement is made by architectural sculptors, modellers, manufacturing artists, and artists generally. Mr. Martin has been seriously injured by the piracy of his works; and Mr. Papworth attributes to the want of protection for inventions, the absence of original matter in tablets, vases, and foliages; of which, in England, we possess few specimens, and perhaps none worthy of observation. “It is well known that a short period of copyright Insufficient
character of is extended to printed cotton patterns. A doubtful
present staprotection has also been afforded to the Arts by the tutable prostatutes 38 Geo. III., c. 71; and 54 Geo. III. c. 56. 38 Geo.II. The copyright given by these statutes extends to
54Geo. III. metallic figures of men and animals, to figures combined 68.
under these Statutes
of the two, and to what is somewhat loosely styled, matter of invention in sculpture.' Metallic foliages,
arabesques, vases, candelabra, and similar works, are Remedy unprotected by them. Whatever be the legal latitude
of these Acts, the expensiveness of a remedy through both uncer- the courts of law or equity is a virtual bar to invention, expensive. and almost affords impunity to piracy in art. Necessity “The most obvious principle of any measure enacted of a cheap for the protection of invention, appears to be the ible tribu- constitution of a CHEAP AND ACCESSIBLE TRIBUNAL.
The French have long possessed a prompt and econoFrench Conseil des mical Court of Judgment for cases of this kiud; mes, how composed of master-manufacturers and of workmen, constituted. empowered to decide on priority of invention or design,
as well as on many other subjects connected with
manufactures. Registra “In addition to cheapness, the greatest promptitude
of decision is another obvious element in the constitution of such a tribunal. For this and for other easons a
REGISTRATION appears to be indispensable. Various du
“ Another element in the consideration of this subject ration of
is the varying DURATION OF PROTECTION to different Copyright.
inventions in manufactures.
“The Committee consider the elaboration of any comprehensive measure for the protection of design in manufactures to be well worthy of the serious attention of the Government.
“ The Committee have naturally been led to enquire into the constitution and management of those institutions, which have prevailed in Europe for the last two hundred years under the name of ACADEMIES. Academies appear to have been originally designed to prevent or to retard the supposed decline of elevated Art. Political economists have denied the advantages
of such institutions, and artists themselves, of later
The Royal as it now stands, is not a public national institution, Academy. like the French academy, since it lives by exhibition, and takes money at the door. Yet it possesses many of the privileges of a public body, without bearing the direct burthen of public responsibility.
“The artists, examined by the Committee, frequently concur in admitting the eminence of the present and of former members of the Royal Academy; but they com- Charges plain of the exclusive nature of its rules, of the limitation against it. of its numbers, and of the principle of self-election which pervades it.
Of the privileges Its defence. objected to, some have been denied to be exclusive; others have been claimed by the Academy as essential to the nature of such an institution.
“The exclusion of Engravers from the highest rank State of in the Academy, has often called forth the animadver- and claims sions of foreign artists. In the French Academy, of Engravengravers are admitted into the highest class of members; so they are in Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome. In England, their rise is limited to the class of associates. This mark of depreciation drove such eminent men as Woollett, Strange, and Sharpe, far from the Academy. Such a distinction seems the more extraordinary, because British engraving has attained a high degree of excel
lence: foreigners send pupils hither for education; and the works of British engravers are diffused and admired
throughout the continent. Occupation
“The plan annexed to the evidence of Mr. Wilkins of the Na- will explain that fully one half of the new NATIONAL lery. Gallery has been given up to the Royal Academy.
Against this apportionment of the national building, a large number of artists have remonstrated; and two bodies of painters have petitioned the House of Commons on the subject. They declare their inability to compete with an institution so favoured at the public expense. It is true that the Academy can be compelled to quit the National Gallery whenever the public convenience requires their removal; but the great body of nonacademic artists contend, that a society which possesses not only this but a great many other public advantages, ought to be responsible to those who contribute to their exhibitions, and whose interests they are supposed to represent. A strong feeling pervades the artists generally on this subject. They are uneasy under the ambiguous, half-public-half-private character of the Academy; and they suggest that it should either stand in the simple position of a private institution, or, if it really represents the artists of Great Britain, that it should be responsible to, and eligible by them.
Public competitions in Art.
“The composition of our Commissions for deciding on plans for public works has also been, with great apparent justice, complained of. In France, the tribunal which decides between competing artists is less limited and more professional. The opinion of the public is also there called in aid of the tribunal."
Such is the substance of the Report on the more important of the topics treated of. It certainly does not present a picture at all gratifying to national