A new perspective to what Vastari does
Digital exhibitions and exhibition catalogues are growing by the day. Please see the review at the bottom of this blog entry where K Bender asks “Can VASTARI - The Exhibition Connection help to create digital exhibition catalogues? ”
Vastari.com was founded to focus on temporary exhibition loans to museums. Collectors’ items on the system can reach the attention of authorities at museums and cultural institutions safely via the Internet without having external exposure. So, publicly accesible digital exhibition catalogues are not really what we are striving towards.
However, the influx of digital exhibitions, digital exhibition catalogues and exhibitions of digital material is on the rise. We are interestingly enough going to discuss this matter briefly in an article to be published in April by Dr James of Cambridge University. Please keep an eye on our featured articles for this. (vastari.com/featured_articles.aspx)
As mentioned, the works registered on Vastari.com - The Exhibition Connection are available for loan to exhibitions at museums only. And of course, these loans can only occur with the owner’s permission. The difficult thing with publicly accesible digital copies of work is that they can be abused easily. In an exhibition at a museum, you need the original - in a digital catalogue, you do not. You can publish things without the owner even knowing about it.
When using a work from a private collection in a digital publication, researching the copyright for that image is crucial. The works on Vastari.com are protected so they cannot be used without the owner’s permission. It is courteous to notify the collector of how you use their works digitally; and to be fair, the collectors will most likely be thrilled that you are researching what they own.
Many of the works on Vastari.com are digitised online for the first time in their existence. They are not available/visible elsewhere for a reason. This reason can be to hide the work from the market, to protect a family heirloom or because the owner is worried about safety and misuse of the digital image.
In summary, Vastari.com’s system strictly respects the privacy of all members to ensure that digital copies will not be misused. We are a research tool to find the current owners of works - and digitising exhibition catalogues or creating new exhibition catalogues is not on our agenda (yet!). But we do hope digital initiatives keep growing and would be delighted to hear that our collectors agree to collaborate in a digital publication.