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When is using published photographs plagiarism?

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  • Judith Decker
    Greetings Art Education members, I have already talked to Chris off list more on this topic. I feel some of may have missed the point of my post. Using
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2005
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      Greetings Art Education members,

      I have already "talked" to Chris off list more on this
      topic. I feel some of may have missed the point of my

      Using photographs is plagiarism when the objective of
      the lesson is to be original. Shows like Scholastic
      Art Awards require the work to be original, NOT
      derived from published photographs (and that is
      clearly stated in the show requirements). Organizers
      and judges of these events trust the integrity of the
      submitting teacher. Many of us have seen students win
      awards on works that have been copied from

      Yes, copying a photograph can be a valuable
      lesson...doing grid work is a valuable lesson....and
      Yes - using photographs is a valuable research tool. I
      always provided idea papers to spark my students (I
      was an "image flooder") - and some amazing works
      developed. It is plagiarism when you claim the work as
      your "original idea". The lesson objectives will
      determine if use of photographs is plagiarism or not.
      When you display the students portraits studying value
      and shading, why not show the original photograph as
      well? When I did Renaissance parody, I displayed the
      orginal painting (post card size or slightly
      larger)with the student work. When I did jungles, the
      objective was to work from photographs of animals to
      create an orignal composition combining animals with
      observational drawings of plants. Uses of reference
      material was not plagiarism for those lessons (in my
      mind). I could cite more examples - but you get the
      idea. Some of you who teach AP may have to give more
      strict guidelines to your students (I am not up on
      what they require now).

      Hope this clears up the confusion.


      Judy Decker

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