When is using published photographs plagiarism?
- 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.
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