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AMICO Press Release

AMICO and VAGA Reach Rights Agreement to Further Expand
Contemporary and Modern Art in The AMICO Library™

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October 24, 2001
Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Museum Image Consortium, Inc. (AMICO) and the Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc. (VAGA) have reached a landmark agreement that will expand the coverage of contemporary and modern art in the leading digital library of works of art available for educational use. In this agreement, VAGA has granted AMICO a non-exclusive, worldwide license to include digital images of copyrighted works of art by artists and estates represented by VAGA and its affiliated rights societies in The AMICO Library where they can be studied along with multimedia documentation of other works of art in the collections of AMICO member museums. In return, AMICO will make royalty payments to the artists through VAGA.

"This is an additional cornerstone in the foundation that AMICO is establishing to make The AMICO Library the educational provider of works of art from the 20th century and beyond in digital form," said Jennifer Trant, Executive Director of AMICO. "AMICO members are delighted to now contribute some of the most recognized works in their collections without the added burden of separate rights clearance," Ms. Trant continued. Maxwell L. Anderson, Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, observed, "as the arts community navigates through the uncertain waters of copyright legislation in a wired world, it is very exciting to have brought two critical constituencies together in service of education: our major modern and contemporary artists and our leading art museums."

Robert Panzer, Executive Director of VAGA, also considered the agreement noteworthy. "As a representative and advocate for VAGA artists' rights we must balance needs of access and dissemination with protection and copyright," Mr. Panzer noted. "This agreement between VAGA and AMICO heightens availability of our artists' works for educational purposes, while still ensuring their appropriate use under an educational license agreement; that's definitely a win-win from VAGA's perspective."

AMICO Library subscribers will benefit from this agreement as well. Along with the existing AMICO agreement with the Artists Rights Society (ARS), the AMICO/VAGA agreement expands the depth of resources contained in The AMICO Library without any change in subscription fees. Individual teachers and students won't need to obtain additional copyright clearances, often a time-consuming and uncertain process, when using pivotal contemporary works by artists, such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Robert Motherwell, in their educational projects.

The Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) is an independent non-profit corporation with 501 (c) 3 designation from the IRS. Founded in 1997 with 23 Members, the Consortium today is made up of over 30 major museums worldwide. It's an innovative collaboration - not seen before in museums - that shares, shapes, and standardizes digital information regarding museum collections and enables its educational use. Membership is open to any institution with a collection of art.

AMICO members make annual contributions of multimedia documentation of works in their museums' collections. This data is compiled by AMICO and made available as The AMICO Library to universities, colleges, schools, and public libraries via distributors. Potential subscribers may preview a Thumbnail Catalog of The AMICO Library and get further information at

About VAGA
Founded in 1976, VAGA was the first organization in the U.S. to represent visual artists' copyrights on a collective basis. Its membership includes American artists and estates and also foreign artists and estates through reciprocal agreements with sister organizations worldwide. Membership is open to all visual artists ranging from those just starting out to well-known members of the art community such as, Robert Rauschenberg, Stuart Davis, Robert Motherwell, Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns, Joseph Cornell, Ben Shahn, David Smith, Carlos Mérida, Romare Bearden, James Rosenquist, Alexander Rodchenko, Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Thomas Hart Benton, Adolph Gottlieb, Tom Wesselmann, Wayne Thiebaud, Vladimir and Georgi Stenberg, David Alfaro Siqueiros, H.C. Westermann, Grant Wood, Ken Noland, Robert Smithson, and Larry Rivers.

Jennifer Trant
Executive Director
Art Museum Image Consortium
2008 Murray Avenue, Suite D
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone: (412) 422 8533
Fax: (412) 422 8594

Robert Panzer
Executive Director
Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc. (VAGA)
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6305
New York, NY 10118
Phone: (212) 736 6666
Fax: (212) 736 6767


In June of 2005, the members of the Art Museum Image Consortium voted to dissolve their collaboration. This site remains online for archival reasons.