I have removed the content of this post in response to the following letter from the IMA:
It has come to the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s attention that you are displaying images taken on the IMA grounds on your web site (http://visualingual.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/numbers-by-robert-indiana/). The IMA requests that you immediately cease using the image of the Numbers sculpture where you are standing inside the Zero. This is a violation of the copyright held by the artist of this sculpture, which is maintained by the IMA. These copyrighted works of art require that any time the IMA wishes to use images of them that we must first obtain permission from the appropriate rights holder and pay for the usage, if required.
Additionally, your actions are also in violation of the IMA’s Photography Policy and general guidelines for interaction with artworks, which expressly state:
· “To help us preserve the outdoor sculptures…do not climb, lean or sit on any artworks. Do not place props or equipment on the sculptures.”
· “Keeping You and the Art Safe: Please keep a safe distance from art objects inside the museum as well as outside on the grounds. Leaning on sculptures, walls or cases, or climbing on platforms can endanger both the art and you. The safest way to view a work of art is from at least one foot away.”
Further information about the IMA’s Photography Policy can be found here: http://www.imamuseum.org/photopolicy and general Museum Messaging can be found here: http://www.imamuseum.org/sites/default/files/Museum-Signs.pdf. Both of these are posted at the Welcome Center of the Museum before you enter the galleries.
The IMA cannot endorse your use of the image showing you standing in the Zero sculpture. The Museum is charged with the maintenance and long-term preservation of these works, which includes reducing unnecessary interactions with the surface of sculptures. The placement of foreign objects on their surfaces may cause damage requiring conservation to the works, which could have been avoided by following the guidelines and policies of the Museum. As you know from your post, the Numbers were only recently re-painted and returned to being on view at the IMA. We hope to preserve the recent restoration for at least another 30 years and reduce any further chipping away of the painted surface.
Therefore, we ask that you immediately remove this image from your web site that was taken on the IMA grounds. Failure to remove this image from your web site will lead to further legal actions from the IMA.