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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 14 May 2001 23:01:42 -0400
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I am a life-long Twain fan and an artist.  I have recently been creating
digital art and would like to use photos of Twain, along with some
quotations, in my work.  Although I change the photographs I use
significantly, I don't want to run into copyright or other legal problems.

I am not quite a "starving artist" but I certainly don't make enough to
support myself with my artwork. I do intend to sell my work, but frankly, I
am not a big-name artist and sell relatively few pieces.

Thus, I am seeking sources of royalty-free or public-domain Twain
photographs or photos that I can use for free or for a relatively low cost.
I would be happy to acknowledge the source of each photo and even include
promotional information about the source.

How do authors go about gaining permission for the use of photos?
Obviously, I am not affiliated with a large publishing co. which would have
the means of paying for photos nor the hope of receiving big returns on my
investment in such photographs.

Although I might consider almost any good photo of Twain, I would be most
interested in good-quality head shots.

Considering that all photos of Twain are at least 91 years old, I thought
they would be in the public domain, but I understand because many are owned
by the Hartford and Hannibal homes and the Berkeley MT Papers that there
are charges involved in their use.

How can I find out what photos are available and the costs involved?  Is
there one source of info for this or must I contact the various entities
separately?  What is a reasonable price to pay for the use of a photograph?

By the way, I will be in Hannibal on Friday (May 18th) ---my first trip
there. And I plan to be in Elmira in August.  If anyone can help me out at
either venue, perhaps with examples of available photographs, please let me

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

C. J. Peiffer