Public Domain Jesus
July 24, 2010 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Help me find vintage color Jesus art for my Tea Party Jesus blog, preferably pre-1923.

I'm searching for public domain color images of Jesus. I need to find it in a scannable format for high resolution, so books, cards, and magazines are ideal. I'm willing to put a reasonable amount of money into this.

The best pictures conform to the classic "Sunday School Jesus" image, with a white robe and sash.

Any help from the hive mind would be fantastic--links to books for sale, scans from your own collection, or suggestions for places to look. Again, it needs to be stuff that's in the public domain.

Bonus copyright question: I love the pictures linked on this page from the Standard Bible Story Reader by Lillie A. Faris, but I'm having trouble finding out if the copyright was renewed on it, or if it was allowed to pass into the public domain. Any suggestions on how to find out for sure? I know I can pay to have a search done, but I don't have time to wait the four to six weeks it apparently takes. Any other options?

Bonus bonus question: This picture and lots more like it are in another online collection of supposedly public domain art, but I can't find any information on where it came from. Does anyone have any ideas to identify the book it's from?
posted by EarBucket to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
More here. Mixed quality, but all old and free.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:20 PM on July 24, 2010

All the images here have been released into the public domain:
posted by allthewhile at 2:21 PM on July 24, 2010

Look here for more:

btw, as a self identified "Catholic Pro-Life Libertarian", I probably fit into your target audience being mocked.


posted by allthewhile at 2:26 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I might also point you toward "fair use." Seems like you could make a pretty strong case for this. But I'm not a lawyer, etc.

If all you are aiming for is the blog I'd not worry about it at all. If you want a book deal someday, etc. Then you might worry about copyright.

Often, copyright only entitles the infringed part to receive compensation for lost revenue and for the monies made by you. So you take it and make a sale that may deny me a sale. So I may get the money you made as well as getting some money from the sale I could have made.

Copyright is a fun thing, and I read about it all the time, but in this case I'd lose no sleep over using even contemporary art, but then I am a lost less risk averse than some.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:01 PM on July 24, 2010

National Gallery has a "personal use only" copyright notice, but isn't US government work in the public domain? If so, the world of classical art is spread out before you.
posted by brownpau at 3:29 PM on July 24, 2010

Sorry, of course you need images so a "with images only" search is what I meant to post.
posted by brownpau at 3:31 PM on July 24, 2010

The set of books you mention that you like are from between 1923 and 1977. They may be in the public domain if they were published without a copyright notice. Can you find out?

This copyright term chart is a great reference.
posted by fritley at 4:12 PM on July 24, 2010

Church garage/rummage sale? They seem to happen all the time around here, in pretty much the same way that evil alien entities were always slipping through the Stargate undetected in SG1.
posted by bloggerwench at 6:03 PM on July 24, 2010

Best answer: Library of Congress is often a good place to find high res public domain scans. A search with the terms Jesus and Color finds some promising looking results:a b c for a few examples.
posted by fings at 1:08 PM on July 25, 2010

BTW, searching the renewal database at Stanford for Lillie Faris finds 3 other records, but nothing for the Standard Bible Story Reader. Looks like it was not renewed.
posted by fings at 9:23 PM on July 25, 2010

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