Works in the public domain

I’ve been spoiled by the easy access to great paintings, which formed the backdrop of Rosie’s adventures. Almost any great artist you can think of has the bulk of their work in the public domain.

Not so for other works of art. Movies, in addition to being more recent, also have more stringent laws about what goes into the public domain. That means that only a tiny sliver of movies are accessible to work into your storylines. Same thing with music. Even if the score is in the public domain, the performance is not.

For a storyline that relies on sending its characters into works of art, then, there’s a fair amount of research you have to do to locate a work they can legally end up in. I lucked out in the first episode that Roger Corman’s works are all public domain. But, choosing Night of the Living Dead was an accident for the sisters. Now that they know how the wardrobe works, they’re not going to stick another horror movie in there.

I really wanted Bodger to pick a film – he had his heart set on Rin Tin Tin and Lassie. But, I wasn’t familiar with any of the movies that were availalbe, and I suspect no one else is either. He’ll probably get a dog picture eventually. He’d really really like The Incredible Journey (since Bodger the bull terrier comes from that movie), but it’s not public domain.

So, I moved away from movies and went rummaging through books. In particular, illustrated children’s books. And that’s where I found this week’s adventure – in Arthur Rackham’s illustrations of Alice in Wonderland.

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