Friday, August 20, 2010

Iconic sailor/nurse kiss of "Unconditional Surrender" returns to Hamilton, NJ

The iconic World War II sailor made a brief trip from Hamilton, NJ to Times Square, but has now returned to Hamilton.
The sculpture is derived from the famous photograph. But there's actually more than one photograph!
From thefencepost:

Another [photograph] was [by] Victor Jorgensen, a Navy photographer, who was on duty at the time. The picture Jorgensen took of a sailor kissing a nurse he titled, “Kissing the War Goodbye.” It made the front page of the New York Times the next day. Jorgensen was on duty so his photo is in the public domain and can be copied. There is an ongoing controversy over which picture was used as a basis for J. Seward Johnson's 25-feet high, 6,000-pound sculpture.

An interesting derivative work in copyright question!

Seward Johnson’s “Unconditional Surrender” :

The woman depicted in the sculpture is Edith Shain, who is now living in California at 88 years young. “We have had the opportunity to have her at some of our unveiling events,” Stoeke said of Shain. “She’s a terrific woman.” [IPBiz: As an update to the Trentonian text, Edith Shain died in June 2010 at age 91. See Edith Shain, Who Said Famous Kiss Came Her Way, Dies at 91 .]

***As a footnote, there is more than one of these sculptures, with others in San Diego and Sarasota.

***V-J day was 14 Aug 1945. The photograph of Alfred Eisenstaedt was on the cover of Life on 27 Aug 1945.

***Wapedia writes of the matter:

Unconditional Surrender (a series with several versions begun in 2005), a spokesperson for Johnson has stated that this series is based on a photograph that is in the public-domain, Kissing the War Goodbye, by Victor Jorgensen, [6] however, the Jorgensen photographic image does not extend low enough to include the lower legs and shoes of the subjects, revealed in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph, V-J day in Times Square, that are represented identically in the statue. A spokesperson for Life has called it a copyright infringement of the latter image. [6] Nonetheless, the first version, a bronze statue of life-size, was placed on temporary exhibition during the 2005 anniversary of V-J Day at the Times Square Information Center near where the original photographs were taken in Manhattan. [7] Several slightly differing twenty-five-foot-versions have been constructed in styrofoam and aluminum with little detail, painted, and put on display by Johnson in San Diego, California, [6] [8] Key West, Florida, Snug Harbor in New York, and Sarasota, Florida. Their immensity has drawn crowds of viewers at each site although the view of them from nearby is severely limited, essentially allowing a vista of the legs and up the skirt. The statues are described as kitsch by an art critic. [6] A proposal to establish a permanent location for a copy on the Sarasota bay front is generating a heated controversy about the suitability of the statue to the location, suitability as a military service memorial, [9] the permanent placement of any statue on that public property, as well as the particular issues of unoriginality, mechanical construction, and kitschiness of the statue. [10] [11] In final agreement documents Johnson committed the purchase price to cover copyright liability damages in order to have the statue placed in a city wary of accepting a gift that would result in a financial loss from a legal battle that evidenced merit according to the city attorney.

Wapedia notes of "Copyright Infringement" [a picture of which has previously appeared on IPBiz}:

Copyright Infringement (1994), at Grounds for Sculpture, a facility founded by Johnson, is a sculpture named to flaunt his disdain for criticism of his copies of the iconic works of fine art artists with international recognition, representing the fine artist, Manet, whose work he has copied.

Although "Unconditional Surrender" is complex, with three distinct couples, "Copyright Infringement" is significantly more detailed, including a sculpture of the painter and of the scene he is painting (including a boat in a lake).

Previous IPBiz post Copyright Violation


An ABC news post Kissing extravaganza in Times Square includes the text:

Saturday's [August 14] kissing extravaganza was celebrating a 26-foot statue that has become a permanent fixture in Times Square

In view of the photos above, one sees the word "permanent" is inaccurate.

The above photos show the equipment used to move the sculptures BACK TO Hamilton Township in 2010.
general photos of "Unconditional Surrender"


Marilyn Monroe sculpture unveiled in Chicago: A 26-foot sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her most famous pose was unveiled on Chicago's Magnificent Mile on Friday morning.

UPDATE:  March 15, 2014


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