IF YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING PUBLISHING ANY WPA NATIONAL PARK IMAGES, PLEASE READ THIS FIRST:
THE HISTORIC WPA PRINTS
Between 1938 and 1941 the WPA Federal Poster Project printed silkscreen prints for just 14 National Parks before being halted by the onset of WWII. By 1950 most of these approximately 1400 (estimated 100 copies each) poster prints had disappeared into history.
Today, 12 of the 14 original posters designs have been found with 11 of these now back in the public domain. During my 25 years of searching for these, I've found only 42 original prints and have been lucky to own 10; all of which were recently donated back to parks, museums and the NPS (depending upon provenance and duplicates). Eight prints are stll in private hands and one of those is the only known copy. Efforts to get that donated will result with all 12 known prints in the public domain (this is an ongoing effort and one of my life's projects). Wind Cave and Great Smoky Mountain have never been found and exist only as crude black & white negatives in the NPS archives.
The National Park Service has black and white photographs of 13 of the 14 historic prints (excluding Bandelier National Monument). These may be found at the Harper’s Ferry Archives and are also in the public domain. These are very crude and faded photos taken in 1950—it took me about 5 years to separate and redraw screens at an approximate cost of $150,000.
In the process of redrawing these screens, and to protect my work, I added four layers of encryption and took copyright on these redrawn screens. These are the historic images published on this website. They are fully copyrighted by me as derivative art, and are not in the public domain. I am challenged frequently about possession of copyright--you can find them here. Note there are two pages here with a total of 42 copyrights with others pending (not shown). You will not see an image, but simply a copyright number and title.
In short, all images on this website (excepting historic photographs) are under copyright and/or trademark. Please don’t lift images off this website, or copy them in any way without permission. We do offer license (see below) for some uses of our redrawn art which is much cheaper than starting over or incurring liability for copyright infringement. Anyone who wants to take the time to reconstruct these images from the federal archives is welcome.
THE CONTEMPORARY DESIGNS
After completing restoration of the fourteen historic prints, many national parks, beginning with Devils Tower, approached me to design and screen print posters that would fit in with the historic set. We have now produced approximately 35 additional contemporary images “in the style of the WPA” for most of our iconic National Parks & Monuments and hold 100% copyright on these images. These are not historic prints and are not in the public domain.
For 25 years since my first republications, I’ve seen virtually every one of our copyrighted designs applied to every type of product imaginable; tee shirts, mugs, coffee bags, neck ties, underwear, soap wrappers, beer coasters, stickers, paperweights, refer magnets, and the like. Recently a major clothing company printed over 50,000 tee shirts with our copyrighted designs; this was a very expensive mistake. I feel this not only cheapens this wonderful art, but also the artists, and our National Parks.
To date I’ve collected well over $50,000 in penalties for copyright violation—most of which has been donated back to our National Parks. Do not join this unique club; I prefer you donate money directly to the parks, like I do. Copyright law states that a copyright must be defended or it will be lost--so rest assured that I will defend all copyrights.
Ranger Doug's reproductions are the only silk-screened versions of this art that you can buy. We work directly with each park to create unique and historically accurate designs and screen print them, as did the original WPA artists. Many internet copies are digitally bootlegged and photocopied with on-demand printers. Besides violating our copyright, they are overpriced and of poor quality.
LICENSING AGREEMENTS AND OTHER POLICIES
Last, I have a flexible policy for licensing. I am approached my many who want to use this unique art for themed weddings, a child's bedroom wall, an office divider or a boardroom panel. We normally charge the same price as the print--$45.00 for a one-time, not-for-resale use and will supply a digital copy to any reputable print shop (Kinkos, etc.) that maintains a policy to respect copyright. If use for larger murals is for a public place and mutually benefits both parties, we often license for free. The same policy is applied to any national park or monument that wants to use this artwork for fund-raising or membership purposes. As found in our Honorable Mentions page, this artwork has been licensed to several movie sets and TV serials. Besides interior decor for the Briscoe Art Museum in San Antonio, I am currently working with the US Emabassy in Islamabad, Pakistan to redecorate their recreational facilities. Photos will follow in our News section when available.
Finally, we incur some blemished prints and have a fairly large inventory which we donate to qualifying 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, hospitals and military. Please contact us for particulars if you would like a donation.
If you have any questions about what is copyrighted and what is not, please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your questions or requests. I will be happy to clarify these issues further.
Ranger Doug “Ranger of the Lost Art”