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"La Culture du Fraisier" print (1950)

"La Culture du Fraisier" print (1950)

Regular price $45.15 USD
Regular price Sale price $45.15 USD
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The Department of Agriculture's output is wide and deep here we have one of 50 or so booklets they published on the topic of strawberries in both English and French, and that's only counting the ones published before 1974. This one is in French (most booklets related to Québec or Maritime regional agriculture were published in both languages) and seems like a tight reflection of 1950s advertising. It has limited colours, uses them boldly, has some excellent hand-written script, makes extensive use of halftone dots, and has an adorable little strawberry plant illustration. 

Who's behind it? Uncredited civil servant designers and illustrators. As a matter of employment, they signed their rights authorship away to the federal government. In exchange for that loss of authorship, they had job security and (theoretically) decent pay.

And there's something we got out of that arrangement, too. 

Unlike “civilian” copyright, which currently expires 70 years after the artist’s death, “crown" copyright applies to works made in the employ of the federal or provincial governments. This form of copyright lasts only 50 years after first publication, after which the work in question becomes public domain. While there is more to the story, that much shorter copyright term helps make the Agricultural Arts collection of booklet-covers-turned-wall-art possible. 

A booklet cover reproduction available at 12x18" or 24x36" on Epson Enhanced Matte 192 gsm paper printed with Epson UltraChrome XD2 archival ink. Sold in an open edition, unframed. The Ministère de l'Agriculture du Canada wordmark on this cover has been replaced with the words ”Le Conseil Canadien Des Bais” due to Section 9 of the Canadian Trademarks Act.

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