Anne and Michael Spalter Collection | i |
name: Anne and Michael Spalter Collection

The Anne and Michael Spalter collection of (mainly) digital art is one of the largest of its kind in North America (if not worldwide) with over 750 works by digital pioneers and innovators ranging from Vera Molnar and Manfred Mohr to Frieder Nake, George Nees, Ed Zajec, Ben Laposky and later artists such as Jean-Pierre Hébert, James Faure Walker, Corban Walker, and Henry Mandell. The collection also includes several of the earliest computer animations, created by Ken Knowlton and his colleagues at Bell Labs.

The Spalters have lent works to exhibitions at institutions ranging from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Moder Art (MoMA) in New York to the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea, and the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. (adopted from [Spalter, 2011]).

posted about 10 years ago
A search showed that the collection owned Olympiad. The blurb above states that Knowlton created early Labs' computer animation. First, Olympiad was created solely by Lillian F. Schwartz. Lillian, having studied programming for nine months before her spon more won numerous awards, led to another film commission, and made Lillian AT&T's goodwill ambassador to universities. Knowlton promptly told her she had to sign a contract that was on BTL letterhead, withheld any and all copyright rights of Knowlton's, but more importantly said that she could not access Labs' equipment unless she gave Knowlton a credit -- it never said a credit for what (all they worked on together was EXPLOR; Lillian came to the Labs as an established artist in all media). That 1971 contract did not come to light until recently when a lawyer pointed out that it was void ab initio, i.e., never existed. Knowlton had no right to use BTL letterhead since he was not an authorized agent, only Max Matthews could keep her from equipment (he called Lillian 'one of those rarest of geniuses' in a letter dated 1971, listed all that she had done for famous scientists, and how she had tried training Knowlton. In August, 2013, Mike Noll and Knowlton published on the online IEEE an article where Knowlton claimed rights to Lillian's images, which were published with credits by and to him as to how he created his films. One such was OLYMPIAD. The credits, including for the latter, were plagiarized from Lillian's writings. A word of warning from a lawyer and the November, 2013 edition removed the infringing credits and defamation per se but now made out Lillian to be a mere colorist who stole Knowlton's work, apparently in the dead of night dressed like a Ninja. Another letter. The next edition deleted Lillian's name and works but now Knowlton was the prodigy in art since birth whose mere presence made all others into artists and computer animators. Again, defamation since he generalized "all" artists, as opposed to naming whomever. His name is to be removed from any reference to Lillian's films -- the early films made under threat and duress did give him a second front credit. The revised editions moves his name to a back title box as a collaborator with Lillian on EXPLOR, a gift not even required by his completely nasty contract.
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