NSN Playlist: Public Domain1923

Ten works that entered the public domain Jan. 1, 2019

“The 20th century is largely missing from the internet,” Brewster Kahle, of the Internet Archive, is quoted in Alison Flood’s article for The Guardian, ‘The Drought is over’: mass U.S. copyright expiry brings flood of works into public domain. Hundreds of thousands of books, musical scores and films first published in the U.S. in 1923 entered the public domain on Jan. 1, 2019, something that will now become an annual tradition on New Year’s Day with works published 95 years earlier freed of copyright restrictions. Below is some of the creative work that has now entered the public domain from that year:


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Marcel Duchamp

Dadaist Marcel Duchamp completed his piece, Le Grand Verre, in 1923, a work which will appear in a photograph covered in dust at The Polygon Gallery in February as part of the A Handful of Dust exhibit.


Man Ray

Man Ray visited Duchamp’s Manhattan studio in 1920 and took a photograph of the Bride on its side collecting dust, “Dust Breeding (Élevage de poussière)” which is the conceptual starting point for next month’s show at The Polygon. He was busy in ’23 with Kiki in Montparnasse.


Le Corbusier

Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s collection of essays, Vers une architecture, served as a manifesto for generations of urban planners.


Virginia Woolf

Leonard Woolf renewed the copyright on his wife’s books but they are now entering the PD.


Agatha Christie

The second book in the Hercule Poirot series, The Murder on the Links, was published in 1923.


Marcel Proust

“The Prisoner,” volume 5 of Proust’s masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, came out in English translation.


Buster Keaton

Several shorts from Charlie Chaplin and Keaton plus, “Our Hospitality,” a feature-length silent comedy Keaton made for Metro Pictures between baseball games.


Felix the Cat

Paramount Pictures’ animated short, Felix in Hollywood, was the apex of pop culture hipness.


Aldous Huxley

Huxley’s portrait of bohemian London, Antic Hay, came out on Chatto & Windus.


Jelly Roll Morton

Shortly after leaving Vancouver, where he had had an extended stay at the Patricia Hotel, Jelly Roll Morton, began his recording career in Chicago and Richmond, Indiana, under various names. As Ferd (Jelly Roll) Morton he recorded the seminal “King Porter (A Stomp),” as a piano solo for Gennett Records on July 17.


Further reading:

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1935) by Walter Benjamin.