Visual Resources Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research and Study

  • Gretchen Wagner ARTstor
  • Allan T. Kohl Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Keywords: copyright, fair use, intellectual property, image rights, teaching, research


This Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study describes six uses of copyrighted still images that the Visual Resources Association ( believes fall within the U.S. doctrine of fair use. The six uses are: 1) preservation (storing images for repeated use in a teaching context and transferring images to new formats); 2) use of images for teaching purposes; 3) use of images (both large, high-resolution images and thumbnails) on course websites and in other online study materials; 4) adaptations of images for teaching and classroom work by students; 5) sharing images among educational and cultural institutions to facilitate teaching and study; and 6) reproduction of images in theses and dissertations.

Author Biography

Gretchen Wagner, ARTstor

This statement was authored by the VRA Intellectual Property Rights Committee reserving special acknowledgement for Christine Sundt, Allan Kohl, Cara Hirsch, and Gretchen Wagner. The IPR Committee is especially grateful to have received input and guidance from an advisory committee of preeminent copyright scholars and legal experts: Georgia Harper, Jule Sigall, Virginia Rutledge, Jeffrey Cunard, Robert Clarida, and Jackie Ewenstein.