Eckert Seamans provides pro bono legal services for Laura Fitzpatrick Photo Collection, part of the Smithsonian’s forthcoming Museum of African American History and Culture

September 21, 2016

When the National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington, DC, on Saturday, September 24, at least one collection on view will have a Philadelphia connection. Daniel S. Evans was excited to hear from the National Museum of African American History and Culture about their interest in his mother’s large collection of historic photographs. While happily sharing her legacy, he also wanted to be sure to protect his family’s intellectual property and called on the Philadelphia office of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott for assistance in copyrighting the historic photographs.

The Laura Fitzpatrick Photo Collection includes 500 photographs taken by Fitzpatrick, an amateur photographer, in New York City before, during and after World War II. The earliest photo in the collection dates from 1938. Son Dan Evans says, “More than 300 of the 500 pictures in my mother’s photo collection will be displayed on a 20-foot-long interactive table when the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African-American History and Culture opens. Her photo collection is one of three family photo collections the museum will display.”

Member Dan Reisman worked with fellow attorney Roberta Jacobs-Meadway (co-chair of the intellectual property group) and paralegal John Metzger to ensure that copyright protection was in place for the collection. All legal services were donated at no cost.

“We are pleased to have been able to play a small role in this most impressive project,” Jacobs-Meadway said.

Evans added, “Due to the generosity and commitment of Eckert Seamans, my mother’s legacy and that of all first generation African Americans who came North during the Great Migration will live on forever in the Smithsonian Institution.”


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