Appropriation is a term first used in photography to describe taking possession of something and calling it your own through the act of photographing it. The term came into being in the 1980’s when photographer Sherrie Levine photographed a number of famous photographs by Walker Evans and displayed them as art. By doing so, Sherrie Levine challenged the ideas of authenticity and originality.

Before Sherrie Levine, a number of artist throughout the twentieth century used the act of appropriation in their art. The incorporation of newspaper and “found objects” in art goes back as far as the early twentieth century.