Hello all!

I am not a natural science illustrator (although I hope to collaborate with
one for my PhD work), but am hoping for feedback from this professional
community. I think I may have seen previous posts that relate to my
question, so searched the archives, but didn't see the answer. However, my
apologies if I overlooked it!

My question...I wrote a children's book that relates to my PhD work, which
was published last year, and worked with a local illustrator in Maine. I
paid the illustrator for his work, but he unfortunately passed away shortly
before the book was published.

I am interested in obtaining at least 1 or 2 of the original illustrations,
but have not received a response from his surviving partner or the small
publisher I used. As illustrators, can you please tell me if you would own
the rights to these illustrations, or would I have access to them since I
commissioned them for my own project?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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