Art Law Courses and Programs Worldwide


CIPAC Federation des Professionnels de l’art contemporain/Federation of Contemporary Art Professionals: “La gestion et la vente d’œuvres d’art s’inscrivent dans un environnement administratif complexe. Quelles sont les obligations liées au marché de l’art et à la TVA ? Comment gérer la circulation et l’exportation des œuvres. Mieux connaître le statut des artistes afin de maîtriser les obligations sociales. Quels documents établir avec les fournisseurs, les partenaires et les clients. Cette formation permet de maîtriser les obligations fiscales et les modalités administratives d’une galerie d’art.” Paris, France.

Christie’s Education/MA in Art, Law and Business: Described as “an intensive 15-month Master’s (MSc) designed to give you unrivalled access to the art market. It is a programme that explores the important ethical and legal aspects of working in the commercial art world at the same time as giving you the opportunity to study the History of Art.” MSc Art, Law and Business £32,000. London, UK.

Institute of Art and Law: “The Institute of Art and Law is an educational organization giving knowledge and perspective to all involved in the worlds of art, antiquities and law.  IAL runs distance learning and intensive courses on art and museums law, as well as convening seminars, study groups and conferences both in the United Kingdom and abroad. It also publishes books on all aspects of the law relating to art and antiquities, together with a quarterly periodical, Art Antiquity and Law, now in its eighteenth year.” London, UK.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art: Art Law This course provides “an understanding of the key legal and practical issues to consider when buying, selling and owning art. The areas where disputes most often occur are identified alongside the way in which risks can be minimised or eliminated. The course addresses important issues such as pre-acquisition due diligence, provenance and title in works of art, as well as the legal challenges in trade and ownership, such as contractual disputes, cross border trade issues and intellectual property rights.” USA/UK.

Queen Mary University if London: Art, Business, and Law LLM This program partners with the Insitute if Art and Law (IAL) and draws “upon the expertise of existing members of CCLS staff and direct the focus of this expertise towards the legal aspects of doing business in the art world. CCLS members of staff will team up with IAL instructors (who are practitioners in this field) to offer an exciting and innovative approach to learning. Internationally recognized, IAL delivers, through its educational and publishing programs, a depth of knowledge unrivaled elsewhere.”

University of Geneve: Art Law Center (Marc-André Renold) The goal of the Art-Law Centre is to promote and coordinate research and work on the most current questions of art law; it follows an interdisciplinary approach to the subject by including people from both the art world and the legal world. Geneva, Switzerland.

United States Law Schools

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Cardozo Art Law Field Clinic (est. 2012), “offers students connections with the most vibrant art center in the world. Cardozo students work at the Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Christie’s Auction House and other NYC Arts firms.” New York, NY.

Brooklyn Law School Art Law Seminar (Faculty: Beryl Jones-Woodin) is designed “to introduce students to advanced problems in art law and related drafting issues. The class will study the ways in which the law regulates the creation of art, the cultural implications of art and the art market. Areas that will be considered include moral rights, fair use, museum law, cultural property law and rights of privacy.” Brooklyn, NY

Case Western Reserve’s Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts This Center “was created with the understanding that technologic and artistic expression are both part of the human creative enterprise; and there are artistic influences in science and scientific influences in the arts. A core aspect of LTA is the study of intellectual property (or IP as it is commonly known), which has rapidly assumed center stage in the global marketplace and information economy, presenting some of the most exciting, important, and complex issues facing not only our legal system, but also the business, entertainment, and technology communities.” Cleveland, OH.

Columbia University Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts was established in to contribute to a broader understanding of the legal aspects of creative works of authorship, including their dissemination and use. New York, NY.

DePaul School of Law (Faculty: Patty Gerstenblith) DePaul’s Center for Art, Museum, & Cultural Heritage Law “aims to offer students opportunities to explore externship and internship placements in this rapidly growing area of law. A two-course sequence of Art and the Law and a seminar in Cultural Property Law is complemented by externship and summer internship opportunities at the Field Museum of Natural History, the Chicago History Museum, and the DePaul Art Museum.” Chicago, IL.

Fordham School of Law (Adjunct Faculty: Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento) offers students a seminar that covers “theoretical and practical aspects of representation in corporate and transactional law. The substantive law in the seminar will include those areas typically faced by arts clients, such as artist-gallery relationships, copyright, moral rights, trademark, contracts, commissions, and entity formation, including nonprofit, tax-exempt corporations. Practical aspects will include issues with interacting, advising, and representing contemporary artists working in diverse strategies and media, from conceptual art to digital and organic materials. In order to facilitate the latter aspect, the course will also introduce students to major 20th Century art movements and theories necessary to understanding contemporary art.” New York, NY.

Loyola Law School ( C0-Professors: Christine Steiner, Withers Worldwide, and Margot Stokol, Assoc. Director of Legal Affairs at the Hammer Museum) Art and the Law Seminar explores “legal issues relating to cultural property in general, including rights and obligations of artists, dealers, collectors, and museums. Specifically, this course will focus on art trade practices; illicit international trade in art; cultural reparations and repatriation; copyright; artists’ rights; and ethical standards governing the acquisition and retention of works of art.” Los Angeles, CA.

New York Law School (Judith Bresler) This Art Law Course serves as an introduction “to the specialized law practice relating to the creation, purchase, sale, and transfer of art. Students analyze the artist-dealer relationship through actual recognition of consignment agreements from the perspective of both artist and dealer; explore the law of auctions and of private sales, and debate the need for further regulation; examine the artist’s rights, including First Amendment rights and limitations, copyright issues particularly pertinent to artists, moral rights and resale rights, and address the topic of tax and estate planning for collectors and artists, including the tax and estate planning aspects of charitable contributions, the drafting of wills, and the transfer of art work from generation to generation. The course touches on the international transport of art and cultural property; the legal responsibilities of appraisers; commissioned works; loans made to museums, and the art collection as an investment property.” New York, NY.

NYU Law School (Faculty: Amy Adler) At NYU Law, students enrolled in Art Law “explore how the law shapes and constrains visual expression. The focus for the most significant portion of the semester is on the censorship of art. Ultimately, by concentrating on the special problems presented by visual images, we probe more deeply into the meaning of “speech” for purposes of the first amendment. The next part of the class examines copyrights, moral rights, and the right of publicity. The final portion of the class addresses legal issues that arise in the art market, including stolen art, forgeries and authentication. The class frequently considers contemporary art controversies as a means of examining these broader issues.” New York, NY.

Univ. of California Berkeley Law (Faculty: Carla Shapreau) – This seminar explores and analyzes “the intersection of law with art and culture. Topics will include U.S. and international law as they relate to the illicit trade in antiquities, Nazi Era plunder and restitution, and other art crimes. We will also examine aspects of law pertaining to museums, artist’s rights, art merchants, auction houses, and dealers, as well as issues regarding authenticity, title, and the statute of limitations.” Berkeley, CA.

UCLA Law School (Adjust Professor: Steven Thomas) Art and Cultural Property Law course covers “the creation, destruction, purchase and sale (including auctions), consignment, ownership, authentication, export/import, seizure, display, reproduction and appropriation, and theft and recovery, of fine art and cultural property. [Also reviews] artists’ legal rights and protections (artist-dealer relationship, First Amendment, copyright, moral rights, resale royalty rights (including current cases and legislative proposals), and government, corporate and private censorship)” among other topics. Los Angeles, CA.

University of Oklahoma College of Law (Faculty: Sarah Burstein) – This course will explore the legal issues relevant to art and cultural property, with a special emphasis on American Indian issues. Specific areas of coverage will include the legal definitions of “art” and “craft”; the legal rules that govern art galleries, auctions and museums; international rules relating to the movement of art during war; international preservation and appropriation of cultural property; and statutes enacted to protect the art and culture of American Indians, such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; and the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. Norman, OK.

University of New Mexico School of Law (Faculty: Sherri Burr) UNM Art Law Course “explores the practical legal problems of visual artists and the commercial art world […] The course may include simulations, where students negotiate contacts to sell various works of art, and field trips to local galleries and museums.” Also, students who study with Burr have an opportunity to participate in the making of ARTS TALK, a weekly television show that Burr produces and hosts. Albuquerque, NM.

Wake Forest University School of Law offers a survey course entitled Art and Cultural Property Law, which examines “current issues in the law of art and cultural property including: defining art and cultural property; an artist’s rights in a work of art; the international trade of art and measures to limit that trade; the fate of art works in wartime; repatriation of art and antiquities; the role, structure and duties of museums; and other topics.” Winston Salem, NC.

Other Courses

Christie’s Education: Art Business Course/Module 1: Art and Law The rules governing the art market today are unique and continually evolving. Every player in the field, whether artist, dealer, or collector, has rights that reach beyond standard business law. This module will present an overview of how the art market is regulated, looking at the laws which guide the market. This course will tackle tax law, artists’ rights, contracts between artists and galleries, and consignment agreements and commissions. The laws that regulate intellectual property will also be explored, with a lecture on moral rights, copyright and trademark acts, freedom of criticism and expression, and recreation and fair use. The module will also cover issues of art crime and restitution, including the topics of theft and forgery and issues of cultural patrimony and trade restrictions, along with the legal repercussions of art authentication, restitution, remedy and recovery. New York, NY.

NYU-School of Professional Studies: Law and Ethics in the Art Market (Michael McCullough, Summer 2015) “This course—designed for art market professionals, including art dealers and wealth managers—presents an overview of the legal conventions and practices in today’s art market. Delve into the rights and responsibilities of artists, collectors, art dealers, and auction houses, while analyzing fine art appraisals, consignment agreements, commissions, and other contracts as legal documents. Thoroughly examine due diligence, title, and the legal status of works of art, copyright, and reproduction. Understand charitable giving and the tax consequences of being a collector, investor, or dealer of fine art.” New York, NY.

NYU-School of Professional Studies: IRS Legal Guidelines in Valuation of Fine and Decorative Arts (Patricia Dillon, Summer 2015) “Learn about current tax law as it applies to the valuation of fine and decorative arts for estate, inheritance, gift, and income tax purposes, as well as for donations to charitable institutions.” New York, NY (and online).

NYU-School of Professional Studies: The Heart of the Matter: Legal and Ethical Aspects of Appraising (Patricia Dillon, Summer 2015) “Legal aspects of appraising have become crucial to the profession. At its highest levels, appraising requires in-depth knowledge of key issues, including clear title (NAGPRA with regard to ownership of Nazi-era looted property), IRS legal considerations, determination of authenticity, appropriate marketplace (retail market and tax shelters), the factoring in of volume discounts, the interaction of case law and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, and legal aspects of damage/loss appraisals. Analyze prominent cases that illustrate compelling legal considerations connected with valuing modern and contemporary art, including that of Warhol, O’Keeffe, Rothko, and Calder.” New York, NY (and online).