Arts and cultural heritage law research nonprofit.

Art Law Courses and Programs Worldwide

International Courses

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 unrivaled 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 £36,000. 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.

Queen Mary University in London: Art, Business, and Law LLM This program partners with the Institute of Art and Law (IAL) and draws “upon the expertise of existing members of CCLS staff and directs 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.” London, UK.

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.

Institute of Information, Telecommunication, and Media: Art Law Clinic  As of February 26, 2018, this program is a cooperation between the Academy of Fine Arts Münster and the Institute of Information, Telecommunication and Media law – Civil Law Department. Upper-level law students provide art students with assistance with basic legal issues that arise during their studies. The program also provides “a legal guideline . . . giving students an entry point and further information on the topic of art law.” The program is free for students of the Academy of Fine Arts Münster. The board of advisors consists of Prof. Dr. Nina Gerlach (Academy of Fine Arts Münster) and Mr. Norbert Burke (Legal Office HüttenbrinkPartner, Rechtsanwälte mbB). Münster, Germany.

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 ( Co-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.

Rutgers UniversityThe School of Law at Newark and Camden and CHAPS [Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies] offer a dual degree designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in law and cultural heritage and preservation studies. This four-year program leads to a dual MA/JD degree. The program is targeted to future lawyers, but also students pursuing careers in cultural heritage and preservation studies within governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as in cultural and public service institutions. This program includes two and one-half years at the Newark or Camden Campus studying Law and one and one-half years at the New Brunswick Campus studying Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies.”

Rutgers Law School – Newark Art Law Seminar covers “how the law shapes, contours and constrains both the visual arts and artists. Emphasis will be given to issues such as copyright protection for artists; the moral and economic rights of artists; censorship and First Amendment rights of artists; artists’ business relationships; public support for art and the display of art in public places; preservation of art and cultural property; stolen art and forgeries; the international movement of art, repatriation of cultural objects and the illicit international trade in art; and the role of museums in society.” Newark, NJ

Sotheby’s Institute of Art: MA in Art Business This Master’s program 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 minimized 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.” There is a full-time program (three-semester long), and a part-time program (evenings and weekends). New York, NY.

University 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 Miami School of Law (Director: Stephen Urice) Offers a post-graduate Arts Law Track within its Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law LL.M. All courses in the program are taught by “prominent practicing attorneys.” In addition, students will “have access to Miami Law’s unique relationships” with The Aspen Institute – Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative and the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Miami, FL

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.

Summer Programs

International Cultural Heritage Law Course “The University of Miami School of Law  offers a 3-credit course in International Cultural Heritage Law in cooperation with the Art Law Centre of the University of Geneva June 18-29, 2018, in Geneva.  The course, conducted in English, is available to students at the University of Miami School of Law and other ABA-accredited law schools only by application. Cultural Property Law will develop students’ awareness and general understanding of the primary legal issues of international cultural property and art law: the trade in cultural goods, the restitution of stolen/looted art and antiquities, the protection of cultural property and built heritage from natural and human-induced disasters and during armed conflict, and others. Additionally, the course will explore cultural property law’s complex relationship with fields such as public and private international law, human rights law, intellectual property law, and alternative dispute resolution.” June 2018, Geneva, Switzerland

The Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law, Cultural Heritage & the Arts This program is run by the University of Siena Facoltà di Giurisprudenza and the Tulane University Law School. Courses are offered at the Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, Siena, and will include guest speakers, museum visits, and field trips throughout Tuscany. “This program provides the only opportunity in the world to study in depth the relationship between international law and art itself, as both physical and intellectual property.” “While the program is designed primarily for law students, graduate students in other disciplines, such as art, art history, archeology, and anthropology are encouraged to attend” May-June 2018, Siena, Italy

Law, Art, and Its Markets This course is offered by the Sotheby’s Institute of Art as part of its Summer Study Program in New York. “Lawyers and non-lawyers gain an overview of important legal issues specific to the art market, from the moment of creation of art to its purchase, sale and transfer. Students examine the rights of artists, including copyright, fair use and the appropriation of images by artists such as Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, and others. Additional topics include moral rights of artists, freedom of speech, rights of privacy and publicity, issues related to authentication and appraisals, restitution by museums of cultural property, and recent case development concerning Nazi-era art. The course also explores legal, ethical and policy issues in museums. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from art experts and attorneys in the museum, auction house, advisory and gallery worlds.” July-August 2018, New York, NY 

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. $3,000. New York, NY.

NYU-School of Professional Studies: Art Law for the Art Professional (Patricia Dillon) “This course explores art law’s most important components and the most ardently enforced laws governing authenticity, title, cultural property, conflicts of interest, protected species, provenance, VARA, copyright, expert testimony, the legal status of foundations and catalogue raisonnés, tax considerations, defamation, disparagement, and the return of war-looted art. We also will look at the obligations imposed by the ethics codes of appraisers, museums, and dealers.” 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).

The Art & Law Program: the program is a NY-based seminar-colloquium that focuses on the study of law as a linguistic system, institutional force, and power structure, with a particular focus on how the discourses and practices of law and visual culture impact each other, self-governance, history, and culture. Fellows of the Program meet once a week for a 3-hour seminar to discuss readings and visual materials with the Director of the Program, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, and/or with a guest seminar leader. Seminar leaders assign required readings and present ideas and materials relevant to their areas of practice. New York, NY. 

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