Center for Art Law

At the crossroads of visual arts and the law.

Nonprofits & Research

The nonprofit or not-for-profit sector offers a great wealth of services to the artistic and arts-related communities in the United States and worldwide. The list of organizations will be expanding and we invite your input on additional organization and content to make this resource as user-friendly as possible.

Artists’ Assistance

Americans for the Arts (“ACA”) has a mission “to build recognition and support for the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts and to lead, serve, and advance the diverse networks of organizations individuals who cultivate the arts in America”. New York, NY.

Artistic Freedom Initiative (“AFI”) is comprised of human rights activists, lawyers, academics, and artists working together to promote artistic freedom and peaceful dialogue through art. AFI directly assists artists whose freedom of expression has been restricted and supports artists who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing progressive social change and fundamental human rights. Brooklyn, NY.

Artists Rights Society (“ARS”) generally works for copyright, licensing and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. ARS protects its member artists from copyright infringements. New York, NY.

Arts Law Centre of Australia provides free or low cost specialized legal advice, education and resources to Australian artists and arts organizations across all art forms, on a wide range of arts-related legal and business matters. Arts Law’s Artists in the Black program delivers targeted services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists nationally. Australia.

Brooklyn Arts Council (“BAC”) was founded in 1966. Its mission is “to promote and sustain the arts in Brooklyn; and to serve the arts, and through the arts, to serve the community as a whole.” Brooklyn, New York.

Canadian Artists’ Representation (“CARFAC”) is the association of professional visual and media artists in Ontario. We believe that artists, like professionals in other fields, should be paid for their work and share equitably in profits from their art. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts was established in 1972 by a group of young lawyers, Lawyers for the Creative Arts is a pro bono art and law organization, with the mission to provide legal assistance to artists and arts organizations financially unable to retain legal counsel. Chicago, IL.

Municipal Arts Society (“MAS”) is a nonprofit advocacy organization that protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages thoughtful planning and urban design, and fosters inclusive neighborhoods across the five boroughs. New York, NY.

New York Artists Equity Associations, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1947 by artists, art patrons, and art professionals. With a mission to promote opportunities for artists, it organizes workshops educating their members about legal issues. Its members include not only artists but all the business people who artists interact. New York, NY.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was established in 1971 by the New York State Council on the Arts as an independent organization to serve individual artists throughout the state, the mission of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is to empower artists across all disciplines at critical stages in their creative lives. NYFA has three program areas: cash grants and fiscal sponsorship, online resources, and professional development training. New York, NY.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) provides pro bono legal services to low-income artists. Arizona. California. Colorado. Washington D.C. Florida. Georgia. Illinois. Indiana. Louisiana. Maine. Maryland. Massachusetts. Michigan. Minnesota. Missouri. New Hampshire. New York. Ohio. Oregon. Pennsylvania. Rhode Island. Tennessee. Texas. Utah. Washington. Wisconsin.

Research Institutions

Artive is a non-profit organization facilitating the protection of cultural property through its risk management services and growing database of claimed objects. New London, CT.

Art-Law Centre Geneva is a research center at the University of Geneva, promoting and coordinating research and work on the most current questions of art law. Geneva, Switzerland.

Art Law Foundation (Fondation pour le Droit de l’Art) is a nonprofit organization that “aims to promote and coordinate, on a national and international level, the work and research on the most topical questions related to art and cultural heritage law. ” Geneva, Switzerland.

Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) is a research and outreach organization that works to promote the study and research of art crime and cultural heritage protection. The Association seeks to identify emerging and under-examined trends related to this field of study as well as to develop strategies to advocate for the responsible stewardship of our collective artistic and archaeological heritage. International.

Centre Universitaire du Droit de l’Art is a research center based in Geneva, Switzerland, which pursues teaching and research activities in the field of art and cultural property law. Their teachings consist in organizing multidisciplinary and international symposia, publications, directing doctoral theses and participating in research programs. Geneva, Switzerland.

Institute of Art and Law is an educational organization, founded in 1995, giving knowledge and perspective on the law relating to cultural heritage, a concept which includes art, antiquities, archives, archaeology, architecture, monuments, treasure and much more.  IAL’s educational remit is fulfilled through publishing and courses. London, UK.

Institut für Kunst und Recht (IFKUR) was founded in 2006 with the participation of well-known representatives of the art law in Heidelberg. It is the first institute in Germany dedicated exclusively to the interface between art and law. Germany.

International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) is a not-for-profit educational and research organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts. IFAR offers impartial and authoritative information on authenticity, ownership, theft, and other artistic, legal, and ethical issues concerning art objects. IFAR serves as a bridge between the public, and the scholarly and commercial art communities. They publish the quarterly IFAR Journal; organize conferences, panels, and lectures; offer a unique Art Authentication Research Service; and serve as an information resource. New York, NY.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (LCCHP) is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the stewardship of the objects, places, and traditions that define us as societies, nations, civilizations, and even human beings. They are lawyers, legal scholars, and law enforcement agents — but also anthropologists, archaeologists, architects, art historians, students, and others — who champion preservation through the justice system. Through their educational programs and resources, they are also working to prepare a new generation of advocates, as well as educate the public. Washington, DC.

Museums & Deaccessioning in Europe
This website is one of the outcomes of the research executed in 2016-2017 bt Dieuwertje Wijsmuller. It outlines the possibilities and opinions on deaccessioning in Europe. The website gives an overview of the (legal) possibilities of deaccessioning and disposal of museum objects within the European Union. International.

The Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law of DePaul Institute (“CAMCHL”) was founded at the DePaul College of Law. Its mission is to promote research and concentrated study in the rapidly growing areas of art, museum and cultural heritage law. Chicago, IL.

Trafficking Culture is a research consortium that produces evidence-based research into the contemporary global trade in looted cultural objects. International.

1995 UNIDROIT Convention Academic Project aims at promoting a favorable legal environment for restitution and return of stolen or illegally exported cultural objects through knowledge sharing and dissemination, as well as projects pursued individually by the partners and members or on the basis of joint initiatives. Key in this context is the divulgation and implementation of the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects and the 2011 UNESCO-UNIDROIT Model Provisions on State Ownership of Undiscovered Cultural Objects. Rome, Italy.

If your nonprofit is not on this list, you can contact us here

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From copyright and contract law to immigration law, authenticity issues, and Nazi-era looted art, the Center for Art Law offers training opportunities to artists, attorneys, students, and scholars to further protect art and cultural heritage

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