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United States Courses

Law Schools

American University Washington School of Law: Law and the Visual Arts (Faculty: Joshua Koffman) Introduces students to the full range of legal issues that arise concerning works of art, the art market, and the art world. Topics to be covered include artist gallery relation, auction house procedures and issues, art tax related topics, art licensing, rights of publicity, the fate of works of art in wartime, the international trade in stolen and illegally exported cultural property, artistic freedom, censorship, copyright, moral rights and trademark rights, collectors and the art market, and art museums and their collections. Washington, DC.

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law: Art Law Course and Field Clinic(est. 2012) In addition to the Art Law Course (faculty: Sandy Cobden, GC at Christie’s), the clinic 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) The class is designed to introduce students to advanced problems in art law and related drafting issues. The class studies 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: 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: Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts The Columbia Center 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: Center for Art, Museum, & Cultural Heritage Law(Faculty: Patty Gerstenblith) The DePaul Center aims to offer students opportunities to explore externship and internship placements in this rapidly growing area of law. They offer both a JD certificate in Arts and Museum Law, as part of the Intellectual Property Law program, and an LLM in International Law with a concentration in International Cultural Heritage Law. Chicago, IL.

Loyola Law School: Art and the Law Seminar  (Co-Professors: Christine Steiner, Withers Worldwide; Margot Stokol, Assoc. Director of Legal Affairs at the Hammer Museum) The 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: Art Law Course  (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: Art Law Course(Faculty: Amy Adler) Students 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 University: Dual MA and JD The School of Law at Newark and Camden and 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.” New Brunswick, NJ.

Rutgers Law School – Newark: Art Law SeminarThe 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

University of California Berkeley Law: Art and Cultural Property Law Course  (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. It also examines 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: Art and Cultural Property Law(Adjust Professor: Steven Thomas) The 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. It 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). Los Angeles, CA.

University of Miami School of Law: LL.M. Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law(Director: Stephen Urice) 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: Art Law Course  (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: Art Law Course (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: Art and Cultural Property Law CourseThe course which examine 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

Sotheby’s Institute of Art: MA in Art BusinessThis 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.

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. They also 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.