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Art Law and Ethics


Art Law and Ethics

A discounted tuition rate is available for individuals who are interested to enroll in two or more Sotheby’s Institute of Art In-Person Professional Courses within the same term. Contact our admissions team at for more information and a discount code.

Intrigued by the intricate legal framework that governs the art market? Explore the complex issues surrounding artist's rights, copyright, intellectual property, and the repatriation and restitution of cultural property.

This course provides an in-depth introduction to the complex field of art law and its implications for the larger art market. Students will study various issues such as artist’s rights and copyright, Intellectual Property and the legal ramifications of appropriation, repatriation and restitution of cultural property, and legal issues related to market transactions. Through case studies, discussions, and industry perspectives, students will understand how these issues intersect with the responsibilities of key art market players.

Sotheby’s Institute faculty member Judith Prowda, notes that there is not an aspect of the art market that is not somehow affected by the law. Taking the lifecycle of a work of art, from the moment art is created there are immediate questions of copyrights and ownerships of intellectual property. Upon its entry to the primary market a work is sold for the first time, through a gallery or other point of sale. Later, the art may be resold through a secondary market – a dealer or at auction. “At each stage along the way, there are legal issues,” Prowda says. An art business professional must understand the legal aspects of copies, copyright infringement, and forgeries; art entering museums and tax implications, or the legal frameworks in creating foundations and new business ventures.

  • Price
    Enroll in 2 or more In-Person Professional Courses within the same term for a discounted rate, contact admissions for a discount code.
  • Register
  • Date
    Fall | October 5 - 6
  • Time
    10am – 4pm GMT
  • Duration
    2 Days
  • Location
  • Topics
    • Art Law,
    • Specializations & Skills
  • Language
  • Contact Admissions

Learning Outcomes

  • To define different international law systems and how they intersect with the global art market.

  • To understand key case studies regarding appropriation, copyright, and restitution.

  • To articulate the legal rights and obligations of each key player in the art market.


Alice Farren-Bradley

Course Leader, London

Alice Farren-Bradley is a specialist in contested cultural heritage and art law as well as a Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Crime at Cranfield University. She is currently completing a PhD at Newcastle University, where her research investigates the legal and art-market implications of cultural property protection during armed conflict.

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Sample Schedule

More Information

  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • Intellectual Property: Artist’s Rights and Appropriation 
    • Restitution, Repatriation, and Looted Art and Artifacts 
    • International Law Considerations
    • Copyright Law and Fair Use
    • The Changing Field of Auction Regulations
  • Course Completion

    Course Completion

    Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 alumni around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.

  • Requirements


    We highly encourage participants with at least 3 years of post-graduate work experience for a smooth and successful course experience.

    English Language Requirement

    Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English.

    Age Requirement

    Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older.

    For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.