As the art market today continues to grow, there is an increased need for art market professionals with knowledge of the legal and ethical issues at hand. This course provides participants with an overview of some of those unique and important issues and participants will explore topics including: the artist-gallery relationship, title and ownership, warranties, auctions, expert opinions, theft, and forgery. Various ethics and policy issues that affect running an art business in a global market are explored during the course. Time is devoted to copyright with a focus on definitions of fair use and the moral rights of the artist, the First Amendment and obscenity in art, rights of publicity and privacy, restitution (including Nazi-era art), cultural property, museum acquisitions and deaccessioning, and artists’ estates. Discussions, debate, and mock contract negotiations aid in understanding and applying legal concepts and principles in a practical context. Ongoing art cases in the United States and abroad will inform the discussion.
Students will learn:
- To identify critical legal issues specific to the art market, including the legal responsibilities of galleries, auction houses, art advisors, and collectors.
- To understand the rights of artists, including copyright, fair use, and appropriation.
- To recognize legal and ethical concerns surrounding the restitution of cultural property and case development around Nazi era looted art.