Contemporary Art Law & Practice

This course will introduce students to crucial legal issues concerning contemporary visual artists. Through practical legal assignments students will learn how to best represent contemporary visual artists and their artistic projects.

In order to understand the main legal issues faced by contemporary visual artists, we will begin the course by studying the foundations of 20th Century artistic production. We will study -- in tandem with legal texts-- 20th Century theories, writings, and art works that helped mold current artistic production. We will look critically at how many contemporary art movements – such as conceptual art, sculpture, and photography – pose challenges to various legal doctrines, including property, intellectual property, contracts, moral rights, and free speech.

During class discussion students will also be assigned positions in relation to assigned readings and are expected to engage in lively discussion. Field trips may take place, and guest artists may also be invited to participate.

The course will also analyze the role of written agreements and other documents in relation to artistic production and reception.  Students will draft a number of legal documents, such as client letters, artist-gallery consignment agreements, artist-museum agreements, public artwork commissioning agreements, as well as cease and desist letters. 

The course will meet two hours per week, with an additional credit earned by the written drafting assignments, on which students will receive feedback.  The course satisfies the professional skills requirement.


Credits: 3

Type: SEM