Nov 26, 2020

“Art” in the general sense means literature, creativity, film, music, theatre, etc., but as far as “art law” is concerned, it is a branch of law which involves various fields (E.g., intellectual property, contract, constitutional, tort, tax, commercial and international law) which protects, regulates, promote the creation, use, and marketing of art. Art law is concerned with works of visual and/or fine arts.

It involves the resolution of disputes arising in the art industry. Matters may involve artists, cultural institutions, musicians, content creators, and government bodies. Matter of dispute may include copyright infringements to spoliation issues.

Because of the universal presence of the law, it is advantageous to speak various languages. It is beneficial for the clients to understand and speak foreign languages because the practice of art law involves various laws, including English law, International, and European legislation. But can anyone become an art lawyer? Can anyone litigate disputes related to art law? The answer is No.

To be an art lawyer, one must possess exceptional interpersonal skills to convey advice to the client efficiently. The majority of the clients will include artists who usually deal with the problems differently.

Pursuing a career in art law requires a passion for the law. Art lawyers usually start their career by specializing in intellectual property rights, and tax law before starting their career in the art law. Art lawyers need to be specialized in several areas of law which include business and employment law, tax law, intellectual property laws, free speech and privacy, non-profit incorporation, contractual agreements, and negotiation strategies.

Before taking up the profession of an art lawyer, one must be clear of their preferred area of interest in law within the ambit of art law. To name a few tasks of the art lawyer-

  • Work-for-hire Agreements
  • use of copyrighted material
  • Drafting consignment agreements
  • Contracts for public art
  • Authenticity disputes
  • Private treaties
  • Lost and stolen work of arts


Art in the general sense includes creativity, music, theatre, acting, etc. So, art law includes those provisions which deal with legal matters related to the artistry world. As art law is present worldwide, the client should be well versed in foreign languages to understand various laws. Lawyers who are passionate enough for law and art are required in the field of art law. Art lawyers need to be exceptionally efficient in interpersonal skills because the primary job of a lawyer is to convince its client. They look into various fields of art law to defend the interests of their clients.