Topics

Geared towards art collectors, patrons, art professionals and those seeking the tools to appreciate and understand investment in the art world, Arnoldii Lectures provide basic inroads to understanding and appreciating complex issues surrounding the development of contemporary art, and insights into the world of collecting. The lectures are taught by individuals in the art world who have both academic understanding and professional practical experience.

Looking at Art: Investment & Legal Perspectives

Looking at Art: Investment & Legal Perspectives

Looking at Art: Investment & Legal Perspectives

This four class course investigates the role of the law in art, through the legal complexities of commissioning, buying, identifying  and authenticating a work of art. Students will be introduced to notable international disputes which highlight the risks, ethical issues and intricacies surrounding the identity, movement and ownership of a work of art.

The course is divided into the following topics:

Topic 1.Commissioning contemporary art: artistic, legal and ethical challenges.
Topic 2. Collecting art: risks and due diligence.
Topic 3. Is it art?
Topic 4. Law as an artistic medium? The legal moment in contemporary art.



1.Commissioning contemporary art: artistic, legal and ethical challenges.

The course addresses global practices of commissioning art through five main models; museums, private individuals/foundations, events and biennales, production agencies/not for profits and public governments. Drawing upon notable international commissioning bodies, projects and significant commission related legal disputes the course considers the complex legal and ethical issues, risks and rewards involved in commissioning contemporary artworks. The course will discuss why and how commissions are made, the relationship between artist and commissioner, notions of patronage and collection and the ‘after life’ of a commissioned artwork.

2. Collecting art: risks and due diligence.

The course focuses on risks for collectors when acquiring artworks and antiques and procedures for conducting prior due diligence and provenance research. Looking at legal risks connected to ownership; authenticity and unlawful export students are introduced to international art related laws and well-known disputes in order to address the risks to buyers; the ways in which buyers can mitigate risk and the remedies available to them. Case studies include holocaust looted artworks, stolen aboriginal remains, Cambodian antiquities and an allegedly unlawfully exported Renaissance masterpiece. Issues concerning fakes, misattributions and the loss of certificates of authenticity are also addressed.  

 

Is it art?

This course will look at legal cases and trials where the question of whether an artwork is actually an artwork has been in dispute. In particular, it will consider the iconic trial of Brancusi v United States customs (1928) consider the recent tax trial of Haunch of Venison v HMRC (2008) a successful case brought by the gallery against UK customs, because it refused to recognise installation works by Dan Flavin and Bill Viola as being works of sculpture and therefore entitled to beneficial tax and customs duty treatment upon importation.



4. Law as an artistic medium? The legal moment in contemporary art.

The course considers the use of law as a creative medium by artists and curators to create and exhibit artworks from the early 20th century artworks to artists today. The course introduces contemporary artists who have used contracts and financial instruments to create performative works which reflect on the social, economic and legal conditions of a work of art and the institutional power structures of the art world.  The course will examine key art works that use contracts as well as looking at contemporary artists who consciously challenge copyright law and notions of ‘original’ authorship and authenticity from the 1960s to the present day.