Art Law for Art Historians - HOA00043H

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

The module aims to introduce History of Art students to the structure of the English legal system, to aspects of contract, criminal and property law, and legal skills, so that they are able to engage fully with the principle subject of the module, which is the question of how law protects, regulates and facilitates the creation, use and marketing of art.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

The module aims to introduce History of Art students to the structure of the English legal system, to aspects of contract, criminal and property law, and legal skills, so that they are able to engage fully with the principle subject of the module, which is the question of how law protects, regulates and facilitates the creation, use and marketing of art. Part of the teaching is shared with the existing 20 credit Art Law module taught in the Law School.

In terms of content, the module aims to provide students with:

  • an understanding of the English legal system.
  • an understanding of elements of contract, criminal and property law, and their pertinence to art law.
  • an outline of the main ways in which law shapes and constrains the global trade in art.
  • an overview of some of the institutions and procedures involved in trading in art in the UK, with an appreciation of the relevant international conventions and the international context of enforcement.
  • an introduction to the functions and objectives of art law and cultural property law.

In terms of skills, the module aims to provide students with:

  • the ability to synthesise and critically analyse a range of sources related to art law to develop further knowledge, construct arguments, draw conclusions supported by appropriate authority, and evaluate the merits of alternative arguments.
  • the ability to learn reflectively, through engagement in problem-based tasks and to apply knowledge from one area of their degrees to another.
  • further ability to work successfully in small groups and give presentations either individually or as part of a team.
  • the ability to communicate complex arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired a working understanding of:

  • the English legal system (citation, precedent, the court system)
  • elements of contract, criminal and property law, and their pertinence to art law

By the end of the module, students should have acquired an ability to:

  • identify the main ways in which law shapes and constrains the global trade in art
  • explain some of the institutions and procedures involved in trading in art in the UK, with an appreciation of the relevant international conventions and the international context of enforcement
  • analyse strategies and challenges posed by the protection of art
  • reflect on the functions and objectives of art law and cultural property law
  • synthesise and critically analyse a range of sources related to art law to develop further knowledge, construct arguments, draw conclusions supported by appropriate authority, and evaluate the merits of alternative arguments.
  • communicate complex legal arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences in verbal and written forms

By the end of the module, students should also have enhanced their abilities to:

  • engage in reflective learning, through solving problem-based tasks
  • work in small groups and give presentations either individually or as part of a team

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Departmental - aural assessment
Participation in class debates
N/A 15
Essay/coursework
Written Coursework
N/A 55
Essay/coursework
Written editorial
N/A 15
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral Presentation
N/A 15

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Written Coursework
N/A 55

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on their assessed formative work within one week.

Students will receive feedback on their assessed summative work within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Barbara Hoffman, Art and Cultural Heritage: Law, policy, and practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
  • Wojciech Kowalski, Art Treasures and War: A study on the restitution of looted cultural property, pursuant to public international law (London: Institute of Art and Law, 1998)
  • David Phillips, Exhibiting Authenticity (New York: Manchester University Press, 1997)
  • Judith Prowda, Visual Arts and the Law: A handbook for professionals (Farnham: Lund Humphries, 2012)
  • Joseph Sax, Playing Darts with a Rembrandt: Public and private rights in cultural treasures (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999)
  • Stephen Weil, Beauty and the Beasts: On museums, art, the law, and the market (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983)



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.