This module addresses the inherent tensions between art as a commodity and art as a valuable, cultural treasure. The module examines taxation regimes, personal property rules and protections, questions about attribution, provenance and forgeries. Additionally, the module considers the heritage protection regime and listing, the management and protection of art and heritage institutions under English trusts law and ethical questions raised by Holocaust-tainted art and the work of the Spoliation Advisory Panel.
Module will run
Semester 1 2023-24
This module examines the competing tensions inherent in art - sometimes viewed as a financial asset or commodity, and sometimes viewed as a valuable, a 'hands-off' treasure to be protected and enjoyed. To this end, the module examines aspects of art as a commodity: its taxation treatment, and the personal property rules and protections applying to art as an asset. Additionally, the module examines art as a valuable, a national and cultural asset and considers the management and protection of art under trusts law, heritage protection and listing processes, as well as the ethical concerns posed by Holocaust-tainted art claims and the work of the Spoliation Advisory Panel (UK). The course will be taught by a mixture of Problem Based Learning and through an inductive approach.
Module learning outcomes
Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding, as applicable to art and transfers of art, of personal property rules and protections under Anglo-American Law and private international law rules applying to art as a 'commodity'
Critically evaluate principles of negligence, attribution and provenance as they relate to art works in the art market
Apply a deep and systematic understanding, and ability to undertake critical analysis, of how trusts are formed, regulated and apply under English law to artworks and heritage sector institutions
Analyse and synthesise the main taxation issues arising in relation to art works
Critically evaluate advanced scholarship on the inherent conflict between art as a cultural and national asset, with art as a commodity and financial asset
Appreciate the ethical concerns posed by Holocaust-tainted art and the role of the Spoliation Advisory Panel (UK)
Synthesise complex information and analysis of legal documents and theory, in the application of legal problem-solving skills to provide practical solutions to clients seeking to achieve specific financial and legal outcomes in respect of art works
Apply a range of transferable personal, collaborative and practical legal skills in the context of dealing with complex disputes relating to art works
In examining the tensions inherent in the legal and art historical treatment of art as a commodity within a market, and art as a valuable treasured for its cultural worth, this module examines a broad range of relevant legal and market rules and principles. The taxation treatment of art, its regulation and protection as a form of personal property and the impact of third party disputes on art as a commodity are examined. Additionally, the module considers the management and protection of art under trusts law, heritage protection and listing processes, as well as the ethical concerns posed by Holocaust-tainted art claims and the work of the Spoliation Advisory Panel (UK).
% of module mark
Essay/coursework Written Memo : Client/Advice Memo
Special assessment rules
Additional assessment information
Formative work is embedded in the Problem Based Learning nature of this module's learning process.
% of module mark
Essay/coursework Written Memo : 1500 word client/partner advice
Students will receive formative feedback on oral and written work during the module as part of the Problem Based Learning process used in this module. Individual summative feedback on assessments will also be provided.
The Illicit Trade in Art and Antiquities - Janet Ulph
Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Investors, Dealers and Artists - Ralph Lerner and Judith Bresler
Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts - Merryman, Elsen and Urice
Private International Law, Art and Cultural Heritage - Christa Roodt
Art, Cultural Heritage and the Market: Ethical and Legal Issues - Valentina Vadi, Hildegard Schneider