Art Law and the Business of Art


Art Law and the Business of Art

9781788979870 Edward Elgar Publishing
Martin Wilson, Chief General Counsel and Head of Fiduciary Services, Phillips Auctioneers, previously Co-Head Legal and Compliance, Christie's Auctioneers
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78897 987 0 Extent: 456 pp
Art Law and the Business of Art is a comprehensive and practical guide to the application of UK law to transactions and disputes in the art world. Written by Martin Wilson, an art lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the field, it outlines and explains the relevant law and how the art business operates in practice, as well as offering a discussion of the most pressing ethical questions involving artworks.

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Over the past two decades, the need for legal expertise in the art business has grown exponentially. In this book, Martin Wilson, an art lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience in the field, provides a comprehensive and practical guide to the application of UK law to transactions and disputes in the art world.

Written in a style that is accessible and informative for lawyers and non-lawyers alike, Art Law and the Business of Art not only outlines and explains the relevant law but also how the art business operates in practice. Chapters cover the full breadth of legal and commercial issues affecting the sale and purchase of art in various contexts such as in auction houses, by museums, and private sales both with and without agents. Other issues such as artists’ rights in their work, import and export of artworks, taxation, art disputes, anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance, bribery, and confidentiality and data protection are all examined in detail. Wilson also offers an in-depth discussion of the most pressing ethical questions involving artworks, including Holocaust restitution, ancient art and cultural heritage, and freedom of expression.  

This book will prove invaluable to lawyers advising on all aspects of art law and many others in the art business, including artists themselves, art dealers, and those working in auction houses and museums. It will also be crucial reading for scholars and students with an interest in art law and business.
Critical Acclaim
‘Art Law and the Business of Art provides an invaluable guide. The book is at once a primer on the art market for lawyers acting or advising on matters of art law, and a primer on the law, for art market participants seeking to understand their legal position.’
– Aaron Taylor, Cambridge Law Journal

‘Art Law and the Business of Art is a welcome contribution that will be useful, informative and enjoyable for anyone even remotely interested in art law and cultural property/cultural heritage and/or the related transactional aspects.’
– Louise Buckingham, Intellectual Property Forum

‘Wilson has succeeded in bringing together and explaining very eloquently a host of complicated legal, ethical and practical issues in the art world in this much-needed handbook. Impressively, it succeeds in tone and pitch despite its large scope: it is intended for a wide audience, from auction houses to collectors, institutions and dealers. Every chapter has been thoroughly researched and is presented lucidly with the benefit of experience.’
– Noor Kadhim, Art Antiquity and Law

‘The book genuinely does what it says on the packet - a practical, informative guide to an area where a surprisingly wide range of laws apply. The author is to be commended for putting his encyclopaedic knowledge of art law and the art market down on paper for the benefit of the UK art market and those lawyers advising it. Certainly this useful book deserves a wide readership. Any lawyer advising clients on art law should have a copy both as a practical vade mecum and also as a resource to understand some of the business practices that clients don’t necessarily explain or highlight. Commercial people too will find it a very helpful summary of the law in a practical context.’
– Simon Stokes, Entertainment Law Review

‘Wilson’s Art Law and the Business of Art extensively unpacks the legal framework of the art business. It is written simply and clearly, and includes compelling case illustrations. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of this book is the author’s neat rationale for various outcomes.’
– Angela Dimery, The Center of Art Law

'A tour de force that covers the nuts and bolts of the practical workings of the international art market from A to Z. From the useful glossary at the start to the detailed description of the regulatory environment at the end, it provides a readily comprehensible explanation of the whys and wherefores of the market drawing on the author’s unparalleled experience of decades working at its heart. Its broad sweep means it will become an invaluable reference work for everyone who works in and around the art market, providing practical advice on the dos and don’ts when dealing with all sorts of issues that arise, both the everyday and the more complex. Martin Wilson is to be congratulated on filling a real gap with this much-needed and fascinating guide.'
– Roland Foord, Stephenson Harwood LLP, London, UK

'From his wealth of experience as a lawyer on the inside of Christie’s auction house and now Phillips, Martin Wilson has produced an indispensable guide to art law and business. He succinctly summarises the key elements of the art market's workings and the law as it applies in the UK. This is essential reading for those new to the territory and an excellent practical overview for those who are already familiar with it. The insights Martin gives are a wonderful basis for learning and helpfully summarise what ordinarily takes many years in the field to ascertain. If only something like this had existed when I founded Art Law at Mishcon de Reya in 1995!'
– Karen Sanig, Mishcon de Reya, London, UK

'Martin Wilson combines an astute legal mind with practical experience gained from many years of working in auction businesses. This book will be indispensable reading for anyone wishing to gain a clear understanding of the complexities of today’s art market.'
– Anthony Browne, British Art Market Federation

‘In Art Law and the Business of Art, Martin Wilson has diligently tackled a huge minefield, including restitutions of works of art, obscenity, and art funds, illustrated with relevant case histories. He covers, too, ADR (the alternative process to litigation) which he suggests is not sufficiently widely used. Sadly, though, not everyone who sashays into the art world has either the knowledge, decency or common sense of Martin Wilson.’
– Lord Hindlip, Former Chairman of Christie's
Contents: Introduction 1. The Artist And The Artwork 2. Auction Sales: Introduction 3. Auctions: The Auction House 4. Auctions: Financial Arrangements 5. Ownership And Authenticity 6. Auctions: Policing The Saleroom 7. Auctions: Online Auctions 8. Auctions: Negotiating Agency Agreements 9. Private Sales Of Art 10. Ethics Public Policy And Art 11. Art And Taxation 12. Shipping, Export And Insurance Of Art 13. Museums 14. Art Funds 15. Art Disputes 16. Anti Money Laundering And Sanctions Compliance 17. The Bribery Act 18. Confidentiality And Data Protection Index
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