Art, the Law and the Market

The details
Art History and Theory
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
04 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA V3R9 Art History with Modern Languages,
BA VR3B Art History with Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)

Module description

This module explores art`s relationship with the law and the market, focusing on how issues such as property rights, valuation, market transparency, and digitisation have shaped and continue to reshape the field of art across different media.

The module has three overarching objectives. First, it seeks to provide a broad historical overview of art`s intersection with the law and the market, since only through such a historical understanding can students critically evaluate contemporary phenomena. Second, we will address the aesthetic and ethical implications of art's intersection with the law and the market: for example, through artists` intentional appropriation of copyrighted imagery, or through cases of restitution involving plundered artefacts or artworks. Third, the module examines legal and market-related issues that have dramatically transformed different art forms since the 1970s, such as the rise of the Internet and the globalization of financial markets.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

to introduce key issues that have shaped art's relationship to law and the market;

to nuance student understanding of the social and political forces that have led to changes in art law and the art market;

to introduce students to specialised debates in past and recent literature around art's intersection with law and the market;

to heighten student awareness of different methods for analysing major legal and market-related issues that drive the production, circulation and reception of art;

to stimulate students to develop skills in written communication through written and oral communication

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should have:

1. a greater appreciation of how market forces and legal issues have shaped the production, circulation and reception of art;

2. a heightened awareness of how technological change, national contexts and ideology have shaped art law and the art market;

3. insight into the different ways social and political forces have impacted art law and the art market;

4. the capacity to synthesise, historicise, and critically analyse recent legal and market-related developments in the art world;

5. the ability to demonstrate all of these competences through verbal expression.

Module information

Topics will include

The Emergence of the Modern Art Market
Art Crime and Law Enforcement
The Elgin Marbles and Issues of Cultural Property
The Illicit Traffic of Antiquities
From Pop to Appropriation Art
Pricing and Transparency in the Art Market Today
Artistic Critiques of the Market
Emerging Markets

Learning and teaching methods

There will be a two-hour combined lecture and seminar each week. All teaching events will be accessible to students on and off campus either face-to-face or remotely through online teaching. Week 21 is reading week.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   2000 word essay    40% 
Coursework   Quizzes TOTAL    30% 
Coursework   SUMMER 24hr take home exam    30% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Michael Tymkiw, email:
Dr Michael Tymkiw



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Art History and Theory

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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