From the inaugural issue of Art Monthly in October 1976 to date, the Artlaw column has been published regularly, and has tried to bring to the visual arts community in the UK an awareness and understanding of the law relating to the visual arts.
That first column was written at the beginning of the Artlaw Research Project, which for two years consulted artists, administrators and lawyers in the UK (and the USA) to identify any unmet needs for specialist 'artlaw' services. By 1978 the Arts Council of Great Britain (a precursor to Arts Council England) and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation had agreed to fund a unique national legal service for the visual arts in the UK: Artlaw Services.
These pieces chart the progress and successes of Artlaw Services through to its demise in 1984, when public funding was withdrawn following the then Thatcher Government's severe cuts in public arts funding generally. Not before which, Artlaw Services had helped to establish the Arts Law Centre of Australia (still operating successfully - with public funding) and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (the UK's not-for-profit artists' copyright organisation.
It is particularly heartening that Artquest has now picked up a concern for the delivery of legal information and help to the visual arts community, of which the electronic availability of this archive is a part.