Written by arts legal specialist Henry Lydiate for Art Monthly since October 1976, Artlaw also contains dozens of frequently asked questions on all aspects of art and the law, and short films on our ArtlawTV channel, available free for personal use.

Visual artists anywhere in England can submit a simple legal query, which we pass on to a team of legal specialists for an initial reply.

 Recent articles

Art? Pension? Trust?

Summer time is the silly season when most journalists and politicians take long vacations and news media are filled with stories that are trivial or n… Continue Reading Art? Pension? Trust?

Artists’ Estate Management

During their early careers, planning for posterity is a low priority for most artists. But as careers develop, especially if market and/or critical su… Continue Reading Artists’ Estate Management

As a self-employed artist, will the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affect me?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective from 25th May 2018, is a hot topic amongst businesses at present, and this FAQ offers key poi… Continue Reading As a self-employed artist, will the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affect me?

Conservation Questions

Ethical practices of art conservation have become a renewed subject of debate following publication of a pre-conservation image of Salvator Mundi, c15… Continue Reading Conservation Questions

Continuing Silence

Many aspects of the art business world attract criticism or attack for being slippery and opaque, none more so than in the realm of sales transactions… Continue Reading Continuing Silence

Dealing Differently

In 1976 this column looked at the case of a London-based artist who sent work to a New York gallery for exhibition and sale in the US: the works were… Continue Reading Dealing Differently

Digital Drivers

Sales of contemporary art have increased exponentially since the global economic downturn around 2009. Recent professional art market research shows t… Continue Reading Digital Drivers

Fair Deals           

Cultural tourism is a rapidly growing sector of the broader tourism market and has become a thriving worldwide business. A key component of this expan… Continue Reading Fair Deals           

Fair Image Use Fees  

Just as the industrial revolution radically transformed the world during the 18th and 19th centuries, the digital revolution is affecting most areas o… Continue Reading Fair Image Use Fees  

Idea/Expression Dichotomy

This year marks the centenary of the creation of a work widely accepted as the most influential of the 20th century: Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, 1917.… Continue Reading Idea/Expression Dichotomy


‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’ As legendary business ma… Continue Reading Reputation

Reputation: Art & Artists 

Last month’s column explored the fragility of the public reputation of art business professionals in the digital age, highlighting how traditional law… Continue Reading Reputation: Art & Artists 

Terms and Conditions

The social network revolution of the past two decades of digital and technological innovation and exponential growth has been embraced by artists to t… Continue Reading Terms and Conditions

The ICOM Code

A new series of professional development courses aimed at mid-career curators and museum professionals was recently launched by Whitechapel Gallery in… Continue Reading The ICOM Code


A week is a long time in politics: rapid and unforeseeable changes can transform the political and economic landscape. During one week in April 2017,… Continue Reading Wash-Out