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International workshop series


Workshop 5:

Legislation, legal structures and their impact on the art market 

Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana

4-5 June 2020

We are pleased to invite you to participate to the fifth of our International Workshops entitled Legislation, legal structures and their impact on the art market that will take place at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The workshop is part of the International Workshops Series “Tools for the Future: Researching art market Practices from Past to Present”, jointly founded by Elisabetta Lazzaro (HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht), Nathalie Moureau (University Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3) and Adriana Turpin (IESA Art & Culture, Paris and the Society for the History of Collecting, London). The Ljubljana workshop is organised by the France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU.

Through individual presentations followed by group discussions, the workshops series aims at bringing together international scholars and professionals from different disciplines, periods of study and areas of practice of the art market to confront key issues and related methods that can be used to interpret, analyse and operate through the structures and principals of the art market. Previous workshops were on art collectors (Montpellier, June 2018), the artist as an entrepreneur (Utrecht, December 2018), formation and development of new markets (London, June 2019) and communication strategies (Rome, November 2019).


The fifth workshop will address the role of legislation and legal regulators in the art market. The relationship between law and art can be traced back to the Middle Ages when the workshop and apprenticeship rules and guild statutes determined artists’ and other agents’ working tasks, regulating production, ensuring quality and enabling fair marketing and dissemination. Since the early modern period, estate law has defined (and limited) inheritance and ownership of artworks. While contracts with clients controlled the quality, realisation, delivering and on-time payment of private and collective artistic commissions, contracts between artists determined standards of cooperation. With the rise of the auction houses from the 17th century onwards, governments have tried to control auctioneering practices and increase transparency, issues which remain relevant to the market today. Similar considerations apply nowadays for on-line trade and digitisation of artworks, transactions and consumption, including cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The early modern period also saw the origins of copyright law, with privileges and censorship of reproducing vividly differing across Europe. Throughout the 19th century, copyright regulations were still nationally oriented, thereby resulting in national legislations obstructing or encouraging the international expansion of markets. Since the 20th century, we have witnessed the internationalisation and globalisation of laws, which are still in progress.

Research questions will include:

  • How has legislation made and enacted by various authorities (such as workshops, guilds, towns, court, state, international bodies) affected and affects the artistic process, production and exchange of works of art?
  • How has legislation influenced the evaluation and prices of artworks? How has legislation attempted to deal with issues of authenticity and attribution?
  • What has been the impact of legislation on the ownership, buying and donating artworks?
  • How have copyrights influenced and influence art production and the market?
  • What has been the role of national and international legislation in the development of art market structures and modes of functioning (such as auctions, lotteries, on-line market etc.)?
  • What have been and are the market implications of national laws concerning heritage preservation, export, provenance and restitution.

Paper submission and deadlines

We welcome submissions of rigorous quantitative, theoretical, and/or qualitative studies contributing to the topic illustrated above. We particularly appreciate submissions from different fields of the humanities and the social sciences as well as interdisciplinary submissions. We especially encourage contributions dealing with these topics in Central and Eastern Europe and non-Western countries, where art market research has a relatively less long tradition.

Please submit your abstract of 300 words (in English) with a short biography to and before 25 February 2020. Notification of acceptance will be given by 6 March 2020. The final programme and booking details will be posted by early May 2020.


Registration to the workshop is free.

Scientific Committee

  • Dr. Renata Komić Marn, ZRC SAZU, France Stele Institute of Art History, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Assist. Prof. Dr. Tina Košak, ZRC SAZU, France Stele Institute of Art History, Ljubljana and the University of Maribor, Department of Art History, Slovenia
  • Prof. Dr. Elisabetta Lazzaro, Creative Economy-HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Nathalie Moureau, ART-Dev University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, France
  • Adriana Turpin, IESA Art & Culture, Paris and the Society for the History of Collecting, London

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