Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Art Law Research Guide

This guide provides an introduction to notable resources for conducting art law research available at Georgetown University and online.


There are many excellent secondary sources on art law that explain and analyze various topics and legal issues. This section of the guide provides information on the following:

For more information on using secondary sources generally for legal research, see the Georgetown Law Library's Secondary Sources Tutorial or Secondary Sources Research Guide.

Treatises, Study Aids, & Other Texts

Academic Journals & Journal Databases

Scholarly articles on art law and related topics can be found in many law reviews and journals. In addition, there are numerous legal journals devoted exclusively to art and entertainment law and relevant articles may also be found in arts and humanities journals.

For information on other journal databases and how to find journal articles generally, see our research guides to Articles for Legal & Non-Legal Research and Journal Articles (Foreign and International)

Select List of Legal Journals on Art Law and Related Topics

  • Art, Antiquity, and Law (K1 .R783) (1996 - )
  • Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal (available in print K3 .A592 from 1982-2010 and electronically from 1982 to present)
  • Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts (available in print K3 .O381 from 1978-2010 and electronically from 1974 to present)
    Formerly titled Art & the Law: A Publication of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (K1 .R78) and Columbia-VLA Journal of Law & the Arts (K3 .O485)
  • DePaul Journal of Art, Technology & Intellectual Property Law (available in print K10 .O196 from 1991-2009 and electronically from 1991 to present)
    Formerly titled DePaul Journal of Art & Entertainment Law (1997-2007)
  • Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal (available in print K8 .A868 and electronically from 1977 - )
    Formerly titled Comm/Ent: A Journal of Communications and Entertainment Law (1977-1990)
  • IFAR [International Foundation for Art Research] Journal (available in print K9 .C56 from 2015 - )
  • International Journal of Cultural Property (available in print K9 .N7841 from 1992-2010 and electronically from 1992 to present)
  • Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society (available in print K10 .O1971 from 1970-2009 and electronically from 1990 to present)
    Formerly titled Performing Arts Review (1970-1982) and the Journal of Arts Management and Law (1983-1992)
  • Law, Culture, and the Humanities (available in print K12 .A9193 from 2005-2007 and electronically from 2005 to present)
  • Law and Humanities (available in print K12 .A9128 and electronically from 2007 - )
  • Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities (available in print K29 .A296 from 1988-2010 and electronically from 1988 to present)

Law Journal Databases

  • Westlaw and Lexis each include the full text for many law reviews and journals. Coverage varies by journal, but in general they include articles starting from the late 1980s/early 1990s:
  • HeinOnline includes more than 2,000 law journals from the inception date of the publication to present (about a year behind)
  • LegalTrac (formerly known as the Legal Resource Index)
    Index of over 1,500 journals; coverage begins in 1980. Also available through:
  • Legal Periodicals and Books
    Index of over 1,000 journals (with some full text); coverage begins in 1908.
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (current & retrospective)
    Index of over 500 legal journals published throughout the world; coverage begins in 1960.

Arts & Humanities Journal Databases

  • Art Full Text 
    Includes articles on topics such as visual arts, television and film, and architecture. Indexes over 600 journals back to 1972 and provides the full-text of over 320 journals back to 1977. Also indexes art reproductions and dissertations.
    Note: Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective can be searched simultaneously by following the link above and then clicking "Choose databases" and selecting both Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective.
  • Art Index Retrospective
    Indexes over 600 journals published worldwide with coverage from 1929-1984. Includes articles on topics such as visual arts, television and film, and architecture.
    Note: Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective can be searched simultaneously by following the link above and then clicking "Choose databases" and selecting both Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective.
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
    Indexes approximately 1400 journals with coverage from 1975. This index is part of Web of Science includes a citator function, providing access to an article's cited references and articles that cite a particular article.
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
    Indexes articles on architecture, design, and city planning from over 2,500 journals published worldwide with coverage from 1934 (selective coverage from 1741).
  • Artbibliographies Modern
    Indexes and provides abstracts for journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on modern and contemporary art. Full coverage from 1974 with entries as early as the late 1960s.
  • AATA Online
    Contains abstracts of international conservation literature, including journals, books, and conference proceedings. There are over 100,000 abstracts from 1932 to present.
  • Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
    BHA is a group of databases, including articles from over 1200 journals, and "is the world's most comprehensive bibliography of scholarly writing about the history of western art".  It covers material published between 1975 and 2007.  BHA was succeeded by the International Bibliography of Art, which covers material published after 2007.
  • Humanities Full Text
    Indexes close to 700 journals from as early as 1984 and contains full text articles from over 300 journals from as early as 1995 (coverage varies by title).
    Note: Humanities Full Text and Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective can be searched simultaneously by following the link above and then clicking "Choose databases" and selecting both Humanities Full Text and Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective.
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective
    Indexes approximately 1200 journals published in North America and Europe from 1907 to 1984.
    Note: Humanities Full Text and Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective can be searched simultaneously by following the link above and then clicking "Choose databases" and selecting both Humanities Full Text and Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective.
    ​Includes full text from hundreds of journals in art, art history, architecture, film, music, and the performing arts. Coverage is generally from the inception date of the publication to a few years ago.

News & Blogs

  • The Art Law Blog
    Written by an attorney specializing in art and entertainment law, The Art Law Blog covers news on court cases and legal disputes involving art.
  • Spencer's Art Law Journal (select "Art Law" from the "Practice Area" menu or run a title search)
    A blog-style PDF publication containing essays by attorneys at Carter Ledyard & Milburn and edited by Ronald D. Spencer.  Published roughly three times a year beginning in 2010, each issue contains ~1-5 essays.  (Essays can sometimes be found re-published on
  • The Art Newspaper
    Website of the monthly publication The Art Newspaper (not available in print at Georgetown), which often publishes articles on court cases and legal disputes. Articles from December 2006 to January 2012 are also available through Art Full Text.
  • Art Law Report
    This blog provides "timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities."
  • Art Briefly & the Art Law Journal (no longer posting)
    Art Briefly contains "curated art law and business news from across the web" and includes many stories under its "Art Law" section.  The Art Law Journal includes stories on a range of topics related to art law, such as copyright, contracts and licensing, and art crime.  However, both appear to have stopped posting after March 2017.
  • ArtsJournal
    A daily digest of arts news from over 200 publications.
  • Clancco
    ​An art and law blog started in 2005 by an artist and art lawyer.  The blog also offers an e-newsletter, the Art & Law Bulletin that "lists artistic and academic events focusing solely on art and law content."
  • Center for Art Law
    A blog that describes itself as an "amalgam of art and cultural heritage law resources and reviews." It also includes case reviews, information on organizations, such as law firms and nonprofits, involved in art law, and a calendar of events.
  • Herrick: Art: News
    Law firm Herrick, Feinstein LLP publishes material under "News" and under "Publications" on this site. To find art law news on other law firm websites, try searching Fee Fie Foe Firm.
  • Art News
    This database on Westlaw contains "[n]ews and information about art, entertainment, and sports from newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, transcripts, and wires." Dates of coverage vary by publication.
  • ALI-CLE Course of Study Materials: ​Coursebooks containing materials from CLE courses offered by the American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group. Courses related to art law include Legal Problems of Museum Administration and Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law.

For more blogs related to art law, see the Center for Art + Law's blogroll, the ABA Journal's Blawg Directory, or Justia's Blawg Directory.

Art Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Other Reference Sources

When conducting art law research, you may encounter unknown art-related terms and concepts, particularly if you do not have an arts background. Numerous art dictionaries, encyclopedias, and similar sources are available that explain and define these terms and concepts and also often contain images of artworks.

  • Oxford Art Online
    This database includes Grove Art Online, which contains the comprehensive Dictionary of Art, over 5,000 searchable images, links to biographical information from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and other sources, and useful tools such as timelines and thematic guides. Oxford Art Online also includes the full text of The Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.
  • Artcyclopedia (free online)
  • This site provides a central location for locating art information free online. Search by artist or artwork to find information on museums that own particular works, image archives, artist websites, and articles and books. Artcyclopedia also contains links to art news and enables users to browse artists by medium, subject, nationality, and movement.
  • Getty Vocabularies (free online)
    The Getty Vocabularies are a set of four structured vocabulary databases: The Art & Architecture Thesaurus, The Union List of Artist Names, The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names, and The Cultural Objects Name Authority. The databases are especially useful for generating keywords and search terms and understanding relationships.
  • Dictionary of Art Historians (free online)
    A database of prominent art historians that contains basic biographical and bibliographical information. Search by keyword or browse by author last name. Use this database, for example, to identify historians who wrote on a particular artist or movement and then search for books and articles that they have written.

Many more resources are available in print at the Lauinger Library on main campus. To identify art encyclopedias and dictionaries, start by searching George (main campus library catalog) by subject for "art dictionaries" or "art encyclopedias" or see Lauinger's Art, Art History & Museum Studies guide.