This course will examine and investigate the relationship between the contemporary art market and art's social, cultural, historical, political and commercial value. We will explore the ways in which art is instrumental in social, political and historical narratives, and can hold value beyond commerce. In different contexts, we will discuss questions such as: What makes art valuable? Who owns art and who owes what to whom? How does law protect art and the artist? Is art only for the elite or can it interact with society at large, and what is the value of this?
The module will investigate the dynamics behind the various activities in art transactions and their influencing factors. It will contextualise the importance of these dynamics, and explore potential lacunas in existent practices and emerging markets. Teaching in lectures and seminars will be supplemented with a number of gallery and museum visits, industry interactions, structured study sessions and assessment preparation in advance of the module's coursework. By the end of the module, students will be able to:
Course content is subject to change.
The module is designed to develop students' critical understanding of the nature of the art business, and the scale and regional growth of art markets. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate a variety of critical and transferable skills, as well as practical knowledge through which to understand the art business and critique current approaches to artist rights and economic practices in the market. These more tangible aspects are situated within the broader political reality of the art world, enabling students to develop a more holistic understanding of the business of art and art's political potentials. The module is designed to give students the following takeaways:
1. A systematic introduction to the commerce and law of art transactions.
2. A good understanding of the legal rights of artists and the controversial extents and limitations to freedom of speech and expression.
3. The ability to appreciate and examine artistic production and reproduction in consideration of legal and sociological criteria.
4. Critical awareness of emerging issues in visual and performative arts, digital art, public art etc., and adequate knowledge to address these debates.
The Queen Mary Summer School costs: £1,700 per session, which includes tution and social programme.
We offer a 10% discount to:
The cost of accommodation is £670 per session. For further information, please visit our page.
There may be additional costs for field trips, such as entry to exhibitions, which will be in the region of £10-20.
All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.
Please note there is no deposit payment required for the Queen Mary Summer School.
To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.
We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:
We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.
All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the Queen Mary Summer School:
Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help.