The Trials of Art

Edited by Daniel McClean; foreword by Lord Hoffmann
Ridinghouse 2007
£25  |  $59.95

24.3 × 16.1 cm  |  9 5/8 × 6 3/8 in
352 pp, 30 b&w ill
ISBN: 978 1 905464 03 6

Inspired by important trials during the modern period in which artists and artworks have acted as protagonists, this anthology of essays examines the ambivalent encounter between art and the law.

Who should have the authority to determine what is art: artists, critics and curators, or lawyers, judges and juries? Should artistic expression always be immune from legal and ethical constraints? Should the law always protect artists and art works?


Since the Renaissance, artists have been involved in trials both as claimants and defendants. This volume illuminates how the art trial has been instrumental in the development of art and the shaping of the law, and reflects upon wider issues; including the position of the artist in relation to society, the power to determine how images are created and viewed and the struggle between individual expression and collective beliefs.

Related publications