Art in the Legal Frame


August 2023

Courthouse Libraries BC's collection may primarily comprise broad-relevance legal texts, but intriguing esoteric titles can also catch our interest. One recent addition to our collection bridges law and the fine art trade. Art Law: Cases and Controversies delves into the legal facets of the art world. This comprehensive resource, available through Courthouse Libraries BC, explains various legal aspects of the fine arts, from copyright and the nebulous ownership rights of public graffiti to legal remedies for fraud and forgery.

The work underscores the unique legalities shaped by the digital age and discusses and contrasts the legal frameworks in Canada and the United States, adding invaluable cross-border context to the discussion.

Another recent acquisition, Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention, is an example of how art can be used to fix a legal lens. It is a comic book that uses a blend of architectural sketches and interviews to convey the harsh realities of Canada's migrant detention system.

Art here becomes a medium for legal discussion, humanizing abstract concepts. It’s interesting to see the discipline of architecture being used to ask the very questions that compel justice principles to. The law, after all, is not merely black and white text but is alive with stories and experiences. Many of these can be captured through the prism of art.