Christine Stiener

10215 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90067


Christine Steiner is an experienced art law attorney whose practice emphasizes visual arts, intellectual property, publishing, and general business transactions. She has been recognized consistently by Best Lawyers, the prestigious national legal peer-ranking organization for her expertise and contributions to Art Law. 

Ms. Steiner represents living artists, artists’ estates and foundations, art galleries, art collectors, museums and cultural organizations, arts foundations, creative businesses, universities, living writers and writers’ estates, publishers, and other diverse creative clients. 

Christine Steiner held a variety of legal and policy positions within cultural and educational institutions before she entered private practice. These include:

    • Secretary and General Counsel, J. Paul Getty Trust
    • Assistant General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution
    • Assistant Attorney General of Maryland for state colleges and universities; and
    • Principal Counsel of the Maryland state public education system.

She is also an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, where she teaches visual arts law and has served as a visiting professor of international art law in law school programs in Florence, Italy, and Cambridge, England.

Her writing includes many publications of value to the visual arts field including books and articles on art law, copyright, public art commissions and other art-related topics. Her writings regularly contribute to policy discussions of intellectual property in the arts and publishing communities.

Ms. Steiner is a frequent lecturer on museum topics, with an emphasis on copyright issues. She has addressed numerous national and international conferences, including presentations to the International Bar Association, the World Intellectual Property Organization, The American Bar Association, and the National Association of College and University Attorneys and other organizations and conferences. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA.

Christine Steiner is an honors graduate of Johns Hopkins University (BA) and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland (JD).

  • Admitted to practice in California and Maryland
  • Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States

Art Law

Christine Steiner is experienced with federal and state laws that affect artists, collectors, art institutions, and public and private commissioning bodies. She works with artists and galleries to develop commission and exhibition agreements, consignment agreements, print documentation, and licensing agreements. She also works with collectors, real-estate owners, and municipalities to create acquisition policies that protect the acquiring party while respecting the rights of the artist and the integrity of the artwork.

In public art commissions, she has represented both artists and real-estate developers. She has written and lectured extensively on the requirements and nuances of the Visual Artists’ Rights Act (VARA) and relevant state laws. She is an authority on artist agreements for large-scale public art commissions, especially those involving experimental technology or new media, and has negotiated innumerable domestic and international agreements for works in airports, public parks, ports, city centers, museums, university campuses, real estate development and other public places.

She has extensive experience in advising clients on the use of works of art in film, web, photograph, and print publications. Her knowledge of the use of art as background in films and other visual media has been the subject of articles in the press about her practice. She provides advice and drafts agreements for permissions and releases, an area of the law on which she has widely published and lectured.

Copyright and Publishing

Christine Steiner negotiates, drafts, and maintains licensing agreements for clients’ intellectual property produced in the course of creative or business ventures. She also assists artists and writers in protecting works of art or publications.

Christine Steiner assists writers in negotiating publishing agreements, work for hire agreements, and other contractual matters.

She has published extensively on issues of fair use, involving the reproduction, quotation or citation of copyrighted or trademarked images, words, symbols, or other material. She advises artists, writers and publishers in this area, and assists in the resolution of disputes involving the fair use of copyrighted works.

In addition, Christine Steiner advises on issues relating to archives, papers, and ephemera, especially archives and materials of artists and writers. She has assisted numerous artists in transferring archives, in whole or in part, to suitable repository institutions. Her copyright expertise is particularly helpful in resolving a broad array of archives-related matters.

General Business

Christine Steiner works with creative and arts-related businesses on a wide range of internal management issues and agreements. As former in-house counsel of large and diverse organizations, she is experienced in negotiating contracts, building strategic alliances, and drafting and managing business relationships.

She negotiates and drafts non-disclosure, non-compete and or non-solicitation agreements; licensing agreements for products or properties; employment and independent contractor agreements; service agreements; and other agreements of all types.

She emphasizes efficient solutions for business clients and maintains long-term relationships with them. 

The Law Office of Christine Steiner provides the following services to the international fine art community:

  • Private sales and commission agreements
  • Consignment agreements
  • Auction negotiations
  • Loans secured by fine art
  • Public commissions of works of art
  • Licensing and merchandising agreements
  • Fine arts prints and consumer products
  • Charitable gifts
  • Copyright, Trademark, and other Intellectual Property Matters
  • Import, Export and Customs matters
  • Technology protection
  • Strategic Business Relationships, Transactions and Alliances
  • Website use of text and images
  • Sponsorship agreements
  • Provenance review and research
  • Restitution claims
  • Dispute resolution

The Law Office of Christine Steiner delivers the highest quality Advice, Representation and Transactions (ART).