Picturing Law: when do law books go beyond text?

Post Date:
Feb 9, 2018

“The visual portrayal of law in art provides concrete evidence of how the law functioned and how it was viewed in other times and places.”

 -Morris L. Cohen, Law: The Art of Justice (New York: Macmillan, 1992) at 11.


Law is often about words – how words are intended, interpreted, and applied. Text-heavy law books reflect the traditional common law focus on words.  But text is only one way to convey meaning. Some law books are full of images and art.  Other law books examine the power of symbols within the law.  We’ve gathered together some of the most interesting examples of images in law, and various takes on the value of examining them, for this month’s display, Picturing Law: when do law books go beyond text?

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