Tad Crawford is an author, attorney, and publisher.
He grew up in the artists’ colony of Woodstock, New York. Interested in writing both fiction and nonfiction, he majored in economics at Tufts College and graduated from Columbia Law School. After clerking for a judge on New York State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, Crawford worked for a small general law firm in New York City while writing and teaching writing and literature at the School of Visual Arts.
Finding few resources to help artists deal with legal matters such as copyrights, the sale and licensing of art, gallery and publishing contracts, income taxes, moral rights, and estate planning, Crawford initiated a “Law and the Visual Artist” course at the School of Visual Arts and wrote Legal Guide for the Visual Artist. Legal Guide now has well over one hundred thousand copies in print and the sixth edition (co-authored with M.J. Bogatin) will be published in July 2022.
Crawford followed Legal Guide with numerous other books to help professionals in the creative disciplines. The Legal Affairs editor and a regular columnist for Communication Arts magazine, he also wrote for journals such as American Artist, Art in America, Confrontation, Family Circle, Glamour, Guernica, Harper’s Bazaar, The Nation,and Writer’s Digest.
He served as general counsel for the Graphic Artists Guild, lobbied as legislative counsel for the Copyright Justice Coalition (which had many artists’ groups as members), and volunteered as Chairman of the Board for the Foundation for the Community of Artists. In addition to testifying before the Senate subcommittee on behalf of artists’ rights, he drafted a package of state laws which he presented to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This presentation led to the enactment of laws favorable to artists in a number of states, including New York and California.
The National Endowment for the Arts selected Crawford as a grant recipient to write on the topic of artists’ rights. He also received the Graphic Artists Guild’s Walter Hortens Distinguished Service Award.
In 1989 Crawford founded Allworth Press to offer the practical information needed by creative professionals such as artists, photographers, designers, and authors. He knew firsthand the issues such creative people face each day and envisioned a spectrum of books to help them survive and grow professionally. Beyond these efforts for creative professionals, he also wrote The Secret Life of Money: Enduring Tales of Debt, Wealth, Happiness, Greed, and Charity and A Floating Life: A Novel.
Allworth Press, which today has hundreds of titles in print, became an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing in 2011. Crawford is a partner in Skyhorse Publishing and remains the publisher for Allworth Press.