What is Art?

Legal Definition
Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.

The oldest documented forms of art are visual arts, which include creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media. Architecture is often included as one of the visual arts; however, like the decorative arts, or advertising, it involves the creation of objects where the practical considerations of use are essential—in a way that they usually are not in a painting, for example. Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of art or the arts. Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences. In modern usage after the 17th century, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, the fine arts are separated and distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.

Art may be characterized in terms of mimesis (its representation of reality), expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities. During the Romantic period, art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science". Though the definition of what constitutes art is disputed and has changed over time, general descriptions mention an idea of imaginative or technical skill stemming from human agency and creation.

The nature of art, and related concepts such as creativity and interpretation, are explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
The power of doing. something not taught by nature or instinct. Johnson. Eunomus defines art to be a collection of certain rules for doing anything in a set form. Dial. 2, p. 74. The Dictionaire des Sciences Medicales, h. v., defines it in nearly the same terms.

2. The arts are divided into mechanical and liberal arts. The mechanical arts are those which require more bodily than mental labor; they are usually called trades, and those who pursue them are called artisans or mecbanics. The liberal are those which have for the sole or principal object, works of the mind, and those who are engaged in them are called artists. Pard. Dr. Com. n. 35.

3. The act of Congress of July 4, 1836, s. 6, in describing the subjects of patents, uses the term art. The sense of this word in its usual acceptation is perhaps too comprehensive. The thing to be patented is not a mere elementary, principle, or intellectual discovery, but a principle put in practice, and applied to some art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter. 4 Mason, 1.

4. Copper-plate printing on the back of a bank note, is an art for which a patent may be granted. 4 Wash. C. C. R. 9.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A principle put in practice and applied to some art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. Earle v. Sawyer, 4 Mason, 1, Fed. Cas. No. 4,247. See Act Cong. July 8, 1870. In the law of patents, this term means a useful art or manufacture which is bsneficiai and which is described with exactness In its mode of operation. Such an art can be protected only in the mode and to the extent thus described. Smith v. Downing, 22 Fed. Cas. 511; Carnegie Steel Co. v. Cambria Iron Co. (C. Ct) 89 Fed. 754; Jacobs v. Baker, 7 Wall. 297, 19 L. Ed. 200; Corning v. Burden, 15 How. 267, 14 L. Ed. 683.
-- Black's Law Dictionary