My recent contribution to artists who want to ensure the representation of art galleries brings me to another important question. What should you do if a gallery is interested in selling your artwork? The relationship between the gallery and the artist can sometimes be a pretty loose affair based on little more than a handshake. I think it makes sense to get an art gallery contract. Consider the following story: * How will the gallery keep records of sales, and if there is a question about whether certain works of art were actually sold, how can you verify that these sales actually took place? The best agreement here is that the gallery regularly reports on sales activity and accounting, by . B once every one or two months and submits a complete declaration at the end of the term of the contract or when it is renegotiated. A consignment contract is a contract between an artist and a gallery in which the artist – sometimes similar to a loan – makes works of art available to the gallery, often for a certain period of time. Under a consignment contract, the work is usually provided free of charge by the artist. And if the gallery sells the work during consignment, it receives a commission for the sale (usually about 50%). If the work is not sold within a certain period, it is likely to be returned to the artist. Such agreements between the artist and the gallery may be concluded on a one-off, temporary or longer-term basis. Accounting for unique works of art. For unique artworks with a retail price of $500 or more, the gallery will provide the name, mailing address and telephone number of the client/collector purchasing the work. The artist undertakes not to contact the client to sell works of art directly to the client and the gallery will be informed or will receive a copy of any communication between the artist and the client relating to this work as long as the contract remains in force.
Taking into account that even in the absence of a written contract, the obligations, rights and obligations between the artist and the gallery remain, the establishment of the conditions of a written contract with legal effect is always a protection for both parties. Therefore, it is better not to risk misunderstandings and avoid possible disputes by possibly contacting specialized consultants who are able to advise you on the best contractual solution. Q: I`ve spoken to a local gallery that wants to give me an exhibition in about six to nine months. So far, so good, but I don`t really know them well. What kind of questions should I ask? Should we have a contract? Do I have to use a standard contract that I can find online? What happens if the gallery does not use contracts? Would an informal agreement suffice? What should be included in a contract or agreement? Some of the above organizations may also offer workshops and courses on art-related legal topics, including contract drafting. VLA, for example, offers courses on copyright, freelancer protection, and specific legal issues from various disciplines and artistic media. Recordings of their courses are available upon request on their website, as well as a calendar in which upcoming events are published. Even in the best relationships based on trust and a good working relationship, there is no substitute for a contract. In order to minimize and hopefully avoid possible conflicts, the rights and obligations of the artist and the gallery must be clearly stated in a contract.
Don`t rely on assumptions and memories of verbal conversations. A good contract, such as the consignment contract developed by the Professional Guidelines Committee, is fair to both parties. It is in the interest of both parties to discuss all the issues presented here. The contract describes the responsibilities and rights of the gallery and the artist. Another important aspect of a consignment contract is when the gallery/store goes bankrupt. Their work is protected (by contract) from the creditors of the galleries/shops who may want to claim stocks on the money owed to them. * The inclusion of a fallback clause in any agreement or contract is also recommended. For example, if nothing sells after a certain period of time – say six months – or if the agreement simply does not work for other reasons, each party has the right to end the relationship by informing the other party in writing for 30 days. Thank you for your insight, David. I was also “stiffened” by a gallery in New Mexico, but I was finally able to get the money they owed me. You are right that a contract without other resources may not provide sufficient protection.
But this at least gets both sides to discuss things in advance. A loan agreement is a contract between an exhibiting institution and the owner or artist of the work or works to be borrowed for a temporary exhibition. As an artist, it`s important that your basics are covered when you enter a situation where you`re supposed to provide artwork to a client, gallery, institution, etc. For example, the Professional Association of Visual Artists Berlin (bbk) recommends that visual artists need a contract when participating in an exhibition. 2. Shipping inventory. Artists must send two copies of the inventory list each time works are sent to the gallery. The gallery signs a copy after receipt of the work and returns it to the artist.
This is to check if the listed work is now in their possession and falls under the contractual responsibility of the gallery. 4. Discounts. A gallery may decide to reduce the sale price under certain conditions, as stated in your contract. This practice is called offering a discount. Artists or galleries can also opt for a “no discount” policy. Offering a discount raises two immediate questions. First of all, who absorbs the discount? Second, if the responsibility for the reduction is to be shared between the gallery and the artist, how much should the artist bear? In the shipping agreement, the committee provides two options for processing discounts.
It is suggested to discuss this issue with the gallery. For more information, please read the Professional Guidelines Discounts document. There are different types of contracts that come into play for artists who work professionally – whether in the context of representing galleries, receiving commissions or financing, selling a work of art or a temporary work for a temporary exhibition. In general, artist contracts can take different forms depending on the situation. But there are also a few important sections and details that are common in different types of contracts: including the full and complete details of a work of art or proposal; copyright and documentation permits for works of art; the timing of the agreement, milestones and deadlines; the applicable law under which the Contract is performed; and dispute resolution and termination procedures. It is therefore advisable to create an art gallery contract – a commercial agreement – that you and the gallery director can discuss and sign. This may not save you from the nature of the story above, but it can help you identify red flags that might appear during conversations with a potential gallery. It also gives you the opportunity to talk about issues that may arise during the course of the business and decide how they will be handled. Note that not all galleries or venues that show your art are interested in signing contracts or agreements. Or the documents they want to sign don`t necessarily cover everything you want to cover. Unfortunately, many artists are so eager to have their art shown that they are willing to overlook gaps, hope for the best, and accept any contracts or documents presented to them.
That`s fine, as long as you`re aware of the risks involved and know what you`re going to lose if things don`t work out. If you agree with that, then that`s fine, but if you feel uncomfortable when you go ahead, maybe wait until the next time the terms of the deal are more to your liking. Here`s a breakdown of (some) common types of contracts and agreements you might encounter during your artistic career. 15. Security. This is a legal clause that protects the artist and stipulates that the artist is the owner of the delivered work until full payment. Few states have laws that protect an artist`s work on behalf of the gallery`s creditors. This is an important reason why artists must use contracts with a security clause. The creditor`s rights are also cut off if there is a sign on the gallery indicating that the work sold will be sold on commission, but such signage is rarely used.
Of course, this process will probably take time and research to sort it out, and maybe a little negotiation. To help you, we`ve put together an overview of common types of contracts, what they can include, and tips on how to get advice on a budget. There are organizations that provide voluntary or pro bono legal services for art-related topics, including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts. These services are not necessarily free, as membership fees or administrative fees may be incurred, depending on the organization. But these are probably inexpensive options. Excellent article, Dan! I appreciate this conscientious approach to avoid misunderstandings and protect the interests of both parties. Oh for the good old days when a handshake was all it took! Those days are long gone and contracts are very useful in the market. Nevertheless, many people will prove to be trustworthy and abide by the contract. 😊 An artist or gallery contract, agreement, relationship or arrangement should generally include or at least consider the following factors. Note that the following list is by no means exhaustive. As a preface to the shipping contract, the following overview gives a brief explanation of each part of the contract.