Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Example of Consignment Agreement for Visual Artists

"Melina's Rose"
©Joanne Licsko
12"x9" oil on canvas

I admit I have somewhat moved on from wanting to think about consignment agreements, but I said I would, and who knows maybe it will help a fellow artist.  I'll try to make it brief.

First, I have included a copy of my personal contract.  I am concerned that the format may be altered when trying to publish it on blogspot.  Sorry if that happens. I work in the old Mac Appleworks application and it is clearly outdated and clumsy.  I plan to change when I have the time to learn a new and improved one. The "drawing" format allows me to include a thumbnail photo of my painting. This is very important! Things happen.  A photo allows everyone to know exactly which painting is missing, etc.
About copyright, the law requires one to claim one's copyright and having an image floating around cyberspace or anywhere else is risky.  Insist that it is included always.

Number 5 is essential. It helps to protect you should the gallery sell your work and not pay you. That's a big help if the gallery goes bankrupt.
The rest is self explanatory.  

This contract has been developed by me over many years of dealing with galleries, and private dealers.  My attorney would like it to be many pages longer, but I have found that when I have presented small businesses like galleries with too much to read it turns them off (as it would me).  This small and simple agreement covers all the issues that have come up over the years, and not one gallery has refused it. 

By publishing this example of my personal consignment agreement I am not saying it is all that you need.  Please take the initiative and customise one for yourself.  It is meant as a sample of what I have found works for me, and in no way will I take responsibility if it isn't enough to protect your circumstances.  It is meant as an example of the minimum requirements for me.  I clearly state I have no legal background

                              __YOUR NAME HERE___ CONSIGNMENT AGREEMENT

                                   It is agreed between  artist _your name here__and the undersigned that  the    ________  Gallery accepts the following  _your name here______ works of art as consigned for sale:

                             Title                      Medium             Size         Wholesale     + Frame                                                                                                                                                   ______________________________________________Price________Cost 

 photo here            “title here"       ”  ? on canvas      ?”x?”       $0000 .          + $???.

 photo here            “title here”         ? on canvas       ?”x?”        $0000.       unframed


Terms of consignment:

  1. Gallery will pay the artist __your name here___ 100% of the wholesale price within __days after sale has been agreed upon and gallery has received payment.    If gallery chooses to accept partial or layaway payments, gallery will pay artist 100% of the wholesale price within 30 days of initial sale agreement.  
  2. Gallery acknowledges that the artwork(s) were received in good condition, and will insure the artworks listed above until either the artwork is returned to the artist or the artist has been paid in full.
  3. Gallery will not discount work without artist’s permission on each individual piece.
  4. Gallery will affix ©_your name here__ to all publication of artist’s work ( especially anything electronic).
  5. Gallery acknowledges that it is receiving each artwork on consignment only and will not acquire title to the works.  Title of artworks will pass directly from __your name here___ to the purchaser upon the artist’s receipt of payment in accordance with this agreement.
  6. Artwork will be hung prominently in gallery at all times while on consignment with the exception of specified times when the gallery is showcasing another artist.   
  7. The artwork listed above will be on consignment for a time limited to________ months, beginning from the date of this signed agreement, at which time both parties will either renew agreement or return the unsold artworks to _your name here_____ in the same good condition as when its was delivered.
  8. Gallery agrees to pay for the repair or replacement of artwork or consigned frame if damaged during consignment.  

    _Your name here____ and _________Gallery hereby execute this agreement in their respective names and by their duly authorized officers, effective as of the date of the latter acceptance below:


                      YOUR NAME HERE                                              GALLERY


                  __________________________                 By:_____________________

                Date: ______________________                Title:_gallery director or??__

                                                                                       Date: ___________________


  1. As I suspected the format is incompatible. Please note that at the bottom of the contract that there should be two columns.
    One is where the artist signs and dates the agreement, the other is where the gallery official signs and dates it and there is an additional line where the gallery official, whether director, owner, or sales staff states their position in the gallery.

  2. Hi Joanne, thanks for this info: it is so useful to know what to look for when selling.

    And the rose: the way you have handled the light reflecting through the petals is exquisite! r

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this useful form and the advice resulting from your experiences. It's really valuable information.

    The rose is marvelous -- color, form, design -- all wonderful.

  4. Magnificent post Joanne,thank you for it.Your rose is so sensual and powerful in its tendernes,fine art,greetings from Sandra

  5. A very helpful starting point for anyone making work available in a gallery. Thanks for sharing :)