This document addresses noncommercial exhibitions where the main intent is the exhibition
of artwork for the purposes of education, information or public consideration (and not the retail purchase of artwork.) Included is an overview detailing and
explaining each clause of the contract and the multiple options offered.
PDF Exhibition Contract
Word Exhibition Contract
Artists are presented throughout their careers with a wide variety of exhibition opportunities. While many exhibition opportunities have as their primary focus the sale of consigned work, this document addresses the issues involved with exhibitions whose main intent is not the sale of work but rather the showcasing of artwork for primarily non-commercial purposes to educate, inform or entertain the public.
Typical non-commercial exhibition sponsors are distinct from retail/commercial galleries and may include guilds, artist organizations, non-profits and alternative exhibition venues. (Established museums will usually have their own exhibition contract, although this document may still offer some insights.)
Retail sales in this type of exhibition environment are usually a low priority. The Exhibition Sponsor is not expecting to represent the artist over an extended period of time in the same way as a gallery. Instead, the Exhibition Sponsor borrows work from artists (or a collector) for a limited period of time, focusing on work that contributes to the theme or premise of the show. Prices are not usually posted on the wall, although a price list may be available at the desk or upon request. (The viewing audience may not even realize that the work might be for sale). In many cases, if a potential Collector is interested in the work, they are told to contact either the artist or the artist’s gallery representative directly to pursue a purchase.
If an Exhibition Sponsor requests the Artist to negotiate separate contracts with each exhibition venue, it is worth evaluating whether the exhibition proposal is worthy. Negotiating a separate contract with each venue is impractical and ill advised for both the Artist and the Exhibition Sponsor.
Use the Condition Report in the Professional Guidelines to document the condition of the art or craft at every venue.