Contracts are intimidating and a sure sign of distrust. We all hate them, but in the real world of the business end of art, they are necessary and designed for the benefit and security of all concerned.

Below is a list of a few contracts that I've had to use for specific interactions, and I think they are general enough to be adapted for your own use if you need something like this. I adapted some of them from some sample contracts in a book called "The Artist's Friendly Legal Guide." I need to stress, however, that these contracts have never been actually tested in court, so there may be legal flaws in them. If you choose to use them, do so at your own risk, as I claim no responsibility for any use made of them by others. They are interesting in themselves if you are interested in buying or selling art as it becomes clear that the artist does have some rights to his art even after it leaves his ownership.

I hope this is useful to whoever winds up reading this.

Gallery Consignment Agreement

This is a typical agreement with a gallery for exhibition and sale of artwork through a gallery. It is used by a lot of galleries with minor changes.

Commissioned Artwork Consignment Agreement
(Stair Railing)

This is a typical agreement with a homeowner for custom architectural ornamentation. In this case it was a stair railing for a San Francisco Victorian home.

Transfer of Original Artwork

This document details the rights of the original artist and what the new owners can and can't do, in a legal sense. This is an important document to become familiar with if you are interested in owning art.

Certificate of Authenticity

This certificate shold accompany all original artwork, as well as limited editions. It gives details about the piece and information about it's background. It should accompany the artwork on it's journey through time.

Card Contract

This is a contract for royalties for distant reproduction of notecards, sales of them and rights and details.

Reproduction of Artwork

This is a contract for royalties for the production and distribution of T-Shirts with an image printed on them. There are a lot of particular details in this one worth reading to become familiar with your rights as both an artist and as a distributor.

Please note: All the images you see and the pages you see them on are covered by copyright laws and it's a lot cheaper to deal with me directly than not. Thanks for supporting the rights of the artists.

Copyright 1995 - 2001 by Michael Dunn

All rights reserved


P O Box 455
Boulder Creek

Phone: 408-395-0881


Last updated on November 23, 2001