Guideline artists’ fees

The guideline for artists’ fees was jointly developed, using the input of all the interested art organisations and associations in the art world in the Netherlands, united in BKNL*. By producing this guideline, the field is working together to promote a more professional contract practice in non-selling exhibitions.

The following guideline aims to professionalise contract and negotiation practice with regard to artists’ fees, by paying artists – under certain conditions – for their work relating to non-selling exhibitions and other presentations (hereinafter called exhibitions), separate from their expense allowance.

The guideline is based on the ‘comply or explain’ principle and comes into force on 1 January 2017.
It does not apply to contracts entered into before 1 January 2017.
The effectiveness of the guideline and other implementation aspects will be monitored and evaluated after a year.

1. Definitions

Art institute: an organisation in the Netherlands which is open to the public and which exhibits art and presents art and/or heritage and whose core activity is not selling.

Artist: the person who professionally creates works within the framework of the artistic profession.

Art: contemporary and current forms of expression created by artists within one or more of the following areas:

  • drawing, painting and graphic art,
  • sculpture, (social) sculpture and installation art,
  • conceptual art, performance art, artistic studies,
  • non-traditional forms of art,
  • photography,
  • audiovisual, digital, sound and (new) media art,
  • visual art applications,
  • art in public space.

Contracting parties: the art institute and the artist entering into a contract with regard to the work of the artist for an exhibition.

Artists’ fees: the payment agreed between the contracting parties relating to work performed for an exhibition, separate from an expense allowance.

New work: work done by the artist on behalf of or at the request of the art institute and/or work selected by the curator which has never previously been exhibited in a public exhibition.

Existing work: work that needs no modifications and which has already been presented in a public exhibition.

Modification to existing work: work that does not fall within the categories of new work or existing work. This might be existing work that needs to be executed again or work required to modify an installation to fit into the exhibition area.

Activities: a wide range of activities, separate from producing the work, which relate to the organisation of an event or exhibition, including any guest curatorship.

Solo exhibition: an exhibition featuring works by one artist.

Duo exhibition: an exhibition featuring works by two artists exhibiting their work together.

Group exhibition: an exhibition featuring works by two or more artists.

2. Remuneration


Where artists’ fees are concerned, remuneration relates to four different areas:

  1. producing new work and/or modifying existing work (labour),
  2. work (labour) related to producing work for an exhibition,
  3. work for an event or exhibition (labour),
  4. contributing work owned by the artist for an exhibition (usage).
Standard remuneration

Standard remuneration is shown in minimum payments, derived from preliminary studies carried out by SiRM / PPCM for BKNL*. These amounts form the basis for negotiations above the minimum. The remuneration amounts are given in a table in Appendix 1.

The standard remuneration for contributory performance (1), (2) and (4) is based on the statutory minimum wage on 1 July 2016 and thus applicable for the year 2017. The amounts are indexed annually on the basis of the development of the statutory minimum wage between 1 July of the current year and 1 July of the previous year.

The minimum amounts apply as a guideline for art institutes with an annual turnover up to 500,000. Museums and presentation institutions with a turnover above 500,000 euros are expected to increase the remuneration in all reasonableness and in agreement with the artists. This is governed by the ‘comply or explain’ principle.

For contributory performances (1), (2) and (4), the guideline is a remuneration system with standard and standardised minimum­ amounts per artist and per exhibition, for non-selling exhibitions and other presentations, separate from payment of an expense allowance.

For exhibitions with combinations of ‘new work’, ‘existing work’ or ‘modified existing work’, the category with the highest remuneration determines the minimum payment to the artist.

For contributory performance (3), there is a variable remuneration which corresponds with the salary (including holiday allowance and surcharge for employers’ contributions) of a member of staff doing similar tasks at the art institute.

Production allowance

For contributory performance (1) and (2), there is a standard fixed production allowance.

Usage fee

For contributory performance (4), there is a standard monthly usage fee. The usage fee is paid for at least 1 month and a maximum of 12 months.

Duo and group exhibitions

The production allowance and the usage fee for duo and group exhibitions are derived from the payments for solo exhibitions.

3. Assimilation process

Payments to artists should be at the required minimum level by 2020. In 2017, an assimilation percentage of at least 50 percent of the standard remuneration from the guideline will be applied. At the end of 2017, this will be adjusted based on monitoring of the guideline.

4. Comply or explain

Within the guideline, the ‘comply or explain’ principle applies. That means: the guideline is either applied or an explanation provided in the case of any deviation.

5. Checklist

For the application of the guideline, a checklist in Appendix 2 provides support and assistance during the contract discussions.

6. Monitoring

The chosen standard principles, the effectiveness of the guideline and the execution aspects during the introduction process will be evaluated a year after the end of the experimental regulation. Elements which may be addressed are: how the guideline and the checklist are applied, the financial consequences involved for the institutions, the effects on the number of exhibitions, the standard principles chosen in the preliminary study, the definitions chosen in the covenant and the assimilation percentage.

* Beeldende Kunst Nederland (BKNL) is an informal consultative body of organisations which defends the interests of artists, museums, presentation institutions and galleries in the Netherlands. BKNL represents Platform BK, Kunstenbond, Kunsten ‘92, the Beroepsvereniging van Beeldend Kunstenaars (BBK), the Nederlandse Galerie Associatie (NGA) and the lobby association for presentation institutions for De Zaak Nu. The Mondriaan Fund facilitates and coordinates BKNL.

Appendix 1 – Minimum remuneration

Appendix 2 – Checklist

  1. Definitions
  2. Remuneration
  3. Assimilation process
  4. Comply or explain
  5. Checklist
  6. Monitoring