About the guideline

How does the guideline work?

Anybody who works within visual art can make use of the calculator, the checklist and the standard contract, all of which are part of the guideline. The calculator computes the minimum fee per artist per exhibition, depending on the duration of the exhibition, the number of participating artists, and the question whether it is a new or existing artwork that is presented. The guideline offers something to go by in the negotiation between artist and art institute, with regard to non-selling exhibitions. For any situation, the calculator computes the minimum amount from which negotiations can be reasonably conducted.

There is a checklist with subjects that can be discussed during negotiations about the fee. This list functions as a manual in the contract negotiations. There is also a standard agreement that can be downloaded and that may serve as an example, if necessary.

The guideline is based on the principles of ‘comply or explain’ and ‘comply and explain’. These principles, with an adjusted terminology, run parallel to the Cultural Governance Code. Which means: the guideline is applied, or, when it is not, this deviation will be motivated. Also when the guideline is applied, it is important to inform the contract partner well about its interpretation. Hence the additional principle of ‘comply and explain’. This means that in practice, as part of accountability and transparency, explanation is required in both cases.

In order to ensure a smooth and gradual implementation of the guideline, a run-up procedure was adopted. Until the end of 2019 a classification was employed based on turnover categories. For the institutes with a turnover of up to € 500,000, a run-up percentage of 50% of the standard fee based on the guideline was possible. The run-up percentage for institutes with a turnover of more than €500,000 was 70%. By 2021 the payments to artists should be at the required minimum level.

Experimental regulation

Visual art institutes in the Netherlands who apply the guideline can ask the Mondriaan Fund for partial compensation of the artists’ fees through the temporary ‘experimental regulation’. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has made a budget available for this.


Before 2017 the Netherlands did not have any remuneration guideline or model with a national effect. Every museum and every art platform employed its own payment policy for visual artists.

In order to gain a better understanding of practices, Beeldende Kunst Nederland (Visual Art in the Netherlands, BKNL) conducted research among art museums, art platforms and visual artists, and made an inventory of the fees at non-selling exhibitions, which revealed that in two thirds of cases there was no artist’s fee. Both artists and institutes indicated that they needed help or a flexible guideline to be able to streamline the variety of agreements better and to improve accountability. In 2016 the visual art sector joined forces to professionalize contract practices and to come to better agreements and consensus about fees. The members of BKNL took the initiative for a practical guideline that was launched on 1 January 2017.

Early 2017 the guideline and the accompanying websites were officially presented in the presence of Minister Bussemaker of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), the chair of the Social-Economic Council (SER) Mariëtte Hamer, and the chair of the Council for Culture, Marijke van Hees. By signing a covenant, various organisations and art institutes ratified the guideline. The broad support for the guideline shows the strength of the visual art field and the value of mutual consent and good cooperation. With this guideline, the sector demonstrates social entrepreneurship and gives concrete form to improving the employment situation of artists.

To encourage the application of the guideline, the Mondriaan Fund offers an experimental regulation that provides partial compensation of institutes that apply the guideline. The government, through the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, has made a budget available for this.

The effectiveness of the guideline is monitored by BKNL. Research from 2018 shows that the guideline has already caught on in the first year after its introduction. The number of museums and institutes that remunerate artists has doubled in one year. Around 80 percent of artists and 90 percent of the museums and art institutes are acquainted with the guideline. Two thirds of the institutes indicate that they actually apply the guideline; which is striking, because before the introduction of the guideline two thirds of institutes still did not pay any fees. A grant from the Mondriaan Fund turns out to be crucial in this effect. The guideline is appreciated as clear and well applicable in practice. Both artists and institutes feel strengthened in the discussion about remuneration. The guideline leads to better payments in non-selling exhibitions and a professional contract practice.