Checklist for artists, museums and art platforms in contract negotiations

The following list functions as a guide in the contract negotiations. It is not intended to be complete, but can be extended or shortened to meet the needs of the situation.

  • Assume fair practice, good commissioning and good contractor practices.
  • The amounts in the guideline are negotiable. Museums and art platforms with a turnover of more than 500,000 euros are expected to increase the amounts within reason and in mutual agreement.
  • In the contract negotiations, start with agreements about the fee. This will prevent the fee from becoming the last item on the list.
  • Reach agreement in advance about the duty of care, liability and insurance.
  • In the contract discussions, make clear agreements for the beginning and identify specific moments to adjust those agreements during the process where necessary. Formalise the agreements in writing, partly based on a model contract.
  • Discuss in advance whether the exhibiting art institute will purchase art works at the end of the exhibition. If so, any purchasing options and conditions should be explicitly recorded.
  • Discuss in advance a possible arrangement relating to the sale to third parties of work for which the art institute has given a production fee.
  • Organise the process in phases, such as for example the following:
    • the preliminary design phase;
    • the definitive design phase;
    • the production phase;
    • delivery;
    • any transfer of ownership.
  • Identify the invoicing moments for each phase, the percentage that can be invoiced at any moment.
  • Identify VAT liability and the applicable VAT rate.
  • Employ a payment period of one month maximum.
  • Artist and art institute should check the possibility of external financing together.
  • Make clear agreements about whether the work fits into the category of ‘new work’, ‘modification to existing work’, or ‘existing work’.
  • Consider in advance what will happen after the exhibition, what the rights and duties are of the art institute and the artist.
  • As an artist, consider taking on a business advisor and obtaining legal advice.
  • As an artist, consider joining Pictoright for the management of your individual copyright. This may save you a lot of time tracking work, making phone calls and negotiating. As an artist you are then assured that your work will only be published with your consent and for reasonable fees based on collective governance arrangements.
Aspects of remuneration (as condition to the guideline)

Beforehand, make a budget/tender for the following:

  • costs of production and materials;
  • budgeted work hours, the invoicing process and the justification of work hours to be invoiced;
  • advance payments;
  • travel costs, other expenses and per diem.

In addition, make joint agreements about:

  • the tender procedure and the decision making process;
  • whether the exhibition concerns new work or modification to existing work commissioned by or at the request of the institute;
  • any co-production work for the event or exhibition (sub-activity 3), for which the standard fee corresponds with the salary of a staff member doing similar tasks at the art institute (including holiday allowance and a 30% surcharge for the employer contributions);
  • any additional work outside the sub-activities 1 through 4 (additional/less work) may only be done in consultation and at an agreed rate or otherwise if parties decide accordingly and for a daily payment, based on the minimum income, of at least € 100 excl. of VAT;
  • promotional support by the artist and presence of the artist at events relating to the exhibition such as a lecture for a friends’ association or for sponsors;
  • security, conditioning of work, protection from loss, theft or damage;
  • transport costs;
  • non-financial remuneration such as media/PR attention via the art institute and the availability of the artist for press interviews;
  • the possible availability of free copies of publications and tickets;
  • production and creation of promotional material and catalogues;
  • technical support either via the artist or via the art institute;
  • use of third parties and support staff;
  • use of data and information, and the confidentiality of data;
  • handling of uncertainties and disputes.