- by Always Art Staff

When you partner with a gallery, you will have to sign a contract for sales made of your artwork. It is important to have a clear understanding of these documents so that you do not wind up in a misunderstanding and so that you clearly know what you are entitled to within each sale. Here are the components of the sales contract that you should check for and what they mean.

  • Price: This should outline the price of the artwork, as well as any sales tax, delivery charges, or other fees owed, plus the total.
  • Commit date: This is the date the sale is made, which is when it becomes legally binding. This should also include the names of the parties involved, including the artist and/or gallery and the buyer.
  • Size: Include the dimensions of the piece, as these are highly correlated to price and will be tracked over time throughout your career and through the provenance of each work.
  • Details of the work: This includes the title, date of creation, location of the signature, the medium, framing specifications, and edition (if applicable).
  • Rights statement: This is like a copyright clause that explains what rights each party has to the images.
  • Signatures: The document is not legally binding until it is sold, so ensure both parties have signed the form.
  • Contact info: Include the name, phone number, address, and email of both the artist and the buyer.

You can find sample contracts online which you can use if you sell without a gallery; however, if you sell through a gallery, they will have their own contract forms. They will also have stipulations about commission, so make sure you have those discussions before you agree to work together so that you understand clearly how much you will make off a sale.

If you are ever unclear about your documents or the contract, always contact a lawyer for input or explanation so that you can be sure you do not agree to something detrimental. Don’t enter an agreement quickly or sign anything you don’t understand or consent to.

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