State Variance in Gallery Laws

Most artists would be justifiably thrilled to have their art in galleries in several states. But having art in galleries across the country raises some tough legal problems.

Unlike intellectual property law, which is generally consistent across the country, laws relating to artist-gallery relationships vary from state to state. Eighteen states have no relevant laws on the books, which means that artists should file paperwork to declare their ownership of the art, when sending it to gallery.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia require written contracts between the artist and gallery, but when possible the terms of the consignment should always be in writing.

Your rights also vary from state-to-state. In Massachusetts, for example, you are entitled to contact information of the people who buy your art, and some states entitle the artist damages if they are not paid within a certain period of time.

If you have questions about the law in a state where you display your art, drop us a line.