Home › Forums › Art Chat › Galleries asking us to sign “no responsibility” agreements › Reply To: Galleries asking us to sign “no responsibility” agreements
The first gallery that asked me to sign a no-responsibility contract WAS SugarMynt. It was for a Michael Myers show. I’d already done the work by the time I realized it was in the contract, so I said I could participate in the one show but not future shows if they couldn’t take responsibility for my work while it was in their possession. I haven’t been invited back. The second one does insure original art; they are asking me to sign a contract saying they can’t take responsibility for missing or damaged merchandise, like prints. They also prefer exclusivity with the merch in their store. It was in the contact, though when I asked about it they said it was just a suggestion. I proposed doing exclusive pieces/prints just for them if l they could insure both originals and merch. I have not heard back. Now, truth be told, I tend for be forgiving if one or two prints can’t be found or a frame gets dinged up in storage. Sometimes I just drop things off with galleries I trust. But to ask me to sign something like this means they take NO responsibility, They said prints are the least likely to get stolen, but to me that’s not the point. The point is that they are asking ME to gamble, while they don’t have to. One or two people I know who sell lots of prints say that “sadly, this is what a lot of stores do,” but most galleries I work with would take responsibility. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be understanding of the gallery’s position and how expensive insurance is. We could carry our own insurance…though this still lets them off the hook and keeps us entirely on, for both the responsibility and the cost. But this kind of contract means the law in entirely on their side and not on ours. If a gallery carries insurance and things go missing, we are all covered. I really hope other artists will ask galleries to stay insured and help legally protect our merch, so we aren’t the only losers when things go awry. It might cost us a showing or a little income here or there when we have to refuse contracts, but then we know that we are not just resigned to no-responsibility to becoming the wave of the future.