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 Conceptual Art Loan Agreement

Kristen Rudy's profile image
Kristen Rudy posted 11-15-2023 04:31 PM


I was wondering if anyone could share an example of a loan agreement for a conceptual work of art. The artist will be lending their idea and plan for the work but we will be fabricating the physical object. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Peter Cowdin's profile image
Peter Cowdin

You should send them an idea for a contract...

John Fraser's profile image
John Fraser

This is a very simple contract.  They are giving you a licensing agreement where you will produce and present the artifacts only for the life of the exhibition, and all IP is owned by the artist. Since they are the "offerer" and retain the IP for their work, they should be the ones that generate the contract and specify the terms. Then you can decide if you want to work with them or negotiate terms that you find problematic.  It's the same as a performance contract.  This is definitely not a loan agreement.  It's a fabrication and performance agreement. And the artist also has to provide you specific information on the approvals they require to ensure it falls within the parameters of the contract. Use of their name, descriptions in media, derivative works, images representing the idea on postcards, posters, media releases, t-shirts, etc... For example, they send you an instruction to build a box.  You make it from plywood and they say, "but I wanted you to make it from Rice Krispies and marshmallows."  And you say, it meets the terms of the contract, so we are still going to call it your idea.  If your lawyers are generating the contract, they should start from something like a set-designer contract from theater. You also need to be really clear about liability. If they specify a swinging ax triggered by someone walking through a doorway that would cause harm to anyone, you have to be clear on liability for injury that results from the realization of an "idea" that caused unintended harms to others.  Ideas are fluid, lawsuits are not.