Friday Tips: Question From A Reader: Consignment Sheets

I received this question last week from David Platt:

Q: Consignment Sheets. What should be on them, how long should a gallery keep your work, insurance policy, etc. In other words, what paperwork is involved in showing art at a gallery? What are the pit-falls an artist should be aware of?

A: The best way I can answer this is by posting, below, one of our consignment sheets:

Name of Artist Date
Street Address
City, State Zip

To Whom it May Concern:

This is to confirm that Annie Artist, painter, has consigned to Leopold Gallery the following oil paintings:
1) Disoriented, 24×30, oil on panel, $2600.

2)Field Decay, 24×30, oil on panel, $2600.

3)Dust, 24×30, oil on panel, $2600.

4)Wet Spring, 24×24, oil on panel, $1700.

These works are consigned for as long as the artist is content with Leopold’s business practices and sales performance. The works listed will be insured for their appraised worth against loss or damage for any reason whatever by Leopold Gallery. Leopold Gallery is to receive a commission of 50% of gross on any sales that are made, or from any insurance claim. Leopold Gallery pledges to pay Annie Artist within 30 days of any sales that are made.

With sufficiency acknowledged, I sign my name to the above in good faith.

Paul Dorrell                                                                Annie Artist

Please note that this document is not greatly binding. I base my relationships with artists on mutual honor, and earned trust, more than a piece of paper. However this does state that the work is insured, it lists the specific works, and when the artist will be paid. After filling out this sheet, we then enter the works into our Quickbooks system for purposes of tracking inventory. These aspects are essential. Any gallery that doesn’t cover this territory, is a gallery you should not consign work to.

By the by, while my commission is 50% with painters and photographers,it is 40% with sculptors, ceramists and glass artists. Why? Because their expenses are greater than those of painters. Do all galleries make this a practice? No, but I feel they should. In fact I feel it should be an industry standard, if there were such a thing.

If anyone else wishes to send me a question, just email it to: It’ll get to me sooner or later.

3 thoughts on “Friday Tips: Question From A Reader: Consignment Sheets

  1. I’ve used a similar inventory database printout for many years and create two copies of consignment works, one for the gallery to keep and a signed one for my records. The data lists both new work and work already in stock (separately) and the total number of paintings being retained. When the gallery signs my copy, it acts as a confirmed inventory check of exactly what they have of mine. I also state that the work will be paid for within 30 days of sale and a 10% discount may be given at the gallery’s discretion. Have to admit, I haven’t included the insurance part, but never had a problem, knock wood. KJ

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