Whether you are an art collector, an art investor, or a little of both, you want to make sure that you understand all the legal ramifications of the piece of art you are purchasing or selling. To this end, there are lawyers who have experience in this area of law concerning various forms of art, such as paintings and sculptures. The following are a few things that this type of lawyer can do for you.
To draft or review seller and buyer agreements
If you are in the process of buying or selling fine art, there's going to be paperwork involved. Both the buyer and seller should understand what is involved, so there is little chance of a misunderstanding. If it is a private sale, both parties must agree on what is being bought and sold, as well as the transportation of the art piece, and the insurance involved. If you sell at an auction, it is important to have an attorney look at the rules and regulations of the auction, and the legal rights you have as a seller. The same holds true for selling your artwork on consignment with an art dealer.
To draft or review lending agreements
There may be times when you would like to loan your artwork to a museum or allow it to be a part of an exhibition — perhaps one that travels throughout the country or your city. Agreements between you and those putting on the exhibit or the museum who wants to borrow your art need to be drafted. Even if the artwork is of moderate value, and a standard lending agreement is proposed by the borrower, an attorney should review the contract before you sign it. Another contract that an art attorney should be involved in is licensing for reproduction. If your fine art is both popular and recent enough, in other words not in the public domain, there may be a demand for reproductions.
They can aid in authenticating the provenance of an art piece
As fine art appreciates in value or has a high market value, there is an ever-increasing likelihood of fraud and forgery. Although an expert may authenticate a piece of art by examination, it is the artwork's provenance that his or her assistance is critical. A piece of art will have an established history, starting from when the art was created and every person who owned it along the way until its present owner. It is in the paper trail that an attorney can assist you in verifying. A high degree of provenance combined with the opinion of an expert in fine arts will give you the highest degree of authentication.
It is crucial to have an art lawyer assist you with contracts for buying, selling, and lending, as well as authenticating the provenance of your fine art. To learn more, contact an art lawyer in your area.