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sample contract for completion of a commissioned work of art.

updated sat 1 sep 01


Stephani Stephenson on thu 30 aug 01

This is a sample contract for completion of a commissioned work of art..
I do not remember where I first obtained this. It is possible that it
originates from a book called "Making It Legal : A Law Primer for
Authors, Artists and Craftspeople". I usually prefer a 50% down /50%
completion agreement but I have used this particular arrangement on
three occasions , inserting items appropriate to the specific project.
with regard to artist making design modifications...if the modifications
are minor I just proceed, if they are somewhat significant or noticeable
I will run it by the client during the process. Thought this might be
helpful to some, to use or modify. There are other examples, some
shorter, maybe some better, this is just one I found and have used.

Stephani Stephenson
Carlsbad , CA

"On this .... day of... ,19___________, ____________________ has
selected the design and given the final approval for
________________________ to proceed with the creation of this work of

Materials: __________________________________________________________
Approximate size upon completion:
Price: _____________
Description of the Art Work:
Scope of the artists work:
Collector is responsible for:

1. Progress schedule and payments: Collector agrees to pay artist one
-third (1/3) of the cost of the Work ($ ________), at this time or
within ten days.
Collector agrees to pay an additional one -third (1/3) of the cost of
the Work when the Work is approximately (2/3) completed. Documentation
of the progress of the work may be made by photographs of the work or
by the personal inspection of the Collector at the discretion of the
Upon nearing completion of the Work the Artist will give the
Collector________ (__) days advance notice of specific date of delivery
so that the collector will be ready to receive the Work, make the final
payment ($__________) and sign the AGREEMENT OF ORIGINAL TRANSFER OF
a. It is hereby understood and agreed that it may not be possible to
create the Work exactly as depicted in the design, and the Artist shall
only be bound to use their best aesthetic judgment to create the Work
according to the style and intent of the design . The artist is hereby
free to make design modifications as the work progresses.
2. FINAL DELIVERY. The parties agree that final delivery of the work
will be made on or about ________________. The artist will make every
effort to honor and meet the deadline. It is agreed, however, that this
delivery date is an estimate only and that Artist shall not be
responsible for any general, special or consequential damages for
failing to deliver by this date, The artist will immediately notify
collector of any delay occurring or anticipated.
3. INSTALLATION. (insert terms of installation , if applicable)
4.DELAYED PAYMENTS.In the event the Collector fails to make the
progress payments when due, interest at the rate of 3/4 % (3/4%) per
month month shall be assessed against the unpaid balance due. In
addition, the Artist has the right to retain all previous payments plus
all rights to the work, until full payment is made. It is understood
that delay of any payment may proportionately extend the time required
to complete the work.
5. TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT. If Collector does not find the work as it
progresses fulfilling his /her expectations or needs and therefore
wishes to terminate the agreement, Collector shall immediately notify
the Artist of the termination. The artist shall therefore be entitled to
retain all payments which Artist has received or was entitled to receive
pursuant to this agreement prior to such notification. Further, the
Artist shall retain all rights to the concept, design and work itself,
including the right to complete, exhibit and sell the Work.
5.TRANSFER OF WORK OF ART. It is hereby stated and acknowledged that
Artist retains all rights and title to the work until final payment has
been duly completed and signed by the parties.
6. ATTORNEY=92S FEES. In any proceeding to enforce any part of the this
contract, the aggrieved party shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys=92
fees in addition to any available remedy.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties have hereunto set their hands

by __________________________________