Businesses and Professions

Works of Art – Artists' Rights

SECTION 5-62-7

§ 5-62-7. Artists – Art merchant relationships.

(a) Notwithstanding any custom, practice or usage of the trade, any provision of the Uniform Commercial Code or any other law, statute, requirement or rule, or any agreement, note, memorandum or writing to the contrary:

(1) Whenever an artist or craftperson, his or her heirs or personal representatives, delivers or causes to be delivered a work of fine art, craft or a print of his or her own creation to an art merchant for the purpose of exhibition and/or sale on a commission, fee or other basis of compensation, the delivery to an acceptance of the work or print by the art merchant establishes a cosignor/cosignee relationship as between the artist or craftsperson and the art merchant with respect to the work, and:

(i) The cosignee shall thereafter be deemed to be the agent of the cosignor with respect to the work;

(ii) The work is trust property in the hands of the cosignee for the benefit of the cosignor;

(iii) Any proceeds from the sale of the work are trust funds in the hands of the cosignee for the benefit of the cosignor;

(iv) The work shall remain trust property notwithstanding its purchase by the cosignee for his or her own account until the price is paid in full to the cosignor; provided that, if the work is resold to a bona fide third party before the cosignor has been paid in full, the resale proceeds are trust funds in the hands of the cosignee for the benefit of the cosignor to the extent necessary to pay any balance still due to the cosignor and the trusteeship shall continue until the fiduciary obligation of the cosignee with respect to the transaction is discharged in full; and

(v) No trust property or trust funds shall be subject or subordinate to any claims, liens or security interest of any kind or nature whatsoever.

(2) Waiver of any provision of this section is absolutely void except that a cosignor may lawfully waive the provisions of paragraph (1)(iii) of this subsection, if the waiver is clear, conspicuous, in writing and subscribed by the cosignor, provided:

(i) No waiver shall be valid with respect to the first two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) of gross proceeds of sales received in any twelve (12) month period commencing with the date of the execution of the waiver;

(ii) No waiver shall be valid with respect to the proceeds of a work initially received on consignment but subsequently purchased by the cosignee directly or indirectly for his or her own account; and

(iii) No waiver shall inure to the benefit of the cosignee's creditors in any manner which might be inconsistent with the cosignor's rights under this section.

(3) Proceeds from the sale of cosigned works covered by this section shall be deemed to be revenue from the sale of tangible goods, and not revenue from the provision of services to the cosignor or others, except that the provisions of this paragraph do not apply to proceeds from the sale of cosigned works sold at public auction.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to have any effect upon any written or oral contract or arrangement in existence prior to September 1, 2000, or to any extensions or renewals of a contract, except by mutual written consent of the parties of the contract.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2000, ch. 429, § 2.)