Friday, March 18, 2011

Liability in Oregon

According to Oregon Statues 359.200 to 359.255, “'Art dealer'” means an individual, partnership, firm, association or corporation, other than a public auctioneer, that undertakes to sell a work of fine art created by another."

Section 359.210 (c), states: "A consignee [the dealer] is liable for the loss of or damage to the work of fine art while it is in the consignee’s possession where such loss or damage is caused by the failure of the consignee to use the highest degree of care. For the purpose of this subsection, the value of the work of fine art is the value established in a written agreement between the consignor and consignee prior to the loss or damage or, if no written agreement regarding the value of the work of fine art exists, the artist’s portion of the fair market value of the work of fine art."

And, furthermore, in 359.230: "Any provision of a contract or agreement whereby the consignor waives any of the provisions of ORS 359.200 to 359.255 is void. [1981 c.410 §7]."

Meaning, at least in Oregon, anyone showing or offering your work for sale -- regular art dealer, nonprofit gallery, virtually anyone acting in the capacity of art dealer -- is liable for the damage or loss, under normal circumstances, and anything that person makes you sign to the contrary isn't worth the paper it's written on.

I believe that you cannot sign away a right a law gives you, in this or any other state. I have a sharp lawyer looking into this whole question of liability for art work and will report on what I learn later.

No comments:

Post a Comment