Exhibition Payment Guidance for Museums working with Visual Artists

a-n is the UK’s largest membership organisation supporting 20,000+ professional visual artists. Through a-n and its artist advisory council (AIR) the Paying Artists Campaign was launched in 2014 in response to the needs and aspirations of members, supported by evidential research demonstrating the impact on artists of poor payment practice. The Paying Artists Sector Consultation (2014-2016) was delivered by a-n and AIR, with DHA Communications, and collected the views of almost 2,000 individuals drawn from all areas of the sector.

Museums and visual artists are increasingly working together and it’s easy to see why: for artists museums provide a unique opportunity to engage with rich and unusual contexts, while museums benefit from the reinterpretation of their collections, breathing in new life and attracting and diversifying audiences. Yet a-n’s research has shown that the majority of artists are not receiving payment for exhibiting in publicly funded institutions.

Two years after launching the Paying Artist campaign, and after extensive consultation and testing, the Exhibition Payment Guidance has now been published. It is endorsed by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland – with all three setting expectations for how their funded organisations remunerate artists for exhibitions.

Exhibition Payment is a payment to artists which values their singular contribution to the success of publicly-funded exhibitions, and ensures diversity in public programming for the long term so that all artists can afford to take up opportunities within publicly-funded organisations.

a-n’s guidance and framework provides advice on payments within the context of exhibitions or other visual arts presentation to the public, and best practice to inform museums’ approaches to working with and paying artists.

Download the Exhibition Payment Guide:

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