Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, and Retail Price for exhibitions are sometimes confused usually because of inexperience and good intentions, but with negative consequences and hard feelings if an insurance claim becomes necessary.
This is why a recommendation will be made here.
ALWAYS CLEARLY WRITE DOWN on the exhibition contract:
the INSURANCE VALUE; and
the WHOLESALE PRICE; and
the RETAIL PRICE.
I also write this on the Professional Guidelines Condition Report when I send my work to an exhibition.
Defining each term on the contract by a dollar value avoids confusion.
Here is an example:
RETAIL PRICE: $ 3,000
WHOLESALE PRICE: $ 1,500
INSURANCE VALUE: $ 1,500
NEVER use the term "ARTIST PRICE" on a contract or in a discussion. The term "Artist Price" has too many definitions to be a reliable term. Interpretations of an "artist's price" range from a special discounted price off wholesale to a special retail price.
ALWAYS LIST THE RETAIL PRICE even if the exhibition sponsor does not have a space for it on the loan form. Write in the Retail Price yourself, if necessary, between the lines or in the margin.
If art or craft is borrowed from a collector that paid retail, then there is no wholesale price and the insurance value is the retail price.
RETAIL PRICE: $ 3,000
INSURANCE VALUE: $ 3,000
Keep this as clear and straightforward as you can.
Recently I was in an exhibition at an established museum. An inexperienced intern was in charge of the exhibition paperwork (a cost-cutting measure that had huge consequences). The loan form from the museum only had a place to write the "insurance value". The artists wrote in the insurance value as the wholesale price. That is correct, but the museum then sold the artwork at those wholesale values instead of the retail prices. What a mess!
This confusion didn't happen with my work because I wrote down both the retail price and wholesale price, but I do know that at least one artist had her work sold at wholesale! The artist lost the potential of establishing a new "higher retail price" for her work and the museum expected to pay the artist half the wholesale price. Bad news! The museum fixed the mistake at their loss. What a shame! A huge opportunity cost for everyone involved.
Avoid confusion. Always list the retail price, wholesale price, and insurance value on your contract and Condition Report.
Previous posts about Insurance Value, Wholesale Price & Retail Price:
In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money defines the terms.
In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING clarifies which value to use during shipping.
This post was updated on June 17, 2022, to provide current links.