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Contracts For Commissions


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"The nice thing about commissions is having a contract, “upfront” money and knowing the client is legally obligated to completing the transaction. The client also knows I must meet my obligation to finish the sculpture." ... Dick


Please write about what is involved with establishing a contract when making an agreement to do a commission for a client.


-Why or why not a contract.


-How does one do it?


-Downpayment, and what does that entail, holding the funds or depositing and using them, or other considerations...


-How legal are they? Is there room for flex?


-What else? You figure out what else to ask or write about this topic, please.

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Here is a copy of the contract that I have been using for years. It has all of the basic information needed to bind both parties. The price, how payments will be made by the client and date of completion are included. The responsibility of the client to provide the base and the method of attachment are very important, as in this case, a large outdoor bronze. The first payment is non-refundable because most of the sculptor’s work, on sketches, small models and most important the final clay, is completed at this point and the client has the option of canceling the project if they are not satisfied with the piece. This contract is for a cast bronze but can be easily adapted for any type of art. I never start the final piece until I have a signed contract. Sketches and clay or wax models which may be cast in bronze are produced for the client to get the commission and have to be eaten if the commission is lost. That is always a possibility especially when entering competitions. I hope this is helpful. I had to learn the hard way. Each state differs so run your contract by an attorney the first time.



Art Commission Contract


This agreement is made by and between:


(Artist name and address)


(Client name and address)


The parties agree as follows:

(Client) is commissioning (Artist) to sculpt, cast and finish a one and one half life size bronze portrait bust of ……..The piece will be provided with bolts to attach it to a base which will be provided by (Client). This bust is to be completed within one year of the signing of this contract.

The price is ($00000.00)

a. One-third non-refundable deposit required to start ($0000.00)

b. One-third payment due upon completion and approval of original sculpture prior to mould making and casting.($0000.00)

c. Final third due upon completion and delivery of artwork ($0000.00).


IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto have executed this Agreement on the day and year written below.



(Artist) Date



(Client) Date


_____________________________ Date


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