In the September issue of American Artist, our art business article discussed how collectors rely on certificates of authenticity–and how some states legally require artists to supply them to consumers. Here, we explore some of the specifics regarding the statutes some states have passed.
|States have different laws in place for fine-art prints and more. Be aware
of these in your own state for the good of your fine art business.
Fourteen states have passed statutes requiring publishers of art prints to supply certificates of authenticity to the buyer. These certificates are essentially the same, but they can vary slightly from state to state. Below are key provisions required by certain states, as reported by the Art Publishers Association, based in Jackson, Michigan. This list is not exhaustive–it only covers the major state requirements. Before preparing a certificate of authenticity for your prints, you should consult your attorney.
(The number in parentheses after each item denotes the number of states that list the requirement.)
—name of the artist (13)
—year printed, year the plate was created (13)
—number of prints that are signed/numbered, signed only, and unsigned/unnumbered (13)
—number of proofs that are signed/numbered, signed only, and unsigned/unnumbered (13)
—edition size (13)
—type of print (12)
—restrike edition? (12)
—posthumous edition? (11)
—status of artist signature (9)
—edition is part of a series of editions — regular artist proof, canvas transfer (8)
—name of workshop/printer, and location (8)
—status of plate/master — reworked, destroyed, on file (8)
—print published in book or magazine (2)
The following states have passed fine-art print laws: