All sellers must be able to guarantee the authenticity of the works they list, and clearly communicate the artist’s involvement.
Sellers may list ephemera, books, exhibition posters and collectibles related to an artist, however, you must accurately represent the extent of the artist's involvement. You must also have the right to sell these items.
Generally speaking, only items that have been or would be authenticated by an artist, their estate or authorized body may be listed as “by the artist” (for historic works, use the generally accepted attribution and be sure to qualify any attribution nuances in the classification field and artwork description). All other items must be listed as “after” the artist. Any listings that violate artist copyright are not allowed to be listed on Artsy.
How to list ephemera, merchandise and multiples
A common mistake is to list exhibition posters as prints. Please select the medium type poster and classify these listings as ephemera.
Merchandise should be listed as design/decorative art, and classified as editioned multiple or non-editioned multiple; never as limited edition.
Only use “Print” if a work was made using traditional printing techniques, such as lithographs, etchings, or aquatints.
What is a Certificate of Authenticity?
If an artwork is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, you can note this by checking the “Certificate of Authenticity” box in CMS. A common mistake when listing a work is to state that it is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, when in fact the accompanying document is a gallery-issued statement, original invoice, or other documentation.
A certificate of authenticity (COA) is a signed document from an authoritative source that verifies the artwork’s authenticity. A COA should almost always be signed by the artist, authorized estate or foundation. In rarer cases, a printmaker may sign a COA.
We typically consider it misleading for a gallery to issue and sign a certificate of authenticity, although there may be rare exceptions. COAs typically include the name of the artist, the details (title, date, medium, dimensions) of the work in question, and whenever possible an image of the work.
If you have relevant documentation that provides meaningful evidence of a work’s provenance or authenticity, but which is not a COA, you can reference this in the “about the work” section.
What constitutes artist involvement?
A work should be attributed to the entity, typically a person, who created the work.
Works that the artist, their studio, or their estate, were not directly involved in making, or where the involvement is unknown, should typically be listed as "After the artist." To do this, simply search for “After [Name of Artist]” as you would any other artist name and select or add as appropriate. For information regarding artist selection please refer to our help center articles here and here.
If a work was created posthumously, or was published by a third party (as is sometimes the case for prints, for instance), the production of these works must be authorized by either the artist's studio, their estate, or an authorized body. For more details, see our policy on Policy on unauthorized works here.
Listings cheat sheet for Prints, Multiples, Ephemera, and Merchandise
When to typically list a work by...
We understand there will always be exceptions. Please review our guidelines on the artist in question for further details, or contact us at [email protected]