Lately, I have been asked this question by curators that insure Art Exhibitions. There is silence when I ask if you are a curator or dealer. I feel it is essential to distinguish the difference.
An Art Curator has many roles when mounting a show; What is the exhibition about? Is the reason for the show the promotion of the Gallery, Artist, Collection, or yourself? All have a common thread… the “Consignment Agreement.”
Focusing on the Consignment Agreement terms is where I look to help design the right policy for the show. Usually, this transaction comes with two different approaches to this agreement. When the work is consigned to the show, is it for just show or sale?
If the Artwork being shown is Just for display, an exhibition policy is offered to protect the art for the consignment amount and transit wall-to-wall. Wall-to-wall or Nail-to-Nail has a meaning. To insure Artwork from the time of pick, during transit, storage, exhibition, and on return to the source.
I usually add a few extra days to the policy so the insured is not caught without coverage because Insurance always ends at 12:01 am. Quite often, this will not change the insurance cost. Adding 2 to 3 extra days will take care of any unforeseen delays.
When the work is for sale, and the curator or venue receives compensation, like a commission, selling fee, or a donation, then the Curator or Venue can be classified as a dealer.
A dealer policy is a year-long policy; the work does not have to be scheduled. There is an established limit for all exhibitions; transit and storage of the art. It works similarly to a collector’s Blanket policy, based on limits, not items. It is covered on a blanket Limit and is not limited to this single exhibition. You will have coverage for all your shows for the year. Also, there is no time restriction for returning the art after the show. It is still a wall-to-wall or nail-to-nail type of policy. As for the cost, it is usually about even with an exhibition-type policy.
In conclusion, both types of policies protect the owner of art in a curated show. Like all Insurance, I recommend reviewing the policy wording to understand the evaluations, limits, conditions, and coverages.