Contents: Introduction plenary Session Abstracts: Towards Museums of the Future


Legal Aspects of Museum Marketing Techniques



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Legal Aspects of Museum Marketing Techniques


Mark Swiney, General Legal Counsel, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
There are many familiar marketing techniques used by museums: Renting museum space for parties, receptions; holding lectures, seminars at the museum; operating a restaurant and gift shop;

staffing the museum with volunteers, students, retired persons; reproduction of museum artefacts in textbooks, magazines; reproduction of museum art on gifts, cards, T-shirts; exhibition exchange between 2 or more museums; inviting school groups, clubs, conventions to visit; photographers who use the museum as background.

All these marketing methods have legal aspects, risks that must be addressed, rights and duties. Legal documents must be written which will protect the parties. For example, a contract for reproduction of artwork in a textbook must state whether the textbook company may alter the image. Suppose one museum lends its artefact to another museum; which one should be responsible for insurance? Suppose a private person lends his or her artwork to a museum; who is liable for injury to the artwork?

This paper will cover the contractual issues and documents involved in these marketing techniques, liability issues, ownership rights, and enforcement. Actual contracts will be shown and shared, as well as examples of experiences at our museums.






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