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;
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.