One of my works was damaged while on display in a gallery.

Can the gallery deduct any money from the insurance claim as commission?

As the work has been damaged while on display, the gallery has neglected their duty of care over the work. Since the sale price is a good indicator of insurance value the artist should receive this amount in full, if the work cannot be repaired.

It is also worth noting that the work remains the property of the artist until it is sold and paid in full.  A commission agreement between a gallery and artist applies only to the sale of work.  Since the work has not been sold, it would be wrong for the gallery to take a cut.

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This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material. The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.