FAQs and FGAs

In the following FAQs & FGAs - Frequently asked questions and frequently given answers - regarding the rental of art work:

I would like to rent art work...

The rental process - how does that work?

I am an artist...

Even more questions and information...

I would like to rent art work...

How should I choose the art work I want to rent? What else should I consider?

If you are interested in renting art work then you might want to visit the web sites of artists listed in the Participating Artists section, maybe you will find work you like. For companies it is sometimes interesting to give a voice to their staff: employees that are allowed to choose the artwork displayed in their immediate working environment will be more motivated and the overall social atmosphere will be improved.More questions to ask before contacting an artist:

  • How many works of art do you need?
  • Do you have an idea regarding sizes?
  • For how long do you want to rent? (Longer periods = relatively lower price; it is surely interesting to frequently exchange art work however, it also implies additional costs such as transportation, installation etc.)
  • When do you want to start?

A little advice: why don't you look up artists in your immediate neighborhood first - geographic proximity makes personal contacts and transportation much easier.

I am an entrepreneur/individual and interested in renting art. Who will give me advice, or do I have to request the services of an art consultant?

To request the services of a professional art consultant may sometimes make sense, however it is not obligatory in all cases. The difference between art consultant and artist is somehow similar to medical doctor and pharmacist: one has much knowledge, analyzes, diagnoses and then gives you a consultation; the other one however has many practical skills and knowledge of the matter, and may also be in a position to give you the support you need. So, it entirely depends on your personal situation if you need the advice of an highly qualified expert or if you can do with the recommendations of a hands-on practitioner. Unfortunately "art" often has an aura of something very elitist, and some people may feel insecure making own decisions in this field. On the other hand: art is being made by and for people, and ultimately you must be happy with the art work.
On account to this: if your project is small and manageable you should dare to follow your feelings and personal tastes when choosing art. If - in the worst case - it does not fit: renting art work isn't a commitment for a lifetime…
If your project however is rather complex and/or demanding, it may make sense to request the services of a professional: an art consultant or a curator. In the Art Collections and Consultation listing you might find an appropriate contact.

OK, now I know what I want. What are the next steps?

Go on and contact the artist you are interested in. In the Participating Artists section you will find all contact data such as phone numbers and email addresses. Invite him/her to your premises for a first, noncommittal conversation. If you have a very large space or special ideas do not hesitate to ask if he/she knows fellow artists to invite to this project: most artists have developed an extensive social network over the years.
In case you decided to request the professional services of a consultant, you should also make contact to determine conditions.

Does bilderpool broker art? Does bilderpool request fees?

No, bilderpool.org does not broker or rent art (and for this reason does neither request any fees). The main purpose for bilderpool.org is to inform artists and art lover about the proceedings of art rental. All contacts and eventually contracts are directly placed between artists (or consultant) and individual/renter.

I would like to receive an offer...

....and you will receive one as soon as you know what you want/need. Maybe you should also consider the following: what is your annual budget for art rental? If you want to rent art work for one year and have 500 Euro at your disposal, you could rent art work for a value of 5.000 Euro (Value of art work = 5.000 Euro; rental = 10 % per year = 500 Euro). Please note that prices of art rental may vary, i. e. individual artist may request higher or lower prices.
In case you contract a consultant, he/she will charge you a separate fee.

The rental process - how does that work?

How about insurance?

The renter has to take care of insurance. In most cases it is enough that he calls his/her agent to have included the work of art in the general household or company insurance policy. In most cases the annual fee stays unaffected.

How about transportation?

The transportation costs have to be covered by the renter (see: contract for the rental of art work). Artists usually have experience in shipping their works and certainly will be willing to give help and advice.

What happens if the renter wants to give back the art work before expiration of the contract?

This case is also ruled by the contract for the rental of art work: the contract can be dissolved with a target of *6 weeks* and then the works can be returned to the artist. However, this is also when the full rental fee is due - the renter has to pay rent for the entire contract period, no matter if he/she keeps the works or not.

How to proceed if the artists needs a work that has been rented for an exhibition?

According to the contract for the rental of art work the artist has the right to retrieve works for exhibition purposes. However, he/she must provide the renter with a comparable replacement. Also all shipping and handling costs are to be covered by the artist.

Does the artist have the right of access to his/her works?

In some cases (such as for taking photographs) the renter must grant the artist access to the art work. Of course, this has to be announced early, so that a date convenient for both parties can be fixed. On the other hand: the artist cannot expect to use over the renters premises as a sort of "private show room" and hold regular private tours for his/her collectors, except that this is specifically agreed upon in the contract for the rental of art work (An arrangement in most cases unfit for individuals, however eventually attractive for corporations with publicly accessible areas; maybe this for the artist quite benefiting convention can be honored by a reduced rental fee).

Generally speaking: no. Even though the work of art is physically at the renter's disposition, all rights ruled by the copy right act (right of ownership of intellectual property) remain exclusively with the artist. This means: photographs of rented art work can be used only upon consultation with the artist and payment of an adequate fee.

How to calculate the price for renting art work?

The rental price is a fraction of the art work's commercial value, with fractions depending on the type of renter (individual or company) and duration. The following is just an example and of course not binding. Please ask the individual artist regarding his/her exact prices.
Please also note that renting may be subject to value added taxes.

Example 1: The work of art to be rented has a commercial value of 1000 Euro. Renter is a company

Rent price/year
Rent price/month (plus VAT):
Renting period 3 - 6 months
20 % of value/year
16,67 Euro
Renting period over 6 months
15 % of value/year
12,50 Euro
Renting period over 12 months
10 % of value/year
8,33 Euro

Example 2: The work of art to be rented has a commercial value of 1000 Euro. Renter is an individual

Rent price/year
Rent price/month (plus VAT):
Renting period over 6 months
10 % of value/year
8,33 Euro
Renting period over 12 months
5 % of value/year
4,17 Euro

Oh yes: VAT… How about value added tax?

Renting may be subject to value added taxes. As regulations differ from country to country, please check with your local authorities.

What happens if the renter decides to keep a work longer as originally stipulated?

As long as the artist does not have any binding contract with a third party regarding the piece of art in question (such as: a new renting contract with someone else), in most cases it should be possible to extend the contract. One possibility is to just prolong the existing contract, another option is to sign a new one. In any case: it is not possible to lower the rent price retroactively.


Individual A rents a work of art of artist B; the work has a commercial value of 1000 Euro. The renting period is 6 months, January to June.The renting price is (see: How to calculate the price for renting art work?: up to 6 months 10 % of the commercial value per year) for 6 months is 50 Euro (1000*0,10/12*6)

After termination of the renting period individual A wants to keep the work another 6 months (July to December). If he/she rented for 12 months from the beginning, the price would have been as follows: price for renting art work for more than 6 months: 5 % of the commercial value per year; for 12 months this is 50 Euro (1000*0,5).

However, it is not possible to retroactively lower the rent price. Individual A will have to pay 50 Euro for the first 6 months, as stated in the original contract. To keep the work for a longer period, in this case it is advisable to sign a new contract for the period July to December. In most cases the artist will agree to accept the discounted rent price (5 % of the commercial value). For the 6 months July to December individual A therefore will have to pay 25 Euro only.

This way individual A finally paid 75 Euro for 12 months of art rental, which is slightly more expensive than if he/she made a contract for 1 year from the beginning (in that case the entire price would have been 50 Euro). Anyhow, it is less expensive that just to extend the existing contract (2 x 50 Euro, thus 100 Euro for 1 year).

Conclusion: It is tempting to sign contracts for very short periods of time only, and frequently exchange art works. However, short contracts are relatively expensive and frequent exchanges of art work entail additional costs such as shipping and handling.

What happens if the renter decides to buy a work of art after the renting period? Is the rent paid then being deducted from the price of the art work?

The price for renting artwork is a compensation for making the work of art available to the renter, but it is not to be understood as a down payment for the artwork itself. However, it is possible to deduct at least a fraction of the rent paid if the renter later on decides to keep the art work.

Example: Let's use a contract with a rent being calculated as 10 % of the commercial value of the work of art. With a work of art that costs 1000 Euros, the yearly rent to be paid to the artist is 100 Euro.
What price does the renter have to pay if he/she decides to keep the work of art after one year of renting it?

If the renter A would not have rented the work of art, but financed it with a commercial loan (1000 Euro, the value of the work of art) by his bank, he/she would have to pay this loan back in monthly installments. The monthly installments would consist of interest and repayment. Depending on the type of loan interest rates vary, but let us assume an interest rate of 7 %. If renter A now paid 100 Euro to his/her bank (the sum of his/her 12 monthly installments), 7 %, thus 70 Euro, would go into covering the interest, and only 30 Euro (3 %) were a repayment of the total sum of the loan.

After one year (and 100 Euro paid to his/her bank) A still owes 970 Euro, because only 30 Euro were used as a repayment.

This is why only a fraction of the rent paid can be understood as a down payment, with the total amount depending on the net rent actually paid.

Example: Commercial value of the work of art is 1000 Euro, renting period is 1 year.

  • 5 % of the art work's value  →  Rent price will not be deducted from purchase price.
  • 10 % of the art work's value  →  ca. 30 % of the rent price, in our example 30 Euro, can be deducted from purchase price.
  • 15 % of the art work's value  →  ca. 53 % of the rent price, in our example 80 Euro, can be deducted from purchase price.
  • 20 % of the art work's value  →  ca. 65 % of the rent price, in our example 130 Euro, can be deducted from purchase price.

This example is intended to illustrate the interrelationship between rent price - interest rate - repayment, with each artist and renter having to find their individual solution.

I am an artist...

I am an artist: how can I sign up with bilderpool as a "participating artist"? Do I have to pay something? Are there criteria for inclusion?

bilderpool.org originally was conceived as a project concentrating on German-speaking artists. This is why the original listing of Participating Artists only includes artists located in either Germany, Austria or Switzerland.
Now, with the English version many more artists from different countries would like to join. However, it is beyond the capacities of bilderpool's founder Karin Ulrike Soika to handle these world wide listings. This is why she decided that listings of artists residing outside Germany/Austria/Switzerland should be placed into the hands of volunteers/cooperating partners an then linked to form the original bilderpool.org website.
If you would like to become a bilderpool.org partner and handle the listing of Participating Artists in your country, please contact bilderpool (). Please note the following regarding bilderpool's policy:

  • Inclusion into the "Participating Artists" listing should be free of charge
  • we assume that artists that want to join are a professionals, however there is no admission panel or jury
  • For each artist the following data are being published:
    • Artist's name
    • short description of work/style (7 words only)
    • ZIP code, City
    • Web site
    • Thumbnail of a sample work, 40 x 40 pixels, format: .jpg or .gif file

Even more questions and information…

I still have more questions…

Please contact bilderpool at and send us your questions or commentaries.