Art Inventory Part 2: Let’s Get Comprehensive

Head on over to Local Artist Interviews to catch the Art Inventory Part 1 blog post. There you will learn the purpose and basic categories to include in your own art inventory. Once you have the basics compiled, walk though this blog post to boost up the content, quality and information your inventory provides.

Now that you have begun your own art inventory or have a basic framework of information to work with here are some ideas to build it into a better inventory.

A basic inventory will typically be one page. A thorough inventory can be a page or more. For my art work pictured above, I have three pages noting all important information. The first page has a more thorough list of information about the piece itself. In addition to date, size, price, location and image (as listed on the basic inventory blog article) I have included additional categories:


Series: Is the piece a diptych or triptych, is there a small series of related works?

Condition: Is the work framed, wired, ready to hang, is it signed? Is it in good or bad shape?

Labeled: Is the work labeled on the back with the title, artist and date?

Touchups: Any necessary changes or repairs needed?

Copyright: Is the work copyrighted? If so, what is the registration information and date?

Photographed: How is the work documented? Is it professionally or self-documented?

Permissions: When you submit or agree to certain exhibitions and opportunities, we often agree or allow people to have a limited access or permission to the work whether that is printing the information and image in a catalog, including the image in an online gallery or to release the image to a media or press resource. Log what you have allowed in the permissions section. This is important especially if you copyright your artwork.

Submissions: Use the submissions area to document shows, grants and opportunities you have applied to. This is where I tend to list shows I submitted to but did not participate in or was rejected from. If I am interested in the future to apply to the same show or opportunity, I know what work I used to apply to it.

You can also update the exhibition section as well. In addition to title of the show, venue, dates of the exhibition, commission and if a sale took place and any additional notes, consider adding the following sections below:

Type: Was the show group, juried, invitational, partner or solo?

Venue address: Where was the space or gallery located?

Website: What is the gallery or space web address?

Curator and Juror: Include anyone who you came in contact with during the exhibition process and also their contact information, phone number or email. Note if someone is a gallery director or other title rather than curator or juror so if you need to contact them again in the future, you properly address them.

Exhibition Documents: What documents or information do you have stored in your files in relation to the exhibition? This can also include saved emails in your inbox.

Award: Did you receive an award during the show?

Commission: What was the gallery’s commission percentage? Note if a sale took place and what cut of the sale you made.

I always leave a blank exhibition section so if I submit and show the piece during the year, I can pencil in the information into my inventory and update it later. I will write in changes to my inventory throughout the year, and then every January, I officially update my document on the computer and print off a fresh new copy.

The third page of my inventory includes press, promotions and comments from viewers. I also add installation notes and additional notes. 

View the Suction Cup Blog post next week to get the third and final post on making your own art inventory.

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