Ten years on: Artists celebrate £47m in Resale Royalties

On 13 February 2016, artists across the UK will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) – one of the most important rights supporting the livelihoods of artists and estates.

The right was introduced in the UK on 13 February 2006 after years of campaigning and lobbying by artists and the arts community. Since then, DACS has distributed £46.9 million in ARR royalties to more than 3,900 artists and artists’ estates. In 2015 alone, DACS distributed more than £10 million in ARR royalties to over 1,500 artists – an increase of 4.3% from £9.6 million in 2014, and forecasts suggest this revenue for artists is set to increase again in 2016.

With the UK art market worth approximately £9 billion1, DACS and ARR are key in ensuring money goes back into the pockets of the artists that keep the UK’s arts industry growing.

Jeremy Deller, artist: “Whenever something like this starts, people say ‘it’s going to end the art world, it’s going to be terrible’ but it never happens. The art world just carries on and gets bigger and bigger.  It’s important for artists to benefit from the sale of their work. A lot of people do very well out of the art market and obviously the artists aren’t always the ones doing that.”

Beverley Heath-Hoyland, Estate of John Hoyland: “The Artist’s Resale Right was important to John. If a musician makes a record, they get royalties when it’s played again and again. It’s right that artists and their estates should get paid when somebody buys a painting at auction. The royalties which are collected by DACS are vital as it helps to run the artist estate so that the work continues to be alive in the world for future generations to enjoy.

Rene Gimpel, Gimpel Fils Gallery: “The British art market continues to flourish under ARR, even attracting major names from countries outside of the ARR remit.  The art trade is now seen in a more positive light by artists and artists’ estates.”

ARR provides a royalty for artists and artists’ estates2 whenever their work is resold by an auctioneer, dealer or gallery for €1,000 or more.3 As such, ARR ensures that artists and those responsible for managing an artist’s estate can share in the long-term benefits of their work.  It also ensures that they are fairly remunerated along with art market professionals and collectors if the market value peaks long after the initial sale of their work.

Gilane Tawadros, DACS Chief Executive said: ARR has had a phenomenal impact on artists and estates. At a time when funding for artists is becoming scarcer, ARR ensures that artists receive fair compensation when their work is resold. Celebrating the ARR 10th anniversary is an important milestone, not least because it has also provided estates invaluable support towards managing an artist’s legacy.  ARR is a critical cornerstone of Britain’s cultural sustainability.”

[1] According to The European Fine Art Federation’s latest report

[2] In 2012, ARR also began to be distributed to artists’ estates.

[3] With a maximum payment of €12,500 per sale.


DACS has released a 10th Anniversary white paper: Ten Years of the Artist’s Resale Right: Giving Artists Their Fair Share containing key facts and figures. It can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/10yearsARR

Established by artists for artists, DACS is a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation. DACS acts as trusted broker for 90,000 artists worldwide. It collects and distributes approximately 90% of ARR Royalties in the UK.  In 2014, DACS paid £15 million in royalties to 19,000 visual artists and estates.


Follow the ARR campaign at @DACSforArtists and Facebook.com/DACSforArtists using #21stCenturyArtist

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