How to ensure you’re fairly purchasing authentic Indigenous art


Questions to ask before you buy

According to the Code’s website, anyone looking to purchase Indigenous art for the first time should ask three key questions.

  1. Who is the artist?
  2. Where is the artist from?
  3. How does the artist get paid?

“The origin and history of ownership of a piece of Aboriginal art is both its birth certificate and passport; providing confidence of authenticity and evidence of ethical practices along the value chain,” the Code says.

If you are buying from a gallery, the Indigenous Art code suggests asking the owners how they source their art and how much of the sale price goes to the artist.

“Most ethical dealers are open about their business models.”

“Many get their work from art centres on ‘consignment’ and pay the art centres a fixed percentage when they sell it.”

“Some dealers pay a fair price to artists up front; this price is a percentage of what they know the retail price of the work will be.”

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