Is the artwork part of a larger exhibit? If so, a credit line incorporated into a didactic panel (e.g., on an exhibition intro panel, acknowledgements panel, display/diorama/specimen label) is entirely appropriate.

In addition, sign the work--incorporate a discrete hand-written signature or maker's mark into the artwork.

At the very least, sign and date the back of the artwork. When the exhibition is dismantled, the artwork can still be identified and attributed to the artist. The artwork may wind up in the museum's collections someday where attribution and creation date are vital bits of information.
-- 
Julianne Snider
Asst. Director
Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery
116 Deike Bldg.
Penn State University
University Park PA 16802
814-571-6317
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On 10/3/2013 11:41 AM, Natalya Zahn wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">Hi friends,

For those of you that regularly do illustration for the interpretive museum and exhibit market, I was wondering what your thoughts are on credit lines within artwork.

It's obviously very important that work be attributed - and that the line actually be legible! and it's one thing for the client to agree to that in theory, but  have you ever had a client balk when they actually see a typeset line of "Illustration by…" nested into a beautiful piece of artwork? I'd rather it not have to be there either, from a purely aesthetic point of view - but being mysterious makes it rather hard to earn a consistent living!

I'm working through a contract and defining these options and my client doesn't like the way the proposed typeset credit line (which is small, discreet, typical lower right corner of a white page with entirely hand-drawn artwork floated above) is the only "digital" looking part of the panel (we're currently in R&D sketch phase).

Thoughts?

And thank you!
-Natalya

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