What is the Artist's Resale Right (ARR) and how can it help me? We explore this incredibly useful revenue stream from its conception in 2006, through to how it is helping visual artists today.

The Artist's Resale 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 over £50 million in ARR royalties to more than 4,000 artists and artists’ estates - making ARR one of the most significant sources of funding for artists and estates today.

To mark this ten-year milestone, in 2016 we published Ten Years of the Artist’s Resale Right: Giving Artists Their Fair Share - a white paper featuring facts and figures about ARR, shareable infographics and interesting anecdotes from our members.

A ten year snapshot of the Artist's Resale Right


Read about the impact of ARR on artists and estates and look ahead to some of the future challenges of an increasingly globalised and digital art market.

Artist's Resale Right in numbers

An overview, 2006 - 2015:

Annual royalties paid by DACS, 2006 - 2015:

How artists spend their royalties:

Nationality of artists and estates receiving royalties:

Emerging artists benefit from ARR too:


What artists and estates are saying

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. The thing is that auction houses make so much money on a single sale. Obviously that’s not pure profit but they make incredible amounts of money – much more than virtually any artist, much more than any museum has to spend on art so I think it’s good that they put something back to the people who made it. 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.”

Chantal Joffe, artist:
"It’s a brilliant service. I like the fact that DACS provides me with a little statement so that I can keep track of the royalties I get. That’s so useful because, as an artist, unless you spend your life googling things, you wouldn’t know what sells on the secondary market at all."

Richard Riley, Estate of John Craxton:
"In its 10 year history, the Artist’s Resale Right has become such an important lifeline for both living artists and their beneficiaries, such as myself. What a pleasure it is to celebrate this momentous milestone.”

Stuart Semple, artist:
“How incredible it is to think that we have been enjoying the Artist’s Resale Right here in the UK for a decade. It’s made a massive impact on the lives of working artists and with the extension of ARR, also to heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased. The Artist’s Resale Right gives financial recognition to the artist for their contribution to a wider market so we must not take them for granted. ARR - and its extension to artists’ estates - was hard won and faces constant threat. We must celebrate its existence as widely as possible.”

Nicholas Sinclair, Estate of Sir Kyffin Williams KBE, RA:
"As both a practising artist myself and as artistic executor to an artist’s estate, I believe that it is right for artists and their heirs to receive a modest benefit from the resale of their work, especially if its value increases. ARR is a fair and justified right that enables artists to take a small percentage of the profits made by commercial institutions from their originality, their courage, their commitment and the contribution they make to the cultural life of the society they live in.
In my own situation I use ARR to fund the running of the Kyffin Williams Estate and I am currently working on a new book to mark the centenary of Sir Kyffin’s birth in 2018. Without ARR it would be impossible for me to devote the time to the picture research, photography, design, editing and planning that go into the publication of an artist’s monograph.

I am certain that in its first ten years ARR has already been beneficial to the visual arts in the UK at many different levels and the role that DACS has played in its implementation should be recognised and applauded."

Jonathan Gosling, Estate of Keith Vaughan:
“I use most of the income to support scholarly interest in Keith Vaughan's work. I donate significantly to the Tate Archive, for example, for resources on this artist and others related to him; and I enable free access to reproductions of his work for educational and public purposes.”

Gordon Cheung, artist:
"An international treaty for the Artist's Resale Right would be a huge global step in the right direction, as it will enable artists all over the world to benefit from resale royalties, wherever the sale takes place. I think this is incredibly important, as so many sales take place in countries which don’t recognise the Right, such as the US or China. This unfairly disadvantages artists based in these countries, as well as artists whose work sells in these countries. It is fair that all artists can benefit from resale royalties, particularly when these types of rights already exist for other categories of authors. For the artist it can help bolster their financial circumstances and essentially ensure art can be made for the future of a vibrant culture."

Mary Moore, Estate of Henry Moore:
“I am pleased that the Artist’s Resale Right continues to provide a vital income for British artists and estates ten years after it was introduced. For estates, ARR income from resold works means they can continue to support their work to conserve and protect an artist’s legacy for future generations. ARR demonstrates the value that our policy makers place on maintaining Britain’s world-class cultural legacy.”

Sigrid Holmwood, artist:
“The re-sale value of an artwork is tied to the ongoing work and reputation of the artist. In a sense the artist is still working on and contributing to the value of their works even after they have been passed onto the secondary market. This is a unique situation in which the work and value creation of the artwork remains the job of the artist for the whole of their life. Therefore it is only fair that artists should get a cut.”

Angela de la Cruz, artist:
“It feels great and well deserved, because collectors buy work for a fraction of the price they end up selling it for...I think it is great that artists can benefit when their work is sold at auction. They are making money, so why shouldn’t the artist get some too?"