Why Have an Inventory of Business Property and Its Contents?

✔ Assess what you own and have at stake

✔ Provides a record of the cost, replacement value and acquisition date

✔ Needed for business and personal property tax

✔ Establish losses and values for insurance claims and disaster assistance

Why Have an Inventory of Your Artwork?

✔ Documentation of career development and your legacy

✔ As a reference for the preparation of show submissions, grant applications and client presentations

✔ Assess the value for determining amount of insurance needed to cover potential losses

✔ Establish losses for insurance claims

A complete studio inventory includes all your art-making tools, equipment and supplies,
artworks, business equipment and supplies and other assets. Start with “BASIC” and improve over time.

Basic Studio Inventory

It’s never too late to start a studio inventory.  Thanks to technology, this practice is easy to start, maintain and store. 
  • Include the make and model of any major tools in the narration if using video or in the file name if organizing photos

Business Property

A business asset is a piece of property or equipment purchased exclusively or primarily for business use. Business assets span many categories, such as vehicles, real estate, computers, furniture and other fixtures. Read more.

Services such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive offer free cloud storage as well as paid accounts. 

Better Studio Inventory

Take pictures of your tools


Add written business property details to your Basic” Studio Inventory. For each business asset include:

What’s the Cost?

Take it a step at a time. Finding the value in your work is rewarding.

 Be sure to store a copy of the inventory in a Safe Offsite Location  A SOL is a place to store copies of your documents and records that is far enough away from your studio (50-100 miles) that it is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster.


Best Studio Inventory

Storage racks for fine art & craftInformation about your artwork is critical. For each artwork include details such as:

All Systems Go


Art Inventory Systems

  • Art Systems – Manage art information, including artwork and images, editions, contacts, transactions, accounting, images, exhibitions, shipments, sales, consignments, resumes, artwork bibliography, provenance and exhibition citations.
  • artcloud – Art inventory and e-commerce for the artist.
  • Artlook Software – Manage artwork and art contacts. An optional application is available to link artwork information to an artist’s website.
  • artmoi – Art cataloguing software for artists, collectors and galleries.
  • Artwork Archive – Manage art inventory, images, exhibitions, location & provenance history, clients and sales, and scheduling. Present work with reports, private rooms, web embeds and a discovery profile.
  • Getting Your Sh*t Together (GYST-Ink) Track artwork, art supplies and exhibitions along with other artist records.
  • Tessera – Includes artwork, artists and client management features; collections, consignment and sales tracking; reporting capabilities.
  • Career Documentation – The Joan Mitchell Foundation has a workbook including information on many elements key to career documentation.
  • CALL Estate Planning Workbook – A guide designed to be a practical tool for artists and/or their supporters to use when carefully assessing and identifying the unique estate planning needs and concerns specific to the visual arts.

Accounting systems that have basic inventory systems

  • QuickBooks Online – The Plus version has inventory management capabilities or a 3rd party app that integrates with QBO and can be purchased for more advanced inventory and/or fixed asset management.
  • Xexo – Online accounting system includes inventory and fixed asset management.

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