The Fine Art Trade Guild
The Fine Art Trade Guild is the definitive trade association for the art and framing industry. Its members include artists, galleries, publishers and framers with members throughout 36 countries. It is the perfect example of a trade association which pulls an entire industry together. Its members are united under the umbrella of recognised standards, industry awards and recognition, vocational qualifications and ongoing education.
The History of the Fine Art Trade GuildThe Guild was born in 1847 under its original identity of the Printsellers’ Association. This body was formed to protect the integrity of limited edition prints. However, its remit became much broader in 1910 when it was reborn as the Fine Art Trade Guild. Even though it’s based in London, its reputation is such that it has members across the world and branches located in countries such as Ireland and New Zealand. Notable moments in its history occurred when the first woman was elected as the Guild ‘Master’ in 1956, her name was Edith Frost. In 2008, the Guild was proud to elect its first ever artist, Colin Ruffell as Master.
The Structure of the GuildThe Guild is managed by a Board of Directors formally known as the Court. The Court is headed by a Master. A member of the Guild is elected into these posts for a period of one year, after which they can be re-elected up to a maximum of two to three terms. The elections are open to the entire membership of the Guild. In order to promote the practice of industry networking, there are also 14 branches of the Guild each headed by an elected Branch Master.
The Code of EthicsThe Code of Ethics was developed by the Guild to provide an industry standard that must be adhered to as a condition of membership. The mainstay of the Code is integrity and honesty along with proper insurance requirements which serve to provide excellent protection for customers. In this way, the reputation of the Guild is maintained by very strict trading standards.
Industry recognitionIndustry recognition is a pivotal aspect of the Guild’s work. This is achieved via several well established schemes:
- The Fine Art Trade Guild Logo can only be displayed by current members who abide by the Code of Ethics.
- The Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer logo is displayed by those framers who are members of the Guild and have completed exacting and tough examination procedures of their framing skills and knowledge.
- The Fine Art Trade Guild Hall of Fame is a prestigious recognition of specific and exceptional contributions certain members have made to the art and framing industry.
- The annual industry awards are supported by the Fine Art Trade Guild and offer the nominees and winners superb media coverage and business opportunities.
Guild DiversityThe range of different concerns and issues within the art and framing industry is recognised by the Guild within the framework of their committees. These are specific bodies set up to support and recognise trade-specific requirements. They include:
- The Framers Committee is dedicated to the technical nature of framing. It offers and regulates vocational qualifications, skills training and a dedicated helpline for Guild members.
- The Fine Art Trade Guild Retail and Marketing Committee is in the process of being re-established. It promoted industry awareness of issues surrounding customer care and satisfaction.
- The Fine Art Committee specifically courts the interest of its artist members. It helps to educate and assist artists with matters beyond their creativity such as business and finance issues.