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TLL’s Guide to Art-Based Properties

Art licensing includes two sub-categories:

Art & Artists

Fine artists and designers (living and deceased) who create images with products in mind, including textile and surface designers, as well as fine artists who create art for art’s sake, for whom licensing is a secondary concern. The first group accounts for the lion’s share of art licensing; these artists’ work is found on or in apparel, domestics, giftware, stationery, tabletop items, books, computer accessories, and housewares, among other products. They often specialize in a certain genre such as sports, fantasy, whimsical children’s, realistic, ethnic-themed, illustrative, nature art, or decorative patterns.

Representative properties: American Greetings and Hallmark card art, Jim Benton, Jim Shore, Hautman Bros., John Lennon/Bag One Arts, Kathy Davis, Keith Haring, Mary Engelbreit, Lisa Frank, Anne Geddes, Hummel, Thomas Kinkade, Christian Riese Lassen, Mossy Oak, Precious Moments, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, Suzy’s Zoo.


Museums, which generally oversee small, upscale programs with merchandise distributed in their own and other museum shops, through other specialty stores, and online. Some maintain licensing-based reproduction programs where items from their collections are duplicated as decorative accessories and home furnishings, or as miniatures. Others focus on postcards, posters, scarves, ties, children’s activity kits, and the like, with the items inspired by pieces in the collection rather than being pure replicas.

Representative properties: American Museum of Natural History, Biltmore Estate, Brooklyn Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, Hermitage Museum, The Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mount Vernon, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Science Museum London, Smithsonian, Tate Gallery, Vatican Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Winterthur.

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