Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program: International Indemnity

CFDA Number: 45-201
Funding Opportunity Number: 2015FCAH01


The National Endowment for the Arts administers the U.S. Government's Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program on behalf of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities (Federal Council). The Indemnity Program was created by Congress in 1975 for the purpose of minimizing the costs of insuring international exhibitions. In 2007, Congress expanded eligibility under the Program to include coverage for works of art owned by U.S. entities while on exhibition in the United States. The Program has indemnified more than 1200 exhibitions, saving the organizers over $375 million in insurance premiums. Please view the list of recently indemnified exhibitions.

These guidelines are for International Indemnity. Organizations interested in coverage for domestic exhibitions should refer to the separate guidelines for Domestic Indemnity.

Non-profit museums and organizations planning temporary exhibitions that involve bringing works of art and artifacts from abroad to the United States or sending works of art from this country abroad may be eligible for International Indemnity coverage. Details appear below.

The indemnity agreement is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. In the event of loss or damage to an indemnified object, the Federal Council must certify the validity of the claim and request Congress to authorize payment.

Applicant Eligibility

The Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act (P.L. 94-l58) authorizes the Federal Council to make indemnity agreements with non-profit, tax-exempt organizations and governmental units for:

  1. Eligible objects from outside the United States while on exhibition in the United States.
  2. Eligible objects from the United States while on exhibition outside the United States, preferably when part of an exchange of exhibitions.
  3. Eligible objects from the United States while on exhibition in the United States if the exhibition includes other eligible items from outside the United States which are integral to the exhibition as a whole.

If an exhibition is being shown at two or more institutions, one institution should apply on behalf of all participants. The Federal Council requires that the applicant have previously organized at least one international exhibition.

Applicants may submit only one application, under either the international or the domestic program, for the same exhibition.

Object Eligibility

Eligible objects include works of art, other artifacts or objects, rare documents, books and other printed materials, photographs, films, and videotapes. Such objects must have educational, cultural, historical, or scientific value, and the exhibition must be certified by the Secretary of State’s designee as being in the national interest.

Note: For concerns of risk, the Federal Council is generally opposed to indemnifying oil on copper paintings, pastels, chalks, charcoals, lacquer objects, certain types of glass (including enamels), works on parchment or vellum, marquetry, frescoes, and other fragile objects. Oversized works (exceeding 10 feet in any direction), and oil on wood panel paintings will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Oil on single wood panels larger than two feet by three feet will not be indemnified. Please see Question 12(c) in the Indemnity Narrative instructions for more information.

Indemnity Limits

The Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act allows coverage for a single exhibition up to $1,200,000,000. The total dollar amount of indemnity agreements which can be in effect at any one time is $10,000,000,000. The deductible amounts follow.

If the total value of objects covered by an indemnity agreement for a single exhibition is:

  1. $2,000,000 or less, then coverage under the Indemnity Act extends only
    to loss or damage in excess of the first $15,000 of loss or damage to items
  2. More than $2,000,000 but less than $10,000,000, the first $25,000.
  3. Not less than $l0,000,000 but less than $125,000,000, the first $50,000.
  4. Not less than $l25,000,000, but less than $200,000,000, the first $100,000.
  5. Not less than $200,000,000, but less than $300,000,000, the first $200,000.
  6. Not less than $300,000,000, but less than $400,000,000, the first $300,000.
  7. Not less than $400,000,000, but less than $500,000,000, the first $400,000.
  8. $500,000,000 or more, the first $500,000.

Application Process

Applicants must submit an application for review by the Indemnity Advisory Panel and the Federal Council. Announcements of Certificates of Indemnity will be made after the Federal Council has met. If an application or object has been rejected, the applicant may submit a request to the Indemnity Administrator to provide a written response stating the reasons for rejection (please see Contact below).

Please see the full application instructions

Application Submission Deadline Dates

The application deadline for Certificates of Indemnity that will be issued as early as January 1, 2015, is September 15, 2014. (The Federal Advisory Panel and Federal Council meetings occur approximately one month and two months, respectively, following the deadline date.) An application should not be submitted more than one year and three months in advance of the start of the indemnity period.

To assist the Panel and Council with long range planning of indemnity allocations, future applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit preliminary statements about exhibitions as much as four years in advance of the indemnity period. Updated material may be submitted subsequently, as applicable. Send all material directly to the Indemnity Administrator (see Contact below).

Credit Requirement

In all published material and announcements concerning an indemnified exhibition, the following acknowledgement must appear: "This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities." (Do not use any logo.)

Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act and Federal Rules and Regulations, and Certificate of Indemnity

Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act

Rules and Regulations, October 1991

Certificate of Indemnity


For questions about the Indemnity Program, please contact:

Patricia Loiko
Indemnity Administrator
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, D.C. 20506
telephone: 202-682-5541
fax: 202-682-5721


Laura Bramble
Assistant Indemnity Administrator
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, D.C. 20506
Telephone: 202-682-5035
Fax: 202-682-5721