The Tampa Museum of Art opened its award-winning home in 2010 with a commitment to providing innovative public programs with a strong focus on antiquities and modern and contemporary art. It is the region’s largest museum devoted to art of our time and has built a reputation for embracing contemporary photography and new media.
The Museum balances a growing collection with a dynamic annual schedule of special exhibitions that bring the world’s finest visual arts to the region. For example, in 2012 the Tampa Museum of Art was the only U.S. venue for the international exhibition The Man, the Image & the World. Henri Cartier-Bresson, A Retrospective. Additionally, Leo Villareal’s Sky (Tampa) (the Museum’s 14,000-square-foot LED installation on its façade) has become an iconic image for Tampa.
Since its founding in 1979, the Museum has been dedicated to providing quality education to students and adults, with more than half of its programs offered free of charge.
Mission and Vision
The Tampa Museum of Art will gather, study, discuss, and present the finest visual arts for a curious public. Our vision is to create an environment for exploring new ideas and innovative experiences.
In 1979, the new art museum opened in downtown Tampa on a riverfront site behind the convention center. In December 2007, the Museum relocated to an interim facility in West Tampa to prepare for construction of a new museum facility in downtown Tampa. Construction began in April 2008 and the new Museum opened on February 6, 2010. Demolition of the former museum building was completed in early 2008.
In 1989, the Museum was accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and also was designated as a Major Cultural Institution by the State of Florida. It received re-accreditation from AAM in the spring of 2000. The Museum and its current executive director are members of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). The Museum has updated policies that are in line with industry standards.
2017 Museum Board of Trustees
Allison Adams, Chair Walter Aye
Penny Vinik, Vice Chair
Mark Anderson, Vice Chair
Dean Hamric, Treasurer
Ed Waller, Secretary
Debra Williams McDaniel, Past Chair
Maureen Cohn, Appointed
Cornelia Corbett, Appointed
Sonya Little, Appointed
Ray Iffert, Appointed
Board of Trustees
Allison Beard Luzier
Tweed Cline Eckhard
Mary B. Perry
Michael A. Tomor Executive Director, Ex-Officio
Allison Adams, Chair
Tampa Museum of Art
COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT POLICY
Approved by Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees
December 18, 2013
Table of Contents
- Collection Focus and Scope
III. Guidelines Governing Acquisitions
- Procedures Governing Acquisitions
- Art Subject to Copyright
- Guidelines Governing the Documentation and Care of the Collections
VII. Guidelines Governing Deaccessions
- General Comments
- Authority and Procedure
VIII. Guidelines Governing Loans and Miscellaneous Conditions
- General Comments
- Incoming Loans
- Outgoing Loans
- Objects Left in Custody of the Museum
- Access to the Collection
- Code of Ethics
- Special Considerations for Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art
Revised 12/86; 12/99; 02/04; 05/11; 12/13
The mission of the Tampa Museum of Art is to gather, study, discuss and present the finest visual arts for a curious public. As part of this mission, the Museum (and in particular its Board of Trustees) owns a collection of art and is guided by this policy in the acquisition, care, management and possible dispersal of this collection. This document establishes general guidelines for acquisitions, deaccessions, loans to and from the collections, and access to and documentation of the collections maintained by the Tampa Museum of Art. It also articulates the responsibilities of the Museum regarding all objects left in its care. This policy will be made publicly available on the Museum’s website (www.tampamuseum.org).
- Collection Focus and Scope
- The Tampa Museum of Art, Inc. (“Museum”) subscribes to a policy of selective acquisition based on the agreed upon primary collecting areas noted in this policy. The Museum has one collection, the Permanent Collection (known as the Collection). In the Collection are objects used for research, exhibition and loan. These works are given identifying numbers beginning with the year accepted, documented, and stored in a secure, controlled, monitored environment. As the Museum is an active member of both the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the Association of Art Museum. Directors (AAMD), its policies must reflect the current status of collecting practices as expressed by these two agencies.
- The determining factors for acceptance of art work, whether by gift or purchase for the Museum’s Collection, will be quality, aesthetic merit, and its appropriateness to the collecting goals of the Museum.
Further, a prospective addition to the collection shall be judged from the standpoint of aesthetic quality, authenticity, documentation, uniqueness, physical condition, and degree of pertinence to the Museum’s collections and current collecting goals.
- The primary collecting areas of the Museum’s Collection are:
- Classical Antiquities
- Nineteenth-century photography, emphasizing works that relate to the Classical
- Modern and Contemporary Art in all media, including but not limited to: Photography, emphasizing but not limited to works created after 1970, and new media
- a) Artists who have contributed to the development of modern and contemporary art
- b) Works by emerging artists who are establishing reputations on the national or international level
- c) Works by significant artists associated with the development of art in this region.
- The Museum should allow for re-evaluation of the collecting focus areas as new opportunities arise. For instance, the offer of a substantial gift may allow the re-emphasis of a dormant collection area or a new direction altogether. Before embarking upon such a new direction, however, the staff and the Collections Committee must engage in a serious conversation with the entire Board of Trustees about the opportunities and drawbacks that such a new direction would entail.
- Any gift of a significant collection should be accompanied by sufficient funds to insure the proper care, maintenance and research of that collection.
- Guidelines Governing Acquisitions
- Definition. The term “acquisition” refers to gifts, purchases, exchanges, transfers, bequests, or any other transaction by which title to incoming material passes to the Museum. Accessioning is the formal process used to accept and record an object into the collection. The Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees is responsible for advising on matters relating to the staff’s collections management activities, and on related issues brought to its attention by the executive director, curators, and registrar, and periodically reports to the full Board.
- An object should not be accepted or otherwise acquired by the Museum unless the following general conditions are met:
- The object is relevant to and consistent with the purposes, collecting goals, and activities of the Museum;
- The object is in good physical condition and its projected future maintenance and conservation costs are not cost prohibitive;
- The Museum can provide for the storage, protection, and preservation of the object under conditions that insure their availability for Museum purposes and in keeping with professionally accepted standards;
- It is intended that the object shall have permanency in the collection as long as it retains its physical integrity, its authenticity, and its relevance for the purposes of the Museum.
- All objects for potential acquisition by the Museum will be initially reviewed by the curatorial staff and the executive director. The executive director and the appropriate curator propose acquisitions to the Collections Committee. The executive director, in tandem with the chairperson of the Collections Committee, will then submit the recommendations of the Collections Committee for approval to the Board of Trustees.
- Since successful negotiation for certain art objects often requires commitment and immediate decisions that preclude time-consuming referral back to committees, the Board of Trustees, after recommendations of the Collections Committee, may provide the executive director with authority to spend acquisition funds up to specified limits on special occasions (such as auctions).
- Conditions of Acceptance. Objects acquired by gift or bequest must be accompanied by a written Deed of Gift signed by the donor or executor transferring title or ownership and establishing the gift or bequest as outright and unconditional property of the Museum without restrictions as to use, attribution, display, publication, or future disposition. Exceptions to this policy, stipulated in writing and considered by the
Collections Committee and formally approved by the Board of Trustees, may be made only for particularly rare, valuable, or important objects where conditions posed by the donor are in accord with current laws or are in accord with scholarly needs. If objects are accepted by the museum with restrictions or limitations, the conditions should be adequately documented and retained as part of the records pertaining to the objects. Where restrictions are attached to an acquisition, every effort should be made to place a reasonable limit on the time for which they shall apply and to define the conditions under which their force may terminate. Each object acquired should have as completely documented a provenance as possible. The Museum shall not knowingly acquire or accept as a gift or loan any object that has been unlawfully imported into the United States or any object which is either known or suspected to be stolen property. Special considerations for archaeological materials and ancient art are presented below in Section IX.
- Procedures Governing Acquisitions
- All objects acquired for the collection shall be recorded and documented in the Museum’s records in a manner that conforms to accepted museum practice. A permanent accession record (including photo documentation and location record) will be maintained by the registrar in an object file and database for every object in the collection.
- Objects may be offered as a gift, sale, exchange, or bequest to the Museum through the executive director, curators, registrar, or other designated Museum Officials. All such requests and relevant correspondence should be presented to the Collections Committee for consideration upon the recommendation of the executive director.
- Pending a decision by the Collections Committee on whether to acquire an offered object, the object must be brought to and deposited at the Museum. Such deposits should be acknowledged by a receipt of deposit signed and dated by the registrar, curator, or executive director and the object’s owner or agent.
- Upon deposit or knowledge of an offered acquisition, it should be determined as soon as possible by the curator, executive director, or registrar that the object conforms to the acquisitions guidelines of the Museum. As such the appropriate curator(s) and/or registrar should follow the relevant procedures and attempt to secure as much of the following information as possible:
- The manner and approximate date the owner/donor acquired the property;
- The circumstances under which the owner/donor acquired the property;
- List of records, receipts, other documents or stated oral communications that provide proof of ownership and authenticity, and any other relevant information about the donated or purchased object;
- The history of the object and any other significant information that would contribute to its value, authenticity or educational value;
- The appraisal value and original cost, if known, of the property;
- Express guarantee in writing by the vendor or owner/donor certifying that the proposed acquisition is free and clear of all encumbrances and restrictions, has not been unlawfully exported, and has been legally imported into the United States.
- The Museum may wish to send information to the Art Loss Register or other such agencies or appropriate foreign authorities to be checked against their current lists of objects reported stolen or missing.
- Recommendations for acceptance of all potential donations, purchases, or bequests should be secured from the appropriate curator and executive director and presented to the Collections Committee for recommendation to the Board of Trustees. If time is an issue in the acquisition of a work and the Collections Committee is unable to meet, the Board (or the Executive Committee, acting on its behalf) may vote directly on the object(s) without a recommendation from the Collections Committee. Should the Collections Committee choose not to acquire an offered object, the donor should be notified and the object, if in the possession of the Museum, should be promptly returned unless arrangements are made or desired for its loan to the Museum.
- The Board of Trustees holds the final authority to accept works into the collection. A majority vote of the Board (or of the Executive Committee, acting on its behalf) is necessary to acquire a work.
- Following approval by the Board of Trustees, a donor should be provided with an acknowledgment from the executive director and two copies of the Deed of Gift signed by the executive director. The donor should sign both copies of the Deed of Gift and retain one copy. The other completed Deed of Gift must be returned to the Museum for its object files. The Museum must stipulate that responsibility for furnishing information for government agencies rests with the donor.
- If a donor wishes to have the gift appraised, then the donor should be informed that the responsibility for the appraisal, including its cost, lies solely with the donor. Whenever possible, the appraisal should be made before the gift is deposited at the Museum. To avoid any possible conflict of interest, Museum officials may not make recommendations or indicate competence or professional reliability of any individual appraiser. The Museum staff members should not provide appraisals for the purpose of establishing the value and/or tax-deductible value of gifts offered to the Museum, nor should they appraise, identify, or otherwise authenticate for other persons or agencies, objects under circumstances that could encourage or benefit illegal, unethical, or irresponsible traffic in such materials. Any employee of the museum who holds an appraiser’s license must inform the executive director and refrain from outside employment as an appraiser during his/her tenure at the Museum.
- A vendor or dealer should provide the Museum with a form of Bill of Sale, Purchase Agreement or written conditions of sale which are to be included in the instrument of conveyance and kept in the object file.
- The registrar should assign the object an accession number and, along with the appropriate curator, begin documentation procedures. Originals or copies of all related correspondence and documentation regarding the acquisition should be forwarded to the registrar for inclusion in the collection records. Appropriate staff in the Development and Finance Offices should be notified of all donated acquisitions.
- Art Subject to Copyright (generally pertaining to works created after January 1, 1978)
- All right, title, and interests (including all copyright, trademark, and related interests) associated with the acquisition should be obtained by the Museum without restrictions as to use or future disposition whenever possible. If acquisitions are accepted with restrictions or limitations, however, the conditions should be stated clearly in the Deed of Gift or other instrument of conveyance and strictly observed by the Museum.
- Works of art already copyrighted may ordinarily be acquired by the Museum only if an assignment of copyright is obtained by the Museum for the exclusive rights:
- To reproduce the copyrighted work;
- To distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership or by rental
- If the acquisition does not amount to complete ownership, the additional assignment of the right to display the copyrighted work publicly.
- Works of art subject to copyright not yet asserted may ordinarily be acquired only if accompanied by a declaration of dedication to the public and waiver of claim to copyright.
- Works subject to 1978 copyright legislation include:
- Published works of art created before January 1, 1978 in which copyright has been claimed by the artist or owner;
- All works of art created after January 1, 1978 which have not been dedicated to the public.
- Guidelines Governing the Documentation and Care of the Collections
- All objects acquired for the collection shall be promptly recorded and documented in the Museum records in an orderly and retrievable fashion and in conformity with professional museum standards and accepted practices.
- The registrar shall be responsible for compiling and maintaining source records which document the legal status and ownership history of all acquisitions. The registrar also shall be responsible for compiling and maintaining records which record up-to-date object information including description, loan, research, or exhibition activity, location, physical condition, and photographic documentation. In addition, the registrar shall conduct an inventory of objects in the collection and on loan, noting any changes in their physical condition, at least every two years.
- On the basis of current scholarship and to the best of their ability, curators shall be responsible for providing for the collection records comprehensive catalogue information which establishes the acquisition’s history, cultural context, provenance, date, and any other information which adds to the educational and scholarly value of the object.
- All objects in the collection and on loan should be stored, displayed and maintained in conditions and in an environment conforming with professional museum standards and accepted practices to ensure their security and long-term preservation.
- Examination of objects in the collection and/or on loan should always occur:
- Prior to formal acceptance into the collection.
- Prior to any type of movement or display, especially when the object has been in museum storage for some time
- Prior to the creation of a mount so recommendations can be made for the mount design
- Prior to agreement to lend objects to another institution or to include the object in a traveling exhibition so that its stability and suitability for travel can be determined.
Such examinations will be the responsibility of the registrar and/or the appropriate curator.
- Conservation treatment should be carried out only as necessary and with the consultation and approval of the appropriate curator, registrar, and the executive director. Treatment should be performed by a professional conservator and undertaken according to the standards of practice and ethical codes established by the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. All conservation treatment should be fully documented (including condition reports, photographic documentation, analytical and microchemical tests, and other procedures) and respect the artistic and historic integrity of the object. A conservator should never treat an object on loan to the Museum without express written permission of the Lender.
- Guidelines Governing Deaccessions
- A. Definition: The term “deaccession” refers to the process by which an object is permanently removed from the Collection. Deaccessioning is a means of refining and improving the collection. Such action must not endanger the integrity of the collection and must follow current guidelines of the AAM and AAMD.
- Museum officials will comply with professional museum standards and IRS regulations in any deaccessioning of collection items.
- When considering the deaccessioning of an object, the Museum must have clear title and be legally free to deaccession the work.
- The deaccessioning of an object in the collection should be initiated upon written recommendation of the appropriate curator to the executive director, and then to the Collections Committee. Recommendation should include a signed written evaluation of the work’s quality, its monetary value, and the justification for its removal from the collection. Appropriate review and consideration of the action by the Collections
Committee may include the solicitation of outside experts for their written opinions regarding the proposed deaccessioning. Final approval for deaccessions shall rest with the Board of Trustees.
- Objects in the collection to which the Museum holds title should be retained permanently if they continue to be relevant and useful to the purposes and activities of the Museum and if they can be properly stored, preserved, and used. Deaccessioning of any object may be considered when these conditions no longer prevail, or in the interest of improving or refining the collections for the Museum’s purposes and activities.
- The Museum must deaccession works from its collection if the possession of the item(s) is not legitimate
(e.g. if the work was stolen, or illegally exported or imported in violation of applicable state and federal
- The Museum may consider deaccessioning works from the collection for various reasons, including but not limited to one or more of the following:
- The object is outside the scope of the collection as defined herein.
- The object is no longer relevant and useful to the purpose and activities of the Museum.
- The object is in such poor condition that it is irreparable and not usable for exhibition, loan, or study.
- There is a danger of not being able to preserve the object properly.
- The object is a duplicate and is of equal or lesser condition than another example in the collection.
- The object is executed by an important artist but a better example by this same artist is available.
- The authenticity, attribution or genuineness of the object is determined to be false or fraudulent and the object lacks sufficient aesthetic merit of art historical importance to warrant retention.
- Deaccessioning of the object as part of an exchange can be justified as serving the best interests of the Museum, as determined by Museum staff and the Board of Trustees.
- Deaccessioning and disposal must comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and museum practices in force at the time and must observe any terms and obligations which initially pertained to the acquisition of the work by the Museum.
- Reasonable efforts will be made to notify the donor or, when appropriate, members of the donor’s family regarding plans for the deaccessioning of donated objects. Contact with donor does not imply that donor’s wishes regarding the decision to deaccession or the means of deaccession will be ultimately followed.
- Objects proposed for deaccessioning shall be presented first to the Collections Committee for vote and then to the Board of Trustees, who in quorum may authorize the deaccession and disposal of such objects.
In cases of deaccessioning, the Board will require a 2/3rds (two-thirds) majority of those Trustees in attendance to ratify a deaccessioning decision.
- The executive director shall recommend the time and method of disposal. The manner of disposition should be in the best interests of the Museum. Deaccessioned objects are usually disposed of by public auction (with a preference for sale to museums or other tax-exempt educational or public institution); consignment to a dealer; sealed bid from collectors, organizations, or dealers; or exchange with another Museum or dealer. Deaccessioned objects are not sold to a single dealer or to a private collector unless such individuals have submitted the highest bid as part of a public auction or sealed-bid sale to a large group. In the case of a work of art by a living artist, special consideration might be given to exchange with the artist. Only in cases where an object no longer has scholarly, scientific or intrinsic value, for example substantial deterioration of its physical condition, should it be deaccessioned by destruction. Results from the deaccession actions (including any net proceeds) will be reported to the Collections Committee at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
- Museum employees, officers, members of the Board of Trustees, or their families or their representative shall not be permitted to acquire directly or indirectly a work deaccessioned by the Museum or otherwise to benefit from its sale or trade.
- Complete and accurate records documenting the circumstances of a deaccession, including a full description, photographs, appraisal, justification for its removal, any recommendations, relevant correspondence and exchange, sale or gift transaction documents and approval actions, should be supplied to and compiled and maintained by the registrar as part of the deaccession file of that object.
- All proceeds from deaccessioned objects will be used exclusively for the purchase of objects for the collection in accordance with the Codes of Ethics of the AAMD and AAM. If a gift is deaccessioned, an object or objects acquired with the proceeds of such a sale may be credited to the original donor and the donor’s name assigned to all published credits for the new acquisition or acquisitions.
- Guidelines Governing Loans and Miscellaneous Conditions
- General Comments.
- Definition: Loans are temporary assignments of objects from the Museum’s permanent collection to other institutions or the temporary assignments of objects to the Museum for stated Museum purposes, such as exhibition display and research. These assignments do not involve a change in ownership
- Incoming Loans.
- General Comments. The term “incoming loan” refers to an object borrowed from a private collector, gallery, or institution by the Museum and is considered incoming from the perspective of the Museum.
- The Museum shall approve an object for loan based on the following criteria:
- Its importance to the Museum’s exhibition program.
- The importance of its research and study by the Museum staff.
- Its potential acquisition for the permanent collection.
- The Museum will not accept indefinite/permanent loans. Long-term loans from individuals will be accepted for a period of not more than one year. Long-term loans from institutions will be accepted for a period of not more than three years. Long-term loans will be renewable by the Collections Committee and the Board of Trustees provided the loans continue to satisfy exhibition or research purposes.
- Museum Staff shall exercise the same due care toward loan materials as they would toward the permanent collection.
- Loans to the Museum shall be initiated by the executive director or the appropriate curator and will be administered by the registrar.
- Long-term incoming loans require the approval of the Collections Committee and Board of Trustees.
- All loan material will have insurance coverage in accordance with accepted Museum policy. Insurance coverage will conform to standard museum practice, i.e., insurance premiums will be paid by the Museum including all risk “wall-to-wall” coverage and a certificate of insurance will be issued upon request of the lender.
- The object(s) will be returned only to the Lender at the address stated in the Incoming Loan Agreement Form unless other arrangements are made in advance with the Museum’s registrar. If legal ownership or authority to act on behalf of the legal owner should change, whether by reason of death, sale, insolvency, gift, or otherwise, the new owner or agent, prior to the return of the object(s), may be required to establish a legal right to receive the object(s) by proof satisfactory to the Museum.
- If the Lender fails to take possession of the object(s) upon request, or if all efforts to contact the Lenders at the expiration of the loan period are unsuccessful, then the Museum shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to either use the object(s) or to place them in storage at the Lender’s sole risk and expense, to charge regular storage fees therefore, and to enforce a lien for such fees. The object(s) will be so held by the Tampa Museum of Art for a period of five (5) years. If after five (5) years, the object(s) has not been reclaimed, then, and in consideration of the expense of storing and safeguarding the object(s) during such period, the object(s) shall be deemed an unrestricted gift to the Museum.
- All objects on loan to the Museum shall be recorded and documented in the Museum’s records in the manner that conforms to accepted Museum practice. The registrar will issue loan agreements and maintain the permanent loan record. The registrar will oversee all packing and shipping of loan objects.
- Outgoing Loans
- General Comments. The term “outgoing loan” refers to an object loaned by the Museum to another institution and is outgoing from the perspective of the Museum.
- All loans from the Collection will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are subject to review and approval by the appropriate curator and registrar, whose recommendations are submitted to the executive director for approval. The executive director will then submit such recommendations for formal approval to the Collections Committee and, upon their approval, to the Board of Trustees.
- It is the policy of the Museum not to loan art objects to individuals. Loans are made only to properly qualified institutions for exhibition, education or research purposes.
- Objects may be removed temporarily from the collection for loan only when the following conditions are met:
- All institutions must submit a standard AAM facilities report, or other facility report that meets museum standards.
- Loans will be made on a one-year or less, exhibition-specific basis, with each loan subject to renewal.
- The borrowing institution agrees to exercise the same care as it does in the safekeeping of its own objects of a similar type, and is subject to stipulations determined by the executive director, appropriate curator, or registrar.
- Materials are not to be altered or conserved in any way without prior agreement in writing.
In the event damage occurs during the loan period, the Museum must be notified immediately by phone, then in writing and accompanied by photographs. Repairs may be authorized by the appropriate Museum staff member or the immediate return of the object(s) may be required. The borrower shall be responsible for any repair costs.
- No loans will be made when there exists unreasonable risk to the safety of the object(s).
Only objects which are in adequate condition to endure the purpose of the proposed loan will be considered.
- A loan fee and considerations such as packing requirements, couriers, and shipping methods will be determined by the registrar and the appropriate curator and should be stipulated to the borrower verbally and on the Outgoing Loan Agreement Form.
- The borrower will pay or reimburse any packing, shipping, and/or courier costs.
- All loan material will have insurance coverage in accordance with accepted Museum policy. Insurance coverage will conform to standard museum practice, i.e., insurance premium will be paid by the borrower including all-risk “wall-to-wall” coverage and a certificate of insurance will be provided in advance of shipping, verifying coverage in the full amount specified by the Museum. The borrower will pay or reimburse any insurance costs if the Museum chooses to maintain its own insurance.
- The borrowing institution must file a request for loan with the Museum in writing to the executive director or appropriate curator no less than 90 days in advance.
- The Museum should give consideration to:
- the implication of the removal of the work if on exhibit;
- the benefits to the Museum or reciprocal possibilities resulting from the loan;
- any potential damage that could result from travel, display, or handling of the object while
- risk of seizure, levy, or similar type action.
- All objects on loan from the collection shall be recorded and documented in the Museum’s records in a
manner which conforms to accepted Museum practice. A permanent loan record will be maintained by the registrar.
- Objects Left in Custody of the Museum
- Objects left in the custody of the Museum are items that are not owned by or lent to the Museum but are placed temporarily on the premises (for 90 days or less) for examination, identification and consideration for gift or purchase. Only the executive director and appropriate curator can make the decision to accept an object for temporary custody. The registrar must be notified of these objects so that proper records can be maintained (i.e., an incoming receipt form). The registrar will make a periodic review of objects left in temporary custody of the Museum and will inform the appropriate curator of items which are approaching the 90 day limit.
- If the Owner fails to take possession of the object(s) upon request, or if all efforts to contact the Owner after 90 days are unsuccessful, the Museum shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to either use the object(s) or to place them in storage at the Owner’s sole risk and expense, to charge regular storage fees therefore, and to enforce a lien for such fees. The object(s) will be so held by the Museum for a period of five (5) years. If after five (5) years, the object(s) has not been reclaimed, then, and in consideration of the expense of storing and safeguarding the object(s) during such period, the object(s) shall be deemed an unrestricted gift to the Museum.
- Access to the Collections
- The collections are an educational resource and thus should be as easily accessible to scholars and the public as is consistent with the safety and security of the individual objects. Access to the collections can be granted by the executive director, curators, or registrar to other museum staff, docents, students, researchers, collectors, and interested members of the public who demonstrate a serious and legitimate purpose for their request. Access to storage is limited to those who are accompanied by the executive director, appropriate curator, or registrar. All photography of objects in the collection must be made by Museum staff or a photographer approved by the registrar. All photography of collection objects or exhibition installations must be approved by the appropriate curator or registrar and provide appropriate
- Code of Ethics
- In all matters dealing with the collection, the staff will adhere to the standard policies set forth by the
Museum’s Code of Ethics and those expressed by AAM and AAMD:
- Staff members shall not use their positions for personal gain.
- Staff member shall not appraise or attempt to set value on objects/artifacts for any purpose.
- Staff members involved with the Collection must disclose their personal collecting interests to the executive director and in the case of the executive director to the chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
- Staff members considering an object for purchase that falls within the Museum’s collecting area must make available to the Museum the opportunity to purchase the object first. The Museum will have only 30 days in which to make its decision to purchase or decline the object.
- In all matters dealing with the collection, the Board of Trustees will adhere to the standard policies set forth by the Museum’s Code of Ethics and those expressed by AAM and AAMD:
- Trustees that collect in the areas of the Museum’s own collecting areas must disclose these interests to the chairperson of the Board of Trustees and must abide by any restrictions placed on such collecting as specified in the Museum’s Code of Ethics.
- No member of the Board of Trustees, the Collections Committee nor staff of the Museum nor their immediate families or representatives shall acquire objects through the deaccessioning process.
- Special Considerations for Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art
- General Comments
- The Museum holds a significant collection of art and artifacts of the ancient world and intends to continue to add to it. Because collecting antiquities requires a nuanced approach to issues of provenance, the Museum has decided to add to its Collections Management Policy a specific section addressing this area of collecting. The Museum is an active member of both AAMD and AAM (Association of Art Museum Directors and American Alliance of Museums, respectively), with accreditation granted by the latter association. In its acquisition and management of existing collections of archaeological materials and ancient art, the Museum is guided by AAMD’s Report of the AAMD Subcommittee on the Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art and AAM’s Standards Regarding Archaeological Material and Ancient Art, both released in 2008, as well as AAMD’s 2013 Revisions to the 2008 Guidelines on the Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art; all of these policies are available online.1
- Prior to acquisition—whether by purchase or donation—the Museum’s curator will thoroughly research both the provenance (history of ownership) and provenance (archaeological find-spot) of archaeological materials and works of ancient art. As far as reasonably possible, this should include securing copies of all publications as well as written documentation or illustrations pertaining to discovery, prior ownership, import and export documents, and valid legal title.
- The Museum and seller or donor must comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, including treaties and international conventions of which the U.S. is a party.
- The Museum normally should not acquire archaeological material or ancient artwork unless provenance research demonstrates that it was outside its probable country of modern discovery before November 17, 1970 (the date of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property), or legally exported from its probable country of modern discovery after this date.
- In cases where a fully documented ownership history is not available, the Museum may make an informed judgment that the object was outside its probable country of modern discovery before November 17, 1970 or that it was legally exported from its probable country of modern discovery after this date. In other cases, the cumulative facts and circumstances resulting from provenance research, including, but not limited to, the independent exhibition and publication of the work, the length of time it has been on display, and its recent ownership history, allow the Museum to make an informed judgment to acquire the work. The Museum may1 Available at http://www.aamd.org/newsroom/documents/2008ReportAndRelease.pdf and
http://www.aamus.org/museumresources/ethics/upload/Standards%20Regarding%20Archaeological%20Material%20and%20Ancient%20Art.pdf and https://aamd.org/sites/default/files/document/Guidelines%20on%20the%20Acquisition%20of%20Archaeological%20Material%20and%20Ancient%20Art%20revised%202013_0.pdf.
also elect to accept as a gift or bequest any object that was (a) promised to the Museum in a will, trust, or otherdocument prior to May 18, 2011 (the date of the last major revision of the Museum’s Collections Management Policy); (b) on long-term loan to the Museum prior to May 18, 2011; or (c) reasonably expected as a future gift to the Museum prior to May 18, 2011. In such instances, the Museum must carefully balance the possible financial and reputational harm of taking such a step against the mission of collecting, presenting, and preserving the work in trust for the public benefit. The reasons for making an acquisition of this type must be presented to and approved by both the Collections Committee and the Board of Trustees.
- The Museum will promptly publish all acquisitions of ancient art or archaeological material in print or electronic form, including an image (or images) of the work and information about its provenance and provenience. For objects without pre-November 17, 1970 documentation, an image and provenance information shall also be posted on the AAMD online object registry (http://aamdobjectregistry.org/) with an explanation of why the Museum feels justified in acquiring the object. Where feasible, new acquisitions should be publicly exhibited soon after accession.
- Existing Collection
- The Museum should dedicate time and resources to the ongoing research of its collection, including, but not limited to, the history of ownership.
- As soon as reasonably possible, the Museum should make available on its website the ownership history of all archaeological material and ancient artwork in its collection.
- If continuing research demonstrates another party’s right to ownership of archaeological material or a work of ancient art in the existing collection, the Museum should bring this information to the attention of the party, and if the case warrants, initiate the return of the work to that party.
- In the event that a third party brings to the attention of the Museum information supporting the party’s proof of ownership of a work, the Museum should respond promptly and responsibly and take whatever steps are necessary to address this claim, including, if warranted, returning the work.
- Long-term incoming loans of ancient material are subject to the same provenance documentation requirements as acquisitions (outlined above) and require the approval of both the Collections Committee and the Board of Trustees.
- Other incoming loans (i.e. loans for a period of less than one year or objects placed in the Museum’s custody for up to 90 days), whether in conjunction with a particular exhibition or for display alongside the permanent collection and which do not require approval of the Collections Committee nor the Board of Trustees, are not subject to the same provenance documentation requirements as acquisitions. The curator, in consultation with the executive director and the chairman of the Collections Committee, may choose to borrow artwork with incomplete provenance for periods of less than one year.
- With prior approval from the lender, any loaned object currently on display at the Museum will be posted on the Museum website. Requests for anonymity will be respected.
- In the event of an ownership claim made on an object on loan to or on deposit with the Museum, the
Museum shall return the loaned object to the lender and remove itself from any dispute. The Museum will play no role in the resolution of the claim beyond providing the claimant with contact information for the lender.