Art Collection Management
The University Art Collection is a valuable resource for research and scholarship, exhibition and educational purposes shared by the academic and cultural communities it serves. The collection also enhances the cultural life and aesthetics of the University and the surrounding region.
The purpose of this policy is to provide proper guidelines and procedures on the management of the University Art Collection including acquisition, accession and deaccession of artwork, and loan policies for its internal and/or external use. The guidelines outlined in this policy are consistent with the professional standards and best practices defined by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).
The Curator of Exhibitions and Art Collection directs the daily management of the University Art Collection. Any issues pertaining to the University Art Collection, or to any individual object in the collection, and its use shall be directed to the Curator.
Reason for Policy
The purpose of this policy is to set guidelines for the acquisition, accession, deaccession, and maintenance of items in the university art collection. It is a standard for universities with art collections to have a collection management policy, and it is required for certain loans and any future museum accreditation.
Who is Governed by This Policy
This policy affects the University Curator, University Libraries, Office of University Advancement, Finance, potential donors and any office or department housing items from the collection.
Maintenance and Care
The Curator shall oversee the daily maintenance and care of the University Art Collection and shall maintain a record of where each piece from the University Art Collection is located. University employees shall consult with the Curator before transporting, handling or installing any piece from the University Art Collection.
Acquisitions and Accession
Acquisitions to the University Art Collection shall be made to strengthen the mission and holdings of the collection for the purposes of research, teaching, curricular development, and exhibitions. Artwork or objects acquired shall be of historical/aesthetic significance and merit and may be added to the collection through gift, bequest, purchase, or exchange following the guidelines described below. Whenever possible, gifts shall be accepted unencumbered, with minimal or no restrictions on their use and with an obtainable provenance. The University shall make reasonable and customary attempt to ensure that acquisitions have not been acquired illegally or through illicit trade and are not in violation of existing art and cultural heritage laws.
Gifts and Bequests
Upon an offer of a gift to a faculty member, employee, office, program, department, or college, the potential recipient shall submit an accession proposal to the Curator. Accession proposals will be reviewed by the Curator, Dean of Libraries and the Art Management Committee (defined below). After a proposal is approved or denied, the Curator shall discuss the decision with all parties involved and follow proper procedures to ensure the gift is processed through the Office of University Advancement.
Additions to the University Art Collection through purchase or commission by individual departments, offices, or colleges require submitting an accession proposal to the Curator. The Curator shall provide a recommendation for its approval or denial. Upon approval, the designated party shall work with the Curator to assure proper handling, documentation, maintenance, security, and placement of the acquisition. All work purchased with University funds shall become the property of Adelphi University and shall be accessioned into the collection.
The deaccession of objects from the University Art Collection is an irreversible act, and therefore requires careful consideration and prudence. Although deaccession is a necessary act in collection development, it shall be considered only to bolster the quality of the collection and advance its mission. Once an object is approved for deaccession by the Curator, Dean of Libraries and Art Management Committee, the Curator shall follow proper guidelines for its removal from the collection and keep appropriate documentation. Under no circumstance should members of the University staff, Board, or members or their immediate families, or their agents, be permitted to obtain deaccessioned works of art except through approved public auction.
Criteria for Deaccession
The criteria listed below may be used to evaluate the need for deaccession. This is not a comprehensive list and only provides a basis for consideration.
- The object does not meet the criteria for the stated goals and mission of the collection
- The object lacks historical or aesthetic value
- The object is found not to be authentic
- The cost of maintenance or security of the object is beyond the financial capabilities of the university
- The object is damaged and beyond repair, or the cost of repair exceeds the value of the work
- The ownership of the object is in question or was exported or imported in violation of existing law
The University shall make a reasonable effort to notify donors of objects considered for deaccession and terms, if any, stated in the deed of gift shall be followed. Funds obtained from the sale of objects shall be put into a restricted fund used only for the purchase of other artwork or maintenance and conservation of the collection. No employee of the university or their relatives may purchase deaccessioned artwork directly from the university. If the cost to prepare an object for sale exceeds its expected sale value, the university will look for exchange or donation opportunities with other institutions or individuals. Objects may be destroyed and disposed of at the Curator’s recommendation in consultation with the Art Management Committee if other disposal opportunities are not practical or available.
- Internal Loans
Loans (within the University community) of artwork from the collection shall be made at the discretion of the Curator. Requests can be made directly to the Curator and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If granted, the terms of the loan and the length of the loan period shall be determined by the Curator. Examples of internal loans include borrowing works for classroom educational purposes and hanging works in university conference rooms and public locations. Accessioned artwork in the collection will not be hung in any private location where it cannot be made available to the University community by request.
Loan requests from borrowing institutions shall be reviewed by the Curator. Requests must be from an accredited institution, professional gallery, and/or museum to be considered. A loan contract and condition report shall be issued with all approved loans and tracked throughout the loan period by the Curator. The borrowing institution shall accept all responsibility for insurance, shipping, and repair costs associated with the loan unless otherwise specified in the loan contract. No loan shall be permitted without a loan contract and condition report.
All accessioned objects will be covered under the University’s art insurance plan. The University Curator will supply an inventory of the art collection including individual object locations to the office of Risk Management on an annual basis. Acquired objects that are not part of the University Art Collection will not be covered under the University’s art insurance plan unless a request for coverage is sent to the office of Risk Management. Appraisals of individual objects or the full collection will occur as needed or at least every ten years.
Acquisition: The process of acquiring an object(s) or collection. Object(s) or collections usually are acquired through donation, purchase, transfer from or exchange with another institution, or bequest. Acquisition does not imply accessioning, but is a necessary prerequisite for accessioning. Acquired objects or collections are recommended for accessioning by the Curator.
Accession: Accessioning is the procedure that is initiated by the transfer of clear title, and that officially incorporates objects into the permanent University Art Collection. Title is considered to be transferred when the University receives a deed of gift signed by the donor, or when a bill of sale is acknowledged as paid in full in the case of purchased objects, or when a document is signed by all interested parties in the case of transferred objects. Objects are not incorporated into the University Art Collection until they are accessioned. Upon accessioning, the University assumes the obligation for the proper care and management of the object(s). Accessioning provides an inventory of objects in the University Art Collection, and is a function of the Art Collection Curator.
This policy does not have procedures associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review, this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.
University Art Collection Mission Statement
Through the acquisition, exhibition, care and preservation of original works of art, The Adelphi University Art Collection encourages an awareness and appreciation of the visual arts. Collected works are exhibited in university galleries and other public areas educating and inspiring our community, contributing to the aesthetics of the campus, and reinforcing Adelphi University’s standing as a center of artistic education and expression. Collected works are available for individual viewing upon request as an educational resource. The collection consists of a diverse variety of mediums and styles and it continues to grow through the acquisition of high-quality works of art with educational value to continue the goals and role of the collection at Adelphi University.
Art Management Committee
There is a committee with faculty from the University Libraries, the University Archivist, and the College of Arts and Sciences, along with the Curator (Committee Chair), and other staff members who have expertise in the area of art history and artwork management. The committee charter is listed as an attachment to this policy.
- Last Reviewed Date: July 07, 2023
- Last Revised Date: June 01, 2022
- Policy Origination Date: January 01, 2021
Who Approved This Policy
Executive Leadership on July 1, 2022.