Collections Management Policy

Collections Management Policy

Abstract:
This policy details the parameters of collections management for the Institute for Visual Arts (UAB Visual Arts Gallery).
Effective Date:
6/15/2009
Contacts:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff
Keyword(s):
Material Original Source:

University of Alabama at Birmingham

COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT POLICY

June 15, 2009

Purpose

This Collections Management Policy has been developed with reference to existing policies established by, but not limited to, the University of South Australia, Adelaide Australia; the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; and the governing body for museums internationally, the International Council of Museums. Recognition is given to the institutions whose policies have been relied upon and their intellectual property rights have been respected. In each instance, organizations have been contacted for permissions, which have been granted subject to this written acknowledgment.

Policy Statement

  1. Museum and Institute for the Visual Arts Collections Principles

Deans of Schools may only establish Museum and Institute for the Visual Arts Collections following formal approval by the Board of Trustees (the Board). The Board may recognize such Museum and Institute for the Visual Arts Collections to which the University has a justifiable long-term commitment and which enhance the University's expressed goals and policies.

The Museum and Institute for the Visual Arts Collections will operate in accordance with a written policy, which will include the purpose of the Collection and the proposed manner of acquisition, management, and disposal of objects.

The University and its employees responsible for Museum and Institute for the Visual Arts Collections will be guided by relevant codes of ethics for the museum profession, including guidelines established by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the American Association of Museums.

An advisory committee for each Museum and Institute for the Arts Collections will be established, with terms of reference for its representation and operation. Each advisory committee will report annually to the Provost and will periodically review the Museum or Institute for the Visual Arts Collections Management Policy for which it is responsible to ensure relevance to the University's expressed goals and policies.

  1. Visual Arts Collection Governance

In 1976, the Board approved the establishment of the Visual Arts Gallery within the School of Arts and Humanities to conduct an exhibitions program and manage a University Art Collection.

A Works of Art Committee was established to review and recommend to the Board art collections (including all art acquisitions to the University whether made by purchase, commission, gift, or donation) and program policies for the Visual Arts Gallery, in accordance with the Terms of Reference of the Works of Art Committee.

With the completion of new facilities, the Visual Arts Gallery will henceforth be known as the Institute for the Visual Arts. Subsequently, the Visual Arts Gallery Director will be referred to as the Director of the Institute of Visual Arts.

  1. Visual Arts Collection Aims

3.1 To develop and maintain a visual art collection of national significance and repute that reflects the cultural aspirations of the University and its expressed goals and policies.

3.2 To collect works of art of demonstrable excellence by artists of significance, consistent with the perceived developments in contemporary art, and artists who have important connections to the University of Alabama at Birmingham and/or its antecedents.

3.3 To collect and commission selectively works of art which enhance the buildings and grounds of the University and which foster an understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the visual arts among the University community and members of the general public.

3.4 To collect selectively works of significance for the development of research and reference collections which support the University’s commitment to the study and preservation of the visual arts.

  1. Guidelines for Acquisition

4.1 Criteria for acquisition. The University of Alabama at Birmingham collects works of art within the terms of the Collections Management Policy whether by purchase, commission, gift, or donation in the following categories:

i) Works of demonstrable excellence by artists of significance, with an emphasis on contemporary artists and/or artists who have an important connection to the University of Alabama at Birmingham and/or its antecedents.

ii) Site-specific works of art and/or works suitable for the display conditions of sites within the University’s buildings and grounds.

iii) Works of significance for the purpose of developing identified research and reference collections and which reflect the cultural aspirations of the University.

iv) Works of art which contribute to the general congruence of the collection.


4.2 Acquisitions procedures and agreements.The Collections Management Policy is an approved University policy for the acquisition (including purchase, commission, gift, or donation) of all works of art within the University.

All proposed acquisitions must be approved by the Works of Art Committee prior to acquisition. Recommendations for the acquisition of works of art valued over $10,000 also must also be approved by the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and/or the Provost prior to acquisition.

The Office of the Provost of the University, acting on behalf of the Works of Art Committee, has the right to reserve works of art and/or make an offer of purchase of works of art for the University. Such purchases must be made in accordance with University purchasing guidelines and may, depending on the amount in question, require the signature of a member of the University’s Board of Trustees or the Provost of the University.

The Works of Art Committee, when approving works of art to be acquired, will bear in mind the management and resource implications of accepting loans, gifts, or purchases and the financial and legal implications of accepting improperly valued loans or gifts or improperly priced purchases.

Clear legal title is required for all works of art permanently acquired. If clear title cannot be provided, a proposed acquisition must not proceed. Title will pass to the University and not to any individual or organizational unit.

Copyright in each of the works of art shall remain the property of the artist. At the time of purchase, the University will require permission to create and publish images of the work of art and to reasonably reproduce the image for scholarly or non-commercial purposes in both digital and printed forms. Limitations on the reproduction of works of art and the circumstances under which the University may do so will be negotiated with copyright holders on an individual basis.

All works of art approved for acquisition by the Works of Art Committee will be formally accessioned into the Collection by resolution of said committee.

The Director of the Institute for the Visual Arts will provide advice with respect to procedures for the acquisition of works of art for the University and other matters relating to the Collections Management Policy and works of art.

4.3 Donations/Gifts

Gifts to the Collection will be encouraged, provided such gifts are within the Collections Management Policy guidelines. The Works of Art Committee shall have the right to accept or refuse such offers of gifts as they occur.

Gifts will be accepted only where the donor has legal title to the work of art and the gift is made on the basis of a total transfer from the donor to the University. Works of art offered on a long-term loan basis will be accepted only on the understanding that the work of art eventually will be donated to the University. Such an agreement will be documented by means of a signed form before the work of art is accepted for loan.

Under the provisions of the Tax Incentives Cultural Gifts Program, the Gallery is eligible to facilitate tax reducibility for donations.

  1. Collection Reporting and Management

The Collection should be maintained and displayed in accordance with international standards and conventions of museum conservation, handling, storage, record-keeping (including a central catalog containing photographs of each object, a brief description, and an accession number), and security. The Director of the Institute for the Visual Arts will be responsible for the overall management of the Collection.

The Works of Art Committee will annually report to the Provost on the Collection including all new University Art Collection acquisitions.

The Institute for the Visual Arts staff will undertake an inventory and condition report audit of the Collection regularly, or as requested, and report to the Works of Art Committee and the Provost.

Commissioning of works of art, including official portraits and site-specific public works of art will be undertaken by the Works of Art Committee in accordance with the Collections Management Policy. A special advisory committee reporting to the Works of Art Committee may be established for the commissioning of official portraits and site-specific public works of art.

Works of art which are not part of the Collection, but which are owned by units of the University, are assets of the University. The organizational unit deemed to own such works of art will be responsible for good management of the works of art and for maintaining an appropriate record of such assets.

5.1 Collection loans and display. Works of art from the Collection will be available for temporary exhibition loans on approval by the Director of the Institute for the Visual Arts, subject to the borrower’s agreement to the conditions specified in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collection Loan Agreement Forms.

Works of art from the Collection will be available for temporary exhibition loans in the following order:

i) Art Museum/Center Exhibitions
ii) Temporary Exhibition Loans
iii) Key public areas of the University (e.g., board/conference rooms, libraries, campus reception areas and grounds)

Historically, certain works of art have been associated with a particular school or organizational unit, and due consideration of the provenance of a work of art will be given.

Collection loan requests will be made through the Institute for the Visual Arts. The Institute for the Visual Arts will endeavor to accommodate requests; however, the Institute for the Visual Arts reserves the right to locate works of art in the Collection where deemed appropriate.

A person or persons designated by UAB administration as Campus Manager(s) will be responsible for monitoring works of art displayed in buildings on campus, and will report any changes or modifications to the location and environment conditions to the Director of the Institute for the Visual Arts. Works of art on display must not be moved without prior approval from the Director. Institute for the Visual Arts staff will manage the movement of works of art on display. The relevant Campus Manager will be advised of any proposals to move works of art on display.

The display of privately owned works of art and works of art belonging to organizational units which are not recognized as being a part of the University Art Collection will be the responsibility of the individual owner or unit.

  1. De-accessioning Art Works

The Collection will be subject to periodic review in order to assess its relevance to the Collections Management Policy. Works of art will be considered on a case-by-case basis for de-accessioning based on the following criteria:

i) Irrelevance to the Collections Management Policy
ii) Low artistic merit
iii) Duplication
iv) Theft or loss, damage or serious deterioration in condition
v) The possibility of upgrading by exchange
vi) Repatriation of cultural material
vii) Absence of clear legal title
viii) Unsuitability for either the identified research collections or exhibition/display purposes.

The Works of Art Committee is responsible for endorsing the disposal of works of art from the Collection, as and when appropriate. Works of art identified for disposal will be valued by a recognized appraiser and offered for sale through an art auction house.

Monies received from de-accessioning and disposal of works of art will be used to purchase other works of art for the collection.

De-accessioning and disposal will be initiated and undertaken by the Director of the Institute for the Visual Arts following approval from the Works of Art Committee.

Implementation

The Director of the Institute for the Visual Arts is responsible for procedures to implement this policy.