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University of South Australia Art Collection Policy: Acquisition and management of University art works

POLICY NO: C-25.1

DATE: Council meeting 20 November 2001, Resolution No 2001/6/6 

AMENDMENTS: Revised September 2006

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Pro Vice Chancellor: International and Development

CROSS REFERENCES: University of South Australia Collections and Museums: Policy and Protocols for Acquisition and Management of University Collections and Museums

Code of practice: University philanthropic activity

            1. University of South Australia art collection aims
            2. Guidelines for acquisition
            3. Collection reporting and management
            4. De-accessioning art works.

 

1. University of South Australia art collection aims

1.1    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.

1.2    To collect works of visual art of demonstrable excellence by artists of significance, consistent with the perceived developments in Australian contemporary art, with an emphasis on South Australian artists and artists who have an important connection to the University of South Australia and its antecedents.

1.3    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 .

1.4    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 South Australian visual arts and/or works which have an important connection to the University of South Australia and its antecedents. 

2. Guidelines for acquisition

2.1    Criteria for acquisition

The University of South Australia collects works of visual art within the terms of the collections policy whether by purchase, commission, gift or donation in the following categories, listed in descending order of emphasis: 

  1. Works of demonstrable excellence by artists of significance, with an emphasis on South Australian artists and/or artists who have an important connection to the University of South Australia and or its antecedents 
  2. Site-specific works of art and/or works suitable for the display conditions of sites within the University’s buildings and grounds 
  3. Works of significance for the purpose of developing identified research and reference collections and which reflect the cultural aspirations of the University 
  4. Works of art which contribute to the general congruence of the collection. 

2.2    Acquisitions procedures and agreements

The University Art Collection Policy is an approved University Council Policy for the acquisition (including purchase, commission, gift or donation) of all works of art within the University. 

All works of art proposed for acquisition by the University must be approved by the Acquisitions Committee, a sub committee of the Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee, prior to acquisition. Recommendations for the acquisition of artworks valued over $10,000, must also be ratified by the Vice Chancellor, prior to acquisition. 

Only the Samstag Museum of Art Director on behalf of the Acquisitions Committee has the right to reserve works and/or make an offer of purchase of art works for the University. 

The Acquisitions Committee when approving art works 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 art works permanently acquired. If clear title cannot be provided, a proposed acquisition should not proceed. Title will pass to the University and not to any individual or organisational unit. 

Copyright in each of the art works shall remain the property of the artist. 

At the time of purchase the University will request permission to create and publish images of the artwork. 

All art works approved for acquisition by the Acquisitions Committee will be formally accessioned into the University Art Collection by the Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee. 

The Samstag Museum of Art Museum Director will provide advice with respect to procedures for the acquisition of works of art for the University and other matters relating to collection policy and art works. 

2.3    Donations/gifts 

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

Gifts will only be accepted where the donor has legal title to the work 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 only be accepted on the understanding that the work will eventually be donated to the University. Such an agreement will be documented by means of a signed form before the work is accepted for loan. 

Under the provisions of the Cultural Gifts Program, the Samstag Museum of Arts is eligible to facilitate tax deducibility for donations. 

3. 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 catalogue containing photographs of each object, a brief description, and an accession number) and security. 

The Samstag Museum of Art Director will be responsible for the overall management of the Collection. 

The Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee will report on the Collection including all new University Art Collection acquisitions to the Vice Chancellor annually.

The Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee will spend the monies allocated to it for acquisitions for the purchase of works of art for the collection. 

The Samstag Museum of Art staff will undertake a stock take and condition report audit of the Collection regularly, or as requested, and report to the Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee and/or the Vice Chancellor. 

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

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

3.1    Collection loans and display

Works of art from the Collection will be available for temporary exhibition loans on approval by the Samstag Museum of Art Director, subject to the borrowers agreement to the conditions specified in the University of South Australia Collection Loan Agreement Forms. 

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

  1. Samstag Museum of Art Exhibitions 
  2. Temporary Exhibition Loans 
  3. Key public areas of the University (eg Council Rooms, Chancellery, libraries, Campus reception areas and grounds) 

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

Collection loan requests will be made through the Samstag Museum of Art . The Samstag Museum of Art will endeavour to accommodate requests, however the Samstag Museum of Art reserves the right to locate works in the Collection where deemed appropriate. 

The Campus Manager or nominee will be responsible for monitoring works displayed on each Campus, and will report any changes or modifications to the location and environment conditions to the Art Museum. 

Works of art on display must not be moved without prior approval from the Samstag Museum of Art . Samstag Museum of Art staff or nominee 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 organisational units which are not recognised as being a part of the University Collection will be the responsibility of the individual owner or unit. 

4. De-accessioning art works

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

  1. irrelevance to the Art Collection Policy 
  2. low artistic merit 
  3. duplication 
  4. theft or loss, damage or serious deterioration in condition 
  5. the possibility of upgrading by exchange 
  6. repatriation of cultural material 
  7. absence of clear legal title 
  8. unsuitability for either the identified research collections or exhibition/display purposes.

The Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee is responsible for endorsing the disposal of art works from the Art Collection, as and when appropriate. Works identified for disposal will be valued by a recognised valuer and offered for sale or donation, in the following priority order: 

  1. to the Art Gallery of South Australia and/or another public gallery or collection 
  2. through an auction house 
  3.  the artist of the work. 

De-accessioning and disposal of works or art will be initiated and undertaken by the Samstag Museum of Art Director following approval from the Samstag Museum of Art Advisory Committee.  De-accessioning and disposal of the Art Collection may only occur with the written approval of the Vice Chancellor.

Funds or compensation received from the de-accessioning and disposal of works of art from the Art Collection should be used solely for the benefit of the Samstag Museum of Art and usually for acquisitions, or as directed by the Vice Chancellor.

 

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