Collections Management

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Policy No: 6089
Effective Date: DRAFT
Revised Date:
Reviewed Date:

Collections Management Policy

Basis for Policy

Mission and Vision

Mission

The Healing Arts Program engages patients, caregivers, staff and students to heal through the arts.

Vision

The Healing Arts Program's vision is to:

  • Educate and build community awareness encompassing the arts, health and medicine;
  • Create an environment promoting healing and humanizing the hospital experience by providing visual, performing and therapeutic arts experiences; and
  • Integrate and enhance our evidence-based experiences within UNMC/Nebraska Medicine/UNO through the arts.

Collection Criteria

The Healing Arts Program collects and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to enrich, inspire, and enliven our patients, visitors, employees, students and community, and at the same time bring comfort, provide an opportunity for contemplation and humanize the hospital experience. Artworks must be suited to the mission of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)/Nebraska Medicine and the healing arts, enhance the overall aesthetic of the built environment, and assist in creating a supportive environment for all audiences of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine. Artwork selected for the collection will be of the highest artistic quality, characteristically uplifting and appropriate for a health care setting.

Art for patient areas is chosen to achieve a healthy and harmonic outlook.

The collection has been established for a humanitarian purpose, not for investment value.

Choices are made on the basis of equal concern for content and aesthetic quality. Artwork that is hostile, obviously depressing, has any negative medical connotation, or is surrealistic will be avoided.

Art of a religious nature will be carefully considered for select display areas.

Purpose

UNMC Policy No. 6089, Collections Management (the "Policy"), is intended to document the policies that guide the development, presentation and care of the Healing Arts Program's art collection consistent with the mission of the program and with professional museum standards, where allowed.

Through this policy, the Healing Arts Program ensures that:

  1. Its collections are accounted for by an inventory conducted every one to five years and documented in an Excel spreadsheet;
  2. Its collections are protected, secure, cared for, and preserved;
  3. Acquisition, deaccessioning and loans of works in the collections are conducted in a manner that conforms to the Healing Arts Program’s mission, complies with applicable law, and reflects the highest ethical standards;
  4. Disposal of works from the collection through sale, exchange or other means is solely for the advancement of the Healing Arts Program’s mission, and proceeds from the sale of such works are used only to purchase other works of art;
  5. Access to the collection is permitted and appropriately regulated; and
  6. Collection-related activities promote the public good rather than individual financial gain.

Duties of the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee

The Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee has the following powers with respect to the collection:

  1. The power to formulate and adopt a program for and to approve the purchase of works of art and to apply to the purchase of works of art the funds restricted for such purposes is vested in the Acquisitions Committee. The Acquisitions Committee may delegate to the Executive Director and the Curator power to purchase objects of art within such reasonable limits as the committee may impose.
  2. The power to accept or decline gifts or bequests of works of art is vested in the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee.
  3. The power to deaccession works of art for sale, exchange, or other means of disposal with a current market value up to and including $50,000 is vested in the Acquisitions Committee (See Deaccessioning below).

Acquisitions

General Principles

The Curator should propose exceptional works of art for acquisition to the collection that significantly further the Healing Arts Program’s stated mission. All works should be in an acceptable state of preservation, unless the deteriorated physical condition is integral to the meaning of the work. The Healing Arts Program must be able to display, store, and care for the proposed acquisition according to generally accepted museum, university and hospital practices. The art medium and mounting method must meet the requirements for cleaning and maintenance, which adhere to health care and ADA guidelines and infection control and safety requirements.

The Healing Arts Program is committed to the principle that all collecting be done according to the highest standards of ethical and professional practice.

If an agent has introduced the Healing Arts Program to an artist, the program will work through the agent unless otherwise directed by the artist.

Purchase Procedures

For all purchases, the Curator writes a detailed report. Report information should include:

  1. A description of the artwork including medium, size, importance to the Healing Arts Program’s collection, justification for acceptance, provenance, physical condition and any special maintenance requirements;
  2. Intentions for display and the gift or fund against which the purchase will be charged;
  3. A brief biography of the artist, including past exhibition history, public collections and current contact information for the artist or donor;
  4. Image of the artwork(s);
  5. Clear disclosure of any affiliation proposed artist or donor may have with the corporate officer, trustee, physician or employee of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine.

This report is submitted to the Executive Director. Upon review by the Executive Director, works considered for acquisition will be moved through the reporting and approval process, as determined by the following purchase limits.
Currently, the Acquisitions Committee has established the following limits for purchases of works of art:

  1. Purchases $5,000 and under: Purchases of single works of art up to and including $5,000 may be made on the authority of the Executive Director and Curator.
  2. Purchases from $5,001 through $25,000: Purchases of single works of art over $5,000 but up to and including $25,000 may be made by the Curator with prior approval of both the Executive Director and the Chairman of the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee.
  3. Purchases over $25,000: All purchases of works of art over $25,000 must be approved by the Acquisitions Committee. The Acquisitions Committee will meet as needed, but not more than twice a year, to review artworks recommended for purchase.

Procedures for Accepting Gifts or Bequests

For all gifts (including promised gifts and partial interest gifts) and bequests, the Curator writes a detailed report. Report information should include:

  1. A description of the artwork including medium, size, importance to the Healing Arts Program’s collection, justification for acceptance, provenance, physical condition and any special maintenance requirements;
  2. Intentions for display;
  3. A brief biography of the artist, including past exhibition history, public collections and current contact information for the artist or donor;
  4. Image of the artwork(s);
  5. Clear disclosure of any affiliation proposed artist or donor may have with the corporate officer, trustee, physician or employee of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine.

This report is submitted to the Executive Director. The Executive Director and Curator then report the gift to the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee, which decides whether to accept or decline the gift. The Acquisitions Committee will meet as needed, but not more than twice a year, to review artworks recommended as gifts and bequests.

Any donor conditions must be approved by the Executive Director.

The Healing Arts Program generally does not accept restrictions on gifts; any exceptions require approval by the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee.

The Healing Arts Program requires donors to transfer all rights of reproduction unless the donor does not own such rights or the gift is made by a living artist of the artist's own work. In such cases, the Healing Arts Program will seek a nonexclusive right of reproduction from the copyright owner.

If the donor's work is approved, a statement of the proposed gift's value must be obtained at the prospective donor's expense, for gift recognition.

Provenance Guidelines

Guidelines for all Acquisitions

Inquiry and Research

The Healing Arts Program shall rigorously research the provenance of a work of art prior to acquisition to determine that the Healing Arts Program can obtain clear title. Such research should include, but is not necessarily limited to, determining:

  1. the ownership history of the work of art;
  2. the countries in which the work of art has been located and when;
  3. the exhibition history of the work of art, if any;
  4. the publication history of the work of art, if any;
  5. whether any claims to ownership of the work of art have been made; and
  6. the circumstances under which the work of art is being offered to the Healing Arts Program.

For all acquisitions, the Healing Arts Program shall make a rigorous effort to obtain from sellers and donors all available information and accurate written documentation with respect to the ownership history of the work of art.
For any purchase of a single work of art over $150,000 and for all archaeological materials or ancient art for acquisition or gift and bequest, the Healing Arts Program shall obtain all import and export documentation.

See Cultural Objects, Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art for additional requirements for acquisitions of archeological materials or ancient art.

For all acquisitions over $150,000 and for other acquisitions at its discretion, the Healing Arts Program shall determine whether the work of art appears in relevant databases of stolen work.

Legal Considerations

Healing Arts Program acquisitions must comply with all applicable local, state, and federal U.S. laws, most notably those governing ownership and import of works of art, such as the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA), the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CCPIA), sanctions enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Since the status of a work of art under foreign law may bear on its legal status under U.S. law, UNMC shall review relevant foreign laws before making an acquisition.

Warranty and Indemnification

When purchasing works of art, the Healing Arts Program will seek representations and warranties from the seller that the seller has valid title and that the work of art is free from any liens, claims and encumbrances. The Healing Arts Program will also seek indemnification for a full refund for the work of art in the event of any breach of warranty.

Nazi/World War II Era

The Healing Arts Program will be guided by the Report of the Association of Art Museum Directors' Task Force on the Spoliation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era (1933–1945) and the American Association of Museums' Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era.

The Healing Arts Program will observe the following guidelines relating to the acquisition of works that were likely to have been in German-occupied Europe between 1933 and 1945 in addition to the rigorous research and documentation required for all acquisitions:

  1. Where information is incomplete for a gift, bequest or purchase, curatorial staff should undertake additional research prudent or necessary to resolve the Nazi-era provenance of the work. All research efforts shall be documented. In the absence of evidence of unlawful appropriation, the gift or purchase may proceed. Where there is credible evidence of unlawful appropriation without subsequent restitution, the Healing Arts Program shall not acquire the work until taking further action to resolve these issues.
  2. If the Healing Arts Program, as a result of its continuing research, determines that a work in its collection was unlawfully appropriated during the Nazi era without subsequent restitution, the program shall make such information public. If a legitimate claimant comes forward, the Healing Arts Program shall seek to resolve the matter in a prompt, equitable, appropriate and mutually agreeable manner.
  3. In the event that a third party claims that a work in the Healing Arts Program’s collection was unlawfully appropriated during the Nazi era without subsequent restitution, the program shall review the claim promptly and responsibly. The Healing Arts Program shall request evidence of ownership from the claimant in order to assist in determining the provenance of the work. If after working with the claimant the Healing Arts Program determines that the work was unlawfully appropriated without subsequent restitution, the program shall seek to resolve the matter in an equitable, appropriate and mutually agreeable manner.

Cultural Objects, Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art

The Healing Arts Program will be guided by the Report of the Association of Art Museum Directors' Task Force on the Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art (revised 2013) and the American Association of Museums' Standards Regarding Cultural Objects, Archaeological Material and Ancient Art, and adopts the definitions, repeated below, contained therein.

“Cultural objects” means anything created by humans, which gives information about the culture of its creator and users. It can include objects recovered from archaeological sites, but can also include objects of modern or early-modern society, or social artifacts. "Archaeological material" means an object of cultural significance created in antiquity and discovered on land, below ground or under water as a result of scientific or clandestine excavation, exploration or digging activities or inadvertently as a result of other activities. "Ancient art" means a work of art created in antiquity that is not archaeological material.

The Healing Arts Program will observe the following guidelines for the acquisition of cultural objects, archaeological materials and ancient art in addition to the rigorous research and documentation required for all acquisitions.

  1. The Healing Arts Program will thoroughly research the ownership history of any cultural objects, archaeological materials or ancient art prior to its acquisition, including making a rigorous effort to obtain accurate written documentation with respect to its history, including import and export documents. The Healing Arts Program will require sellers, donors, and their representatives to provide all information of which they have knowledge, and documentation that they possess, related to any cultural objects, archaeological materials or ancient art being offered to the program, as well as appropriate warranties. If the sellers, donors and their representatives cannot provide import and export documents and/or proof of purchase, the Healing Arts Program will not accept the acquisition, gift or bequest.
  2. The Healing Arts Program normally shall not acquire a work unless provenance research substantiates that the work was outside its country of probable modern discovery before 1970 or was legally exported from its probable country of modern discovery after 1970.
  3. The Healing Arts recognizes that even after the most extensive research, some works will lack a complete documented ownership history. In these instances, the Healing Arts will defer to the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel of the University of Nebraska to make an informed judgment to acquire the work. In all instances, the Healing Arts shall carefully balance the possible financial and reputational harm and the potential for legal liability against the benefit of collecting, presenting, and preserving the work in trust for the educational benefit of present and future generations.
  4. If the Healing Arts Program, as a result of its continuing research, gains information that establishes another party's right to ownership of a work, the Healing Arts Program shall 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 Healing Arts Program information supporting the party's claim to a work, the claim, including, if warranted, returning the work.

1% for Art

For all new construction and renovation projects on campus, UNMC and the Healing Arts Program will adhere to 1% for Art regulations as determined by the State of Nebraska for the acquisition of artworks.

The Healing Arts Program will work with the Nebraska Arts Council to purchase or commission 1% for Art artworks for the campus.

A 1% for Art Committee will be created for each project per State of Nebraska 1% for Art regulations. The Healing Arts Curator will be a member of each 1% for Art Committee.

Staff Policies Related to Acquisitions

Appraisals

It is the Healing Arts Program’s longstanding policy not to provide appraisals to donors. Under current IRS guidelines, the Healing Arts Program cannot act as a qualified appraiser because of the inherent conflict with its role as a donee. If a donor asks for assistance in locating an appropriate appraiser, the Curator may suggest several qualified appraisers, including the Art Dealers Association and auction houses. More than one name must be given. The Healing Arts Program should not make arrangements for the appraisal and cannot pay for the appraisal. Upon request, the Healing Arts Program should provide the appraiser with access to the work of art, images of the work or any appropriate relevant factual information in Healing Arts Program files.

Personal Collecting by Staff

The Healing Arts Program recognizes that its employees may and do collect works of art for their personal enjoyment. Healing Arts Program employees, and in particular those closely associated with the Healing Arts Program’s curatorial functions, occupy a position of trust in this regard, however, and must exercise care to assure that no conflict of interest can arise between themselves and the Healing Arts Program.

Each employee is expected to exercise reasonable judgment in determining whether the scope of his or her personal collection and/or collecting activities is such that the matter should be discussed with the Executive Director or Chairman of the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee. Unless personal collecting activities are minimal, they should be discussed as indicated.

Dealing in Art by Staff

An employee may not act as a dealer in purchasing or selling works of art, nor may an employee use his or her influence at the Healing Arts Program for personal gain in the art market. An employee may not accept any payment from any collector, dealer, artist, or institution, except in cases where prior permission in writing to accept such commission or stipend has been given by the Executive Director, or in consultation with Office of the Vice President and General Counsel of the University of the University of Nebraska.

Adherence to UNMC Policies

The Healing Arts Program and its staff and representatives must adhere to existing University of Nebraska and UNMC policies.

UNMC Policies that should be consulted and followed include, but are not limited to:

UNMC employees are required to meet certain standards of work performance and workplace conduct. When employees do not meet specified standards, corrective and disciplinary actions including termination for cause may be warranted.

Deaccessioning

General Principles

The term "deaccession" means that a work is removed from the collection and considered for disposal by sale, exchange or other means. Any deaccession of a work should be solely for the advancement of the Healing Arts Program’s mission. The criteria for determining whether an object should be deaccessioned include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The work does not further the mission of the Healing Arts Program.
  2. The work is redundant or is a duplicate and is not necessary for collection purposes.
  3. The work is of lesser quality than other objects of the same type in the collection or about to be acquired.
  4. The work lacks sufficient aesthetic merit or art historical importance to warrant retention.
  5. The Healing Arts Program is ordered to return an object to its original and rightful owner by a court of law; the Healing Arts Program determines that another entity is the rightful owner of the object; or the Healing Arts Program determines that the return of the object is in the best interest of the program.
  6. The Healing Arts Program is unable to conserve the object in a responsible manner.
  7. The work is unduly difficult or impossible to care for or store properly.

The Healing Arts Program may deaccession but generally does not dispose of works determined to be forgeries.

No trustee, officer, employee, volunteer or family member of such individuals may purchase deaccessioned works of art directly from the Healing Arts Program.

All funds received from deaccessioned works shall be used to fund the purchase of other works.

Guidelines for Deaccessioning Gifts

The Healing Arts Program shall honor all legal restrictions attaching to the gift or bequest of any work of art. In addition, donor requests which do not impose any legal obligation accompanying the bequest or gift of any work of art will be respected to the extent feasible, unless modified by the donor, or if the donor is not living, the donor's heirs or legal representatives. Before proceeding to recommend that a donated work be deaccessioned, the Curator first reviews the records of gift to confirm that the gift is unrestricted.

Care of the Collections

The Healing Arts Program is first and foremost a repository of works of art, and its mission requires the care of works of art in its collection. The Healing Arts Program shall conserve works of art in accordance with the highest standards. The Healing Arts Program shall provide a safe and appropriate environment for the collections, with effective security and environmental control, for the benefit of present and future generations. The Healing Arts Program shall maintain a Collections Emergency Plan in accordance with UNMC Policies and Procedures. The Healing Arts Program’s conservation standards shall be maintained for works of art on loan to or borrowed from the Healing Arts Program.

The Healing Arts Program is charged with the long-term care of the collection and shall maintain exact documentation on all examination and treatment work.

Records and Inventories

The Healing Arts Program shall maintain accurate, up-to-date records on the identification, location and condition of all objects in the collection, as well as of ongoing activities such as exhibitions, loans, research and correspondence with donors, artists and scholars. These records should be recorded in the Healing Arts Program’s collections spreadsheet and files. Any original paper files regarding the acquisition of objects should also be retained. The Curator maintains coherent, organized records on accessioned, non-accessioned and deaccessioned works of art, departmental loans, exhibition loans, and works of art brought to UNMC for possible purchase or gift.

All records created or received in the transaction of Healing Arts Program’s business are the property of the Healing Arts Program and must not be dispersed or destroyed except in accordance with its record retention policy.

The Healing Arts Program shall make available to qualified researchers and scholars materials relating to the collections unless they are confidential or would suffer physical harm if handled.

It is the responsibility of every Healing Arts Program staff to make monthly inspections of its galleries and exhibition spaces across campus. The Healing Arts Program shall make an inventory of the contents of its galleries and exhibition spaces, and storerooms at least once in a one-year to five-year cycle. These inventories must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director, who shall report the findings to the Acquisitions Committee.

Access to the Collections

It is fundamental to the Healing Arts Program’s mission to provide access to the Healing Arts Collection and promote appreciation of its significance.

Among the primary means for achieving this goal is the presentation of exhibitions and display of its own works and those borrowed from other owners. The Healing Arts Program shall provide additional access to its collections through loans to other institutions. The Healing Arts Program shall support continuing scholarly investigation and research in order to document, publish, and advance understanding of the Healing Arts collections as well as contribute to broader academic and public discourses.

The Healing Arts Program shall support and encourage awareness and understanding of art by disseminating information through the development of publications, programs, and its website for a variety of audiences ranging from children to adult audiences and scholars. These will draw upon its collection and research as primary sources for stimulating aesthetic engagement and promoting familiarity with art in its historical, cultural, material and healing contexts.

Outgoing Loans

The Healing Arts Program lends works of art from its collection to qualified institutions, in this country and abroad. The Healing Arts Program wishes to cooperate with qualified institutions to share its collections with the widest possible public, both general and scholarly. Loan requests must be evaluated in light of the art historical and scholarly value of the exhibition for which they are requested, as well as the condition of the object and the need for it to remain at UNMC. All loan requests shall be initially reviewed by the Curator. The Curator must be satisfied that the work will be properly cared for and protected adequately from fire, theft, mishandling, insects, and from extremes of light, temperature and humidity. The borrower must provide a facilities report meeting Healing Arts Program standards or the Curator shall conduct a physical inspection of the borrower's premises.

In addition, there are works that by the terms of their gift or bequest that may not be lent.

The Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee must approve all loans of objects. Such loans must be first approved in writing by the Executive Director who shall in turn submit the request to the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee.

All loans should be for a specific period of time (normally not to exceed one year) and may be recalled upon thirty days’ written notice to the borrower (or immediately if the program’s review of the borrower discloses unsatisfactory conditions or continuation of the loan is placing an undue administrative burden on the Healing Arts Program). The object’s condition should be documented and monitored in accordance with the detailed procedures approved by the Healing Arts Program. All borrowers (with the exception of Tenants-in-Common) must agree in writing to the Healing Arts Program’s Conditions for Outgoing Loans (contained in the Borrower’s Agreement) prior to shipment of the loan, and the Borrower’s Agreement must be signed by both parties. No object shall leave UNMC unless adequate insurance coverage is provided by the borrower and approved by Healing Arts Program. For all loans to countries that provide immunity from seizure, this protection must be secured by the borrower. Long-term loans are subject to periodic review by the Curator; the borrower must submit an inventory report to the Healing Arts Program every two years.

On an exceptional basis, loans may be made to dealers for scholarly examination, special scholarly exhibitions, or one-person or retrospective exhibitions of a particular artist. Such loans are subject to the approvals required for other loans.

Loans may be made to individuals in two cases. First, if there was a specific agreement with the donor of the object allowing such a privilege at a time when the tax laws permitted such arrangements, a loan may be authorized. Second, the Healing Arts Program may make loans of works jointly owned with an individual (the Tenant-in-Common with the Healing Arts Program) to that individual. Such loans are subject to the approvals required for other loans.

All exceptions to the Healing Arts Program’s loan policy must be approved by the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee.

Incoming Loans to the Collections

The Healing Arts Program accepts temporary loans of art for short term exhibition ("Exhibition Loans") and for long term display in its galleries alongside the Collections ("Loans to the Collections"). All loans are subject to the following insurance policies:

Where required by the lender, the Healing Arts Program maintains sufficient insurance to cover all loans at the value listed on the loan agreement. Loan values shall be reviewed by the Curator; if the lender’s value exceeds the curator’s understanding, the lender must supply an appraisal supporting the greater valuation. The Healing Arts Program assumes liability for loans commensurate with its insurance coverage. Any exceptions to this limitation of liability must be approved by the Executive Director.

History and Moving Forward

This policy shall be effective immediately upon review by the UNMC Policy Review Committee and approval by the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee and shall supersede all prior policies on the topics addressed herein. This policy will be periodically evaluated, no less frequently than every five years, with stakeholders and constituents consulted as appropriate, modifying this policy as necessary.

Additional Information


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