Collections Management

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Policy No: 6089
Effective Date: 11/09/21
Revised Date:
Reviewed Date:

Collections Management Policy


UNMC Policy No. 6089, Collections Management (the "Policy"), documents 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. Acquisition and deaccessioning 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;
  2. 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; and
  3. Art is displayed in public areas.

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 missions of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Nebraska Medicine and the Healing Arts Program, enhance the overall aesthetic of the built environment, and assist in creating a supportive environment for all audiences of UNMC and 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

Duties of the Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee

The Healing Arts Acquisitions Committee, upon reporting to the Chancellor and UNMC Business & Finance, has the following duties with respect to the art collection:

  1. Formulate and adopt a program for and to approve the purchase of works of art and apply to the purchase of works of art the funds restricted for such purchases.
  2. Accept or decline gifts and bequests of works of art in accordance with Board of Regents policies.
  3. Approve the deaccession of works of art for sale, exchange, or other means of disposal with a current market value up to and including $50,000 (See Deaccessioning below).


General Principles

The Curator proposes exceptional works of art for acquisition to the collection. All works are 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.

See Healing Arts Procedures for additional Acquisitions Information on Purchases, Accepting Gifts and Bequests, Provenance Guidelines and Legal Considerations.

See Healing Arts Procedures regarding Nazi/World War II Era and Cultural Objects, Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art for additional requirements for acquisitions.

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 Nebraska Revised Statute 82-317.

Staff Policies Related to Acquisitions


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 shall 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 the Healing Arts Program's files. The Healing Arts Program shall not provide appraisals to donors.

Personal Collecting by Staff

University employees, and in particular those closely associated with the Healing Arts Program’s curatorial functions, must exercise care to assure that no conflict of interest can arise between themselves and the Healing Arts Program and should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with the Executive Director or Chair of the Healing Arts Advisory Committee.

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.


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 deaccessioning of a work should be solely for the advancement of the Healing Arts Program’s mission. The criteria for determining whether a work should be deaccessioned include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The work no longer furthers 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 works of the same type in the collection or about to be acquired;
  4. The work no longer has sufficient aesthetic merit or art historical importance to warrant retention;
  5. The Healing Arts Program is ordered to return a work 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 work, or the Healing Arts Program determines that the return of the work is in the best interest of the Healing Arts Program;
  6. The Healing Arts Program is unable to conserve the work in a responsible manner; or
  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.

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

See Healing Arts Procedures for additional information on Deaccessioning Guidelines Processes.

Additional Information

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