Artworks Acquisition and Deaccessioning - Managerial Policy

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Artworks Acquisition and Deaccessioning - Managerial Policy


Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Curator, Art Gallery
Last amended
9 December 2008
Review date
9 December 2013
Active - under review
Related legislation / standards
Constitution of the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation
Financial Management Practices Manual

Part A: Preliminary

1 Overview

The University Art Collection has been established to:

  • build a significant collection of contemporary Australian artwork for display within the University
  • provide an educative function, supplementing and interacting with existing educational programs
  • contain works which reflect current art debate, and the relationship of art to contemporary life
  • reflect our regional character by displaying the work of regional artists or artists who have worked in the area, as well as artwork which reflects themes of importance or relevance to the region.

Part B: Policy

2 Art Collection Advisory Committee

The Vice-Chancellor and President will establish an advisory committee to advise him on the implementation of this policy.

3 Acquisitions

Works considered for acquisition need to address one or more of the following criteria:

1) The Collection will focus primarily on contemporary Australian art, with an emphasis on Queensland artists who meet international standards

2) Works will be collected for their relevance to existing areas of educational speciality at the University (e.g. Art and Design)

3) Works will be of social, cultural and community relevance: As a University headquartered within its region, we acknowledge the importance to students and the general community of local material and immediate culture and therefore, within the context of the broader collection, acquisitions will be made of regional artists’ work, or of artwork by artists that reflects themes that are of importance or relevance to the region.

4) Acquisitions will normally be works by professional, practising artists with a significant record of exhibitions. Consideration may specifically be given to the purchase of works by:

  • visiting artists who have engaged in residency programs at the University
  • artists who have exhibited in the University Gallery or
  • renowned artists who have lived and worked in the area.

5) Works may serve a provocative function: That is, they may be considered for their relevance to contemporary art debate, may be interdisciplinary in nature or may be such that they do not concentrate solely on aesthetic criteria

6) The Collection should provide a balance between regional and broader concerns.
Works by artists from outside the region will be considered as it is important that students are able to view work that might otherwise be difficult to access within the region. These works should reflect national and international directions in art.

7) The Collection will incorporate a sub-collection of artworks produced by University of the Sunshine Coast undergraduate and postgraduate students during their enrolment in studies in art and design at the University. This specialist collection will be developed to reflect the course work offered in, but not restricted to, graphic design, electronic media design (web and multimedia), digital publishing, visual communication and advertising.

8) The University of the Sunshine Coast will research the provenance, supply and documentation of all Aboriginal works acquired for the Collection. The University prefers to acquire works, as donations or purchases, painted for or sourced by Aboriginal-owned, community based art centres or cooperatives whenever possible. The University may also source works from established and reputable galleries with membership in the Australian Commercial Galleries Association.

Parameters for acquisition

Range of media:

  • Acquisitions will be made of works in a range of media, however, preference will be given to works that reflect areas of study within the University (eg Art and Design)
  • There will be some purchases of three dimensional and site specific works.

The collection will not include folk art, minor craftworks, artefacts or material deemed more suitable for a museum or archival collection.

In the case of donated artworks, every attempt will be made to avoid accepting conditional donations.

Allocation of funds

The University is committed to the development of the University Art Collection through the regular acquisition of works, however, funds available for acquisition may vary from year to year.

Acquisition Funds will be allocated in the following ways:

  • The acquisition of artworks for the University Art Collection
  • Maintenance of the collection (eg framing, conservation, valuations)
  • Site specific works purchased or commissioned for their appropriateness to a specific area
  • Miscellaneous (eg advertising for acquisitions, fund raising projects)

Funds may be focussed on a specialised area of collection.

4 Deaccessioning

Periodic reviews will be made of the University collection to determine the condition of works and their relevance to the Collection.

Works may be recommended for deaccessioning or disposal for the following reasons:

  • Irreparable damage or serious deterioration in condition
  • Lack of relevance to the current criteria for acquisition
  • Confirmation that a work is a forgery
  • Lack of clear title or proper identification to ensure relevance to the Collection
  • Excessive conservation and storage costs
  • In order to upgrade work by a particular artist: In this instance, a work will not normally be deaccessioned unless another work considered to be of higher quality, and created by the same artist, is to be purchased in its place.

A decision to deaccession an artwork must be made on the recommendation of the advisory committee.

Funds derived from deaccessioned items will normally be used to acquire suitable works for the Collection.

Funds derived from deaccessioned items that have been donated and where a tax receipt has been issued must remain within a Gift Fund as designated by the University.

5 Review

This policy document will be reviewed in five years. This requirement does not, however, preclude earlier review.


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