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Memorial University of Newfoundland

  Memorial University of Newfoundland

Art Collection

Approval Date: 2018-05-10

Effective Date: 2018-05-10

Review Date: 2022-05-10


Provost and Vice-President (Academic) through the Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection


To outline the authority, roles and responsibilities associated with:


Artwork and the University’s Art Collection.



Art Collection — Artwork under the care, control or custody of the University including the non-curated collection of Artwork gifted, commissioned and/or purchased by the University as well as the curated Grenfell Campus Permanent Collection.

Art Liaison — A University employee who is responsible for the management of aspects of the Art Collection and who liaises with Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, Director of Grenfell Campus Art Gallery and various Memorial units and individuals.

Artwork — Including but not limited to paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, fine craft, installations, ephemeral and conceptual works, and digital and electronic works. Artwork may be a single item or an integral unit made up of components. Artworks may also be part of the fabric of buildings, such as stained glass in windows, or displayed outdoors.

Curator — Director of the Grenfell Campus Art Gallery.

Deaccessioning — The formal alienation of Artwork from the Art Collection. As used in this policy, deaccession means that in compliance with relevant laws, ethical guidelines and policies, the appropriate authorities of the University have concluded that a work of art may be removed from the Art Collection and be further considered for disposal.

Disposal — An administrative function that follows deaccession and which may include sale, exchange or destruction.

Facility Report — A report provided by an institution documenting security and environmental standards, including the record of relative humidity and temperature controls in storage and exhibition spaces for the previous two to three years.

Grenfell Campus Permanent Collection — The curated collection of Artwork held in public trust and actively maintained and developed by the Grenfell Art Gallery since 1988. The mandate of the Grenfell Campus Permanent Collection is to collect great art of the past and innovative cultural practices of the present with a focus on the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador and the evolving mission of Memorial University.

Memorial University Permanent Collection — A curated art collection that was most actively developed from 1961 to 1994 through purchases and donations. The mandate of the Memorial University Permanent Collection was to acquire Canadian contemporary art and crafts, with a focus on works created by artists living in Newfoundland and Labrador. The collection contains primarily paintings, original prints, photographs, sculpture and textiles. From 1961 to 1994, the collection was housed at and managed by the Memorial University Art Gallery. In 1994 the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador was established as a separately incorporated entity by the Board of Regents. In 2003 the operations and collections of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador were transferred to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Since then, the University's curated Permanent Collection has been housed and cared for by The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador's Art Gallery Division. The curated collection is now static -- i.e., there will be no additional acquisitions. A librarian serves in the role of Art Liaison with The Rooms for the permanent collection.

Official University Records — See Information Management policy.

University — Memorial University of Newfoundland.


1.1 The management and development of the Art Collection is directed and supported by the University's vision, mission, and values and overseen by the Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection, whose Terms of Reference is here.

1.2 Decisions relating to acquisition and deaccessioning of Artwork are the responsibility of the Art Acquisition Committee (Terms of Reference). Decisions on exhibition and loan or other temporary, long-term or permanent display of Art Work from the Art Collection, whether inside buildings or outdoors, as well as reproduction or any other use of the Artwork must be approved by the Curator and meet professional standards for care, reproduction and display of the work.

2.1 Artwork accepted into the Art Collection or on loan to the University must be handled and maintained according to best-practice museological standards. (See Related Documents section.) The University carries insurance policies for the protection of assets, including the Art Collection, as per the Insurance Coverage - Property and Liability policy.

2.2 Providing access to Artwork is balanced against the inherent risk associated with deterioration, damage and theft, such that the safety of the Artwork takes priority when it is not reasonable to provide access, within the resources and facilities of the University.

2.3 An alternative to providing access to Artwork is access to the information about Artwork. Within the reasonable use of resources and compliance with copyright and other regulations, the Curator or the Art Liaison may provide access to images of, and public information about, Artwork in the Art Collection.

2.4 The Curator and the Art Liaison are responsible for ensuring that best museological practices for storage and exhibition facilities are met, including standards for:

2.5 It is the responsibility of the Curator and the Art Liaison to ensure that best museological practices are met for all aspects of collections management of Artworks, including:

2.6 Only those persons authorized by the Curator or Art Liaison, and trained in art handling, are permitted to handle Artwork in the Art Collection.

2.7 The Curator assesses the physical condition of the Art Collection on an ongoing basis to identify, document and report on Artwork that requires care, conservation and to identify priority cases.

2.8 The Curator ensures an inventory of Artwork at least every five years.

2.9 The Curator or Art Liaison is responsible for initiating any conservation action on Artwork, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection. Any conservation work must only be carried out by a qualified conservator or in consultation with a person with appropriate training and expertise.

2.10 Damage to Artwork must be reported, in writing, to the Curator or Art Liaison, who shall update the Art Collection Official University Records, accordingly.

2.11 Theft of Artwork must be reported to the respective campus enforcement office, through the University's Incident Management system. The campus enforcement office must notify the Curator or Art Liaison, who shall update the Art Collection Official University Records, accordingly and follow the Procedure for Reporting Changing Conditions for Insurance.

3.1 The authority for the acquisition of Artwork rests with the Art Acquisition Committee.

3.2 Acceptance of donations of Artwork must be made in accordance with the University's Gift Acceptance policy and related procedures, particularly the Procedure for Appraising and Accepting Outright Gifts. All donations to the Art Collection are normally irrevocable upon the formal transfer of title to the University, determined by the date of signing the gift agreement. The Curator must notify the Office of the Chief Risk Officer when a donation of Art Work has been accepted, in accordance with the Procedure for Reporting Changing Conditions for Insurance.

3.3 Any purchase of Artwork must be approved by the Art Acquisition Committee. Only Artwork of outstanding artistic merit and significance may be purchased. All purchases must satisfy the purpose of the Art Collection and must comply with the Procedure for Procuring Artwork. Commissions of Artworks must be approved by the Art Acquisition Committee prior to the commission being granted. There must be sufficient funds to support all costs related to any purchase or commission, including presentation and long term maintenance costs.

3.4 Any Artworks intended for site-specific, permanent or long-term exhibition, particularly those intended for outdoor locations, entail considerations of location, installation, safety and on-going maintenance. The acquisition, management and care of such public art requires approval of the Art Acquisition Committee, who must consult with the University's Chief Risk Officer and Associate Vice-President (Facilities).

4.1 Because acquisition of an object into the Art Collection is permanent and is a commitment held in public trust in perpetuity, deaccessioning is a rare practice conducted on an exceptional case-by-case basis. Before proceeding to deaccession Artwork, the University may consider offering the work on extended loan to another public institution. Deaccessioning is irrevocable, requires rigorous examination and transparency and must be undertaken in accordance with the Procedure for Deaccessioning of Art.

4.2 The Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection will recommend any deaccessioning to the President for approval.

5.1 Artwork borrowed from the Art Collection must meet professional care and museological standards, requires use of a loan agreement and must be approved by the Curator or Art Liaison, as either the lender or borrower. See Procedure for Artwork Loans.

5.2 Loans of Artwork are only made to public institutions that can ensure that professional standards of care and conservation are met.

6.1 In addition to compliance with the University's Conflict of Interest policy, members of the Art Acquisition Committee must also comply with practices specific to issues related to Artwork and best art museum practices. See also Art Acquisition Committee's Terms of Reference.

7.1 The Curator shall be the official custodian of records created for the administration of the Art Collection and shall manage those records in accordance with the University's Information Management policy and procedures.

7.2 The Official University Records include but are not limited to:

Related Documents

Canadian Legal Framework

Best Museological Practices

International Statutes



For inquiries related to this policy:

Director, Grenfell Campus Art Gallery (709) 637-6209

Sponsor: Vice-President (Grenfell Campus)

Category: Governance

Policy Amendment History

Date: 2019-05-23 15:12:56

This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Connected definitions using the definitions from the glossary.

Date: 2022-08-24 15:02:15

This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: 8/24/2022 fix broken links

Date: 2022-08-24 15:38:31

This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: 8/24/2022 updating broken links

Date: 2024-03-05 11:53:00

This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Updated to include the Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection Terms of Reference

Procedure for Appraising and Accepting Outright Gifts

Approval Date: 2018-06-14

Responsible Unit: Office of Development

The University accepts gifts based on a set of prescribed procedures.

1. Generally, the University accepts the following types of gifts: cash and gifts in kind (including publicly traded securities or privately held shares). In addition, where the gift is in keeping with its vision, mission and values, the University may consider accepting the following: cultural property, art, real estate and life insurance. Any or all of the following may be required in consideration of proposed gifts:

For property that is not inventory (e.g. inventory of a business, publicly traded securities, real estate or Canadian Cultural Property), the University may need to:

2. A written gift agreement may be required. All gift agreements shall first be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director, Office of Development or their designate. The review and approval process may be delegated in certain circumstances and any such delegation must be made in writing.

3. The Executive Director, Office of Development, in consultation with the Development Advisory Committee, and where appropriate the applicable Vice-President(s), will recommend whether to accept or reject the following types of gifts in order to protect the interests of donors and the University:

Acceptable Gifts

Indicators that a gift is acceptable include:

Unacceptable Gifts

At times, the University may choose to decline a gift. SEE PROCEDURE FOR DECLINING A GIFT.

Methods for Accepting Outright Gifts

Gifts of Cash

Gifts of "cash" (cash, cheque, money order, bank withdrawals, payroll deduction and credit card) are accepted by the University.


The University's official name for purposes of all wills and similar documents is "Memorial University of Newfoundland".

Sample bequest language will be made available to donors and their lawyers to ensure that the bequest is appropriately designated, is deemed feasible at the time of designation, and that the proper legal title for the University is used.

A bequest of an appropriate amount can be used to create named Endowment Funds or Term Funds. Donors are encouraged to frame the designation as broadly as possible and identify in their wills their intention to create these funds. A gift agreement confirming the donor's wishes may be prepared.

Donors are invited and encouraged to provide information to the University about their bequests and, if they so choose, to send the University a copy of the relevant section of their will. This will allow for appropriate recognition during the donor's lifetime.

University staff do not provide professional consultation to donors in the preparation of their wills, or become involved in the execution or witnessing of a will in which the University is named as beneficiary. Neither University staff nor the University may be named as executor in such situations.

During the administration of an estate the Office of Development may engage professional expertise, as appropriate. Any professional fees associated with administration of the estate are deducted from any gift designated to the University from the estate. The net value of the bequest will be directed to the purpose specified by the donor whenever possible.

Following receipt of the designated gift, the University will issue to the estate a charitable tax receipt in the value of the gift.

Gift of Life Insurance

The University encourages gifts of life insurance. There are various methods by which a life insurance policy may be contributed to the University.

The administration of a gift of life insurance is overseen by a representative from the University's Office of Development or designate.

This representative or designate will request a copy of the donor's life insurance policy, confirming the University's designation as owner and beneficiary. In cases where a donor designates the University as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy, the policy must be officially signed over to the University and the policy statements held by the University. Where a donor designates the University as the beneficiary only, the donor is encouraged to share a copy of the policy information with the University for gift planning purposes.

In the case of policies in which the University is both the irrevocable owner and beneficiary, and for which premiums are still owing, tax receipts will be issued to donors for the dollar value of the premium paid by the donor in the tax year. For a donor to receive a tax receipt for premiums paid on life insurance policies, the University must be both the beneficiary and the irrevocable owner.

If the original donor is no longer willing or able to make the required premium payments, the University may continue the premium payment or take other appropriate action. The University representative or designate may consult with an actuary, as feasible, to receive advice as to whether to continue to pay the premiums or cash in the policy. The Vice-President (Administration & Finance) will determine the action to be taken after ascertaining the type of policy.

Upon receipt of confirmation of the irrevocable transfer of a life insurance policy to the University as owner and beneficiary, or receipt of annual confirmation of the policy’s paid-up status, the University will issue a charitable tax receipt for the appropriate value.

Gift of Public and Private Securities

Under most circumstances, the University will accept gifts of publicly traded securities. The gift must be made in-kind to the University for the donor to receive the capital gains tax exemption. Donors are encouraged to identify a preferred designation for their gift of securities. A gift agreement confirming the donor’s wishes may be prepared for both the donor and the University to sign.

Where possible, an electronic transfer of securities is encouraged.

The administration of a gift of securities is overseen by a representative of the University's Office of Development or designate in consultation with the Board of Regents' Investment Subcommittee of its Finance Committee.

In the instance of an electronic transfer of public securities, this representative will:

The University may accept privately held securities. In the instance of a gift of private securities, the donor would sell the shares and donate the proceeds to the University.

It is the University's practice to transfer immediately to the designated University account the funds equal to the value at donation. Instruction is given to the University's investment broker to sell the shares as quickly as possible; normally, it is not the University's intent to retain donated securities as part of the institution's financial holdings.

Upon confirmation of the receipt of a gift of public securities, the University will issue a tax receipt for the value of the gift on the date the University takes ownership of the shares. The amount indicated on the tax receipt is based on the value of the shares on the market at the close of the day they are received by the University.

Gifts of Art, Manuscripts, Books or Other in Kind Publications

The University requests a written letter or form that confirms the offer of the transfer of ownership from a donor before proceeding with the establishment of a fair market value and retains the right to process donations within a reasonable time frame or to decline donations. In the case of a gift of Artwork, a gift agreement, rather than a letter or form, is required. See also the Acquisitions section of the Art Collection policy.

The University will seek appraisal for gifts of art, manuscripts, books or other in-kind publications in accordance with guidelines of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board and CRA.

The ongoing maintenance of the gift is the responsibility of the University. The cost of appraisal(s) and any shipping and related expenses may be donated or otherwise paid for by the donor or paid from the proceeds of the sale of the gift, if agreed upon by both the donor and the University.

With gifts-in-kind and, in particular gifts of artwork and cultural property, the University will ensure full compliance with CRA directives.

Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

Gifts of Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Registered Retirement Income Funds, or other retirement plans can be a tax advantageous method of making a planned gift, and are encouraged, provided that the donor, upon consultation with their advisors, determines that this is compatible with their overall estate plan and philanthropic goals.

Outright gifts of assets from retirement plans will only be accepted provided the donor, in consultation with their professional advisor, determines that they can part with such assets without compromising the financial security of their retirement years and that the tax consequences are acceptable.

Gifts of Real Estate

The University requires an appropriate level of written appraisal of the property. From time-to-time, it may be necessary for the University to secure an additional independent appraisal in order to establish fair market value and the amount of the income tax receipt.

In addition, the University may require any or all of the following to ensure the real estate does not present a liability:

At any time, the University may also request other appraisals or inspections to ensure there is no liability to the University in accepting a gift of real estate.

The University will also seek assurance that there is no lien on the property and the donor has full and clear title.

The University sells gifts of real estate, as soon as possible. In rare situations, and in keeping with An Act Respecting The Memorial University of Newfoundland, property may be retained for University investment purposes or for use in accordance with the vision, mission and values and plans of the University.

Canadian Cultural Property

The Cultural Property Export and Import Act encourages Canadians to keep cultural property outstanding significance and national importance in Canada by providing incentives for Canadians who give this type of property to designated institutions and public authorities.

Charitable Trusts

A charitable trust may be established with cash, securities, real estate or other assets. Upon request, the University may provide a sample gift agreement. The actual gift agreement is reviewed and final decision about acceptance remains at the discretion of the University's Board of Regents.

University staff will not provide professional consultation to donors in the preparation of their trust.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

In the instance of a gift of residual interest from a charitable remainder trust, the donor shall be responsible for real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance of the asset after transferring title, unless otherwise agreed by the University. The University retains the right to inspect the property from time-to-time to ensure that its interest is properly safeguarded.

The donor is entitled to a charitable tax receipt for the present value of the gift calculated in current dollars. This valuation, known as "discounted value", is determined by actuarial calculations provided by the CRA.

Other Types of Gifts

Equipment, software and other types of gifts will be considered on an individual basis in consultation with the donor, Canada Revenue Agency and the Office of Development.


Procedure for Artwork Loans

Approval Date: 2018-05-10

Responsible Unit: Grenfell Art Gallery

1. Borrowers of artwork from the Art Collection must meet the following requirements for consideration of a loan of Artwork:

2. If these requirements are met the Curator or Art Liaison will assess the loan according to availability, condition of the Artwork, the borrower's museological standards, and the benefit of the loan in terms of outreach and scholarship.

3. Should the Curator or Art Liaison decide to proceed with the loan, the borrower must meet the following steps to complete the loan:

a) Complete an "Outward Loan Agreement" indicating that the borrower maintains coverage at its expense, in the amount indicated by the lender, from the time the object leaves the Art Collection until the time it returns among other requirements.

b) Provide a loan fee of $150.00 for domestic loans and $400.00 for international loans, per work of art, as well as paying for any additional costs of crating or packing and any special matting, framing, or photography.

c) Agree to pay all shipping charges, including customs charges and brokerage fees and couriering charges when deemed necessary by the lender.

Procedure for Deaccessioning of Art

Approval Date: 2018-05-10

Responsible Unit: Grenfell Art Gallery

1. Artwork may be removed from the Art Collection when:

2. Every proposal for deaccessioning requires that the Artwork is researched thoroughly, documented, and photographed, and the process of deaccessioning thoroughly documented. Deaccessioning records are maintained permanently.

3. In deaccessioning, the fair-market value of the Artwork is determined in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.

4. In the case of an Artwork by a living Canadian artist, the Curator will contact the artist prior to making any recommendations.

5. The deaccessioning of Artwork must adhere to the applicable provincial and federal laws and to any international agreements and treaties.

6. A proposal for deaccessioning must be follow these steps:

a. The Curator ascertains that there are no legal or time restrictions against disposal of the work and that the disposal will not contravene Cultural Property regulations or other legislation. For donated art and where there are no legal restrictions to deaccessioning, the Curator consults the gift agreement, if available, or with the donor or, if the donor is not living, with the donor’s heirs or legal representatives.

b. The Curator documents a full rationale to support the deaccessioning and a declaration of the intention for disposal, for presentation to the Advisory Committee on Memorial University's Art Collection.

c. The Advisory Committee records a complete record of the rationale for deaccessioning recorded in the minutes and the Curator maintains all records pertaining to the deaccessioned Artwork.

d. The Advisory Committee prepares its recommendation for approval by the President.

7. In cases when an Artwork has accidentally been destroyed or permanently lost, in part or in whole, the Artwork will be deaccessioned from the Art Collection.

Procedure for Disposal of Artwork

Approval Date: 2018-05-10

Responsible Unit: Grenfell Art Gallery

1. Any disposal of Artwork may only occur following deaccessioning and in accordance with the Procedure for Deaccessioning of Artwork, and pursuant to relevant laws, ethical guidelines and policies.

2. For deaccessioned Artwork that is in suitable condition, every effort is made to ensure that the Artwork remains in the public domain through transfer, public auction or exchange with another public institution.

3. The University strives to ensure that a deaccessioned Artwork which is significant to Canadian cultural heritage is retained in Canada, prioritizing collections held in the public trust and best suited to care and display.

4. Any proceeds realized from disposal are under the authority of the applicable campus Vice-President and consistent with best-practice are to be deployed in the maintenance or enhancement of the University collection.

5. Artworks can be intentionally destroyed if they are determined to:

a. be inauthentic, such as forgeries or reproductions, and of no archival or documentary value; or
b. substantially lack physical integrity and actively deteriorating to the point that they cannot reasonably be preserved or represent a hazard to the public or the wider collection.

6. No deaccessioning may result in an employee of the University or an Associate realizing any personal gain through acquisition of the deaccessioned work or share of proceeds obtained from its disposal. See the Conflict of Interest policy.

7. Where disposal involves the transfer of ownership, appropriate legal documents must be obtained. See Contract Administration policy.

8. When an Artwork has been disposed of, the Curator updates Inventory records accordingly. The Curator also notifies the Office of the Chief Risk Officer, in accordance with the Procedure for Reporting Changing Conditions for Insurance.

9. In circumstances other than accidental destruction or loss, the manner of disposal should be in the best interest of the University.

Procedure for Procuring Artwork

Approval Date: 2018-05-10

Responsible Unit: Grenfell Art Gallery

As per the Art Collection policy, the authority for the acquisition of Art Work rests with the Art Acquisition Committee.

Criteria for Setting Priorities and Selecting Artwork
Requests for purchase or commission of Artwork must be submitted to the Curator in writing six weeks in advance of an Art Acquisitions Committee meeting. The Curator in consultation with the requestor will prepare necessary considerations for the Art Acquisitions Committee.

Approval of a request to purchase or commission is based on the following criteria:

I. substantial proof of an object’s authenticity,
II. artistic merit;
III. relevance to the collection, present and future;
IV. aesthetic considerations and work also satisfying:

V. physical condition;
VI. adequate resources for the maintenance, conservation, storage, access for research and display of the Artwork;
VII. unencumbered and clear legal title; and
VIII. curatorial considerations in relationship with the acquisitions philosophy supporting the delivery of academic programming at the University.

Where possible, the Artwork must be accompanied by a sufficient record of provenance and will have been authenticated. The Art Acquisition Committee must be reasonably assured that any Artwork acquired is not stolen or otherwise illegally acquired nor that the Artwork has been collected under circumstances considered to be exploitative, unethical or otherwise incompatible with professional standards.

The acquisition of cultural property which has been in foreign countries must comply with the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, which incorporates the principles and provisions of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) into Canadian law.

Purchases and commissions are made through purchase order.

The Curator updates Inventory records accordingly.

The Curator notifies the Office of the Chief Risk Officer when the Artwork has been procured, in accordance with the Procedure for Reporting Changing Conditions for Insurance.

Procedure for Reporting Changing Conditions for Insurance

Approval Date: 2014-07-25

Responsible Unit: Office of the Chief Risk Officer

Any of the following may affect insurance policies:

Notify the Office of the Chief Risk Officer at 709-864-6216 immediately after any of these occur.