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Procedure for Deaccessioning of Art

Approval Date: 2018-05-10

Effective Date: 2018-05-10

Responsible Unit: Grenfell Art Gallery


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

  • it can no longer be safely stored and preserved,
  • it is damaged or is actively deteriorating beyond usefulness, and cannot be feasibly restored,
  • it is no longer considered authentic,
  • it was acquired under false pretense or is incorrectly documented or described, described so as to be outside the appropriate remit of the Art Collection,
  • it has no relevant place or useful purpose within the collecting, exhibiting, and research programs of the University,
  • it does not add significantly to the University's holdings, or
  • within the context of the Art Collection, the item is redundant, unnecessarily duplicative, or of inferior quality.

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.

Policies using this procedure:

Procedure Amendment History

No recorded history of amendments.