In the interests of improving the collection and maintaining its high intellectual and aesthetic standards, the Museum periodically evaluates its collection to identify candidates for deaccessioning (e.g. sale, transfer, or exchange). Deaccessioning is guided by the Museum’s long-term policies and goals and should not reflect the popular trends of a given period or the personal tastes of the people involved. Proposals for deaccessioning objects from the Museum collection originate with the Director and curatorial staff and are reviewed and approved by the Provost-appointed Committee on the Collections.
The criteria applied to deaccessioning and disposal are as stringent as those applied to the Museum’s acquisition process, and reflect the professional standards and ethics as established by the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Association of Museums. Criteria that justify deaccessioning an object include lack of art historical importance, low aesthetic quality, redundancy, lack of conformity to the Museum’s declared collecting interests, and poor physical condition. All income generated through the sale of deaccessioned works of art will be reapplied towards the purchase of new works of art.
These efforts will allow the Museum to exchange select objects for others believed by the Director and curatorial leadership to be better aligned with its mission.