10.11.2 Acquisition & Accession (Revised as of 2/26/14)


Artwork enters the UAC by three methods: Gifts (including bequests), purchase (either through use of unrestricted or restricted funds), and commission (by the UAC or other university administrative units). Decisions regarding the acceptance of gifts, purchases, or commissions are made by the University Art Collection Committee and are governed by five fundamental criteria:

  1. Compliance with the UAC’s Collection Development Policy.
  2. Intrinsic quality (based on an evaluation of aesthetic worth).
  3. Historic significance (the ability of the work to communicate valuable information or insight into the culture and/or period from which it originated).
  4. Conformity with the UAC’s mission and relationship to the present collection.
  5. Condition issues (physical integrity of the work in the context of the university’s ability to care for, exhibit, insure and store the object).

In addition to the above considerations, there are legal guidelines to acquiring a work of art that must be followed:

  1. Wayne State University follows laws governing acquisition of artwork in accordance with the provisions of the 1970 UNESCO “Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property” and in accordance with NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act).
  2. Wayne State University requires documentation on the provenance of all artwork being considered for acquisition. If such documentation is not available, and the provenance is in doubt, the Curator/Coordinator should consult with colleagues and experts in the field before determining whether or not to recommend acceptance of an undocumented work of art.
  3. The UAC Committee will not accept works into the UAC if there is reason to believe there is no valid legal title to them. Should, during the acquisition process, an artwork be determined to be illegally offered for sale or donation, the Curator/Coordinator will notify appropriate authorities for the purposes of its restitution.
  4. The UAC Committee will not knowingly accept works into the UAC that are accompanied by copyright or royalty restrictions without prior notification to the Curator/Coordinator of those restrictions.




University Art Collection Committee

  1. Determine, upon recommendation of Curator/Coordinator, whether or not proposed acquisition should be accepted into the UAC based on its conformity with the policy set
    out above.
  2. Assure compliance with legal guidelines as set out under APPM 10.11.2, “Policy,” items 6-9 above.


  1. Accession artwork accepted into the UAC by adding it to the collection physically and cataloging it into the UAC database.
  2. Prepare gift-in-kind receipt for gifted artwork valued under $5,000.00, acknowledge gifted artwork with thank-you letter to donor and notify Development and Alumni Affairs
    Office about the gift.
  3. Report any gifts valued over $5,000.00 to the Development and Alumni Affairs Office.
  4. Report to the Office of Risk Management the location, value, and condition of the accessioned artwork.
  5. Affix labels to artwork entering the UAC.
  6. Notify Property Office of all artwork which is valued over

Development and Alumni Affairs Office

  1. Keep records of all gifts and credit  them to the unit which sourced the gift.

  2. Process all gifts-in-kind valued over $5,000.00.

Property Office

  1. Provide Curator/Coordinator of UAC with Wayne State University property tags for all artwork valued over $5,000.00.

Office of Risk Management

  1. Confirm receipt of accessioned artwork. Record data onto Fine Arts Insurance Schedule.