Indiana University Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- University Collections
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Vice President for Research
- Policy Contact:
Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage
- Policy Feedback:
- If you have comments or questions about this policy, let us know with the policy feedback form.
- Print or view a PDF of this policy
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The Indiana University Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection is administered by University Collections under IU Research and features all works of art and objects owned by Indiana University that are housed outside of its accredited museums. As a result, university units (except for accredited museums), shall follow the guidelines set forth herein if they want to pursue the acquisition, loaning, or deaccession of art or objects related to IU's cultural heritage. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to contravene the requirements of the Visual Artists Rights Act.
The IU Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection includes but is not limited to paintings, watercolors, drawings, fine art photography, prints, decorative arts, sculpture, antiques, rugs, and any other relevant frames, glasses, shadow boxes, and vitrines.
Reason for Policy
Art and objects are valuable resources of the university, financially, culturally and for teaching and research purposes. It is prudent and necessary to establish a policy and guidelines concerning the acquisition, borrowing, and loaning of art or objects not housed in IU’s accredited museums to ensure that items are acquired ethically and that said items are properly accessioned and maintained.
The activities governing the acquisition, housing, maintenance, and care of the IU Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection will strive to follow guidelines set down for museum collections whenever possible. However, as this collection has not been assembled for the same purpose as that of a museum, the university retains the right to address issues on an individual basis according to its own priorities, rather than follow AAM regulations.
Art and cultural heritage objects may be acquired by either through gift or purchase. Though the processes are similar, there are differences that apply to how art and objects are acquired. Approval of exterior art installations on Indiana University property are also guided by University policy CPF-02, Public Art.
- Acquisition by Gift
Indiana University reviews all proffered gifts to the IU Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection through University Collections.
University Collections reviews gifts observing the following rules:
- The donor provides reasonable assurance that the object has not been exported in violation of another country's laws.
- The donor has the legal right (ownership) to dispose of the proffered gift.
- The donor will provide University Collections with all available provenance of an object at the time of its consideration and University Collections will thereafter include this information as a part of the object's history.
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage or their designate within University Collections assures that proper documentation, including deed of gift, is recorded and filed for each donation. A gift facilitated by any campus or department at Indiana University is required to be accompanied by a deed of gift or other legal documentation that outlines ownership and rights to the gift. Any deed or legal documentation must include language allowing Indiana University the right to deaccession items. Upon execution of the legal documentation and the arrival of the gift at Indiana University, the gift becomes the property of the Trustees of Indiana University.
- When considering a gift, University Collections is guided by reasonable principles of utility to the university, historical significance of the object, and the impact on the university for care and maintenance of the gift.
- All gifts to the university become property of the Trustees of Indiana University. If a gift is made on behalf of a specific campus or department with the intention that the gift will stay in the possession of that campus or department, University Collections may assist the receiving unit in determining the necessary steps for proper handling, documentation, maintenance and restoration funding estimates, exhibition, storage, and security. However, responsibility for handling, storage, documentation, maintenance and restoration funding, and security for this item rests with the relevant unit. If a campus or department cannot store, display, or maintain an item, University Collections has the right to deaccession, store, or reallocate the unwanted item.
- Accepted gifts that are to the general university collection will be transferred and maintained by University Collections under the care of the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage and made available to the appropriate housing unit, at which time a designated person will work with the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage to assure proper handling, documentation, exhibition, storage and security.
- All accepted gifts with a value of $5,000 or greater must have an accompanying independent appraisal provided by the donor if the donor is using the gift-in-kind policy of the Indiana University Foundation.
- University Collections will work with Capital Assets to record all gifts with an appraised value of $5,000 or more as a capital asset of Indiana University.
- All accepted gifts become the property of the Trustees of Indiana University.
- For gifts made through the Indiana University Foundation and recorded in an Indiana University account, the Indiana University Foundation will record the gift on the donor record and issue a receipt for tax purposes after it has been accepted by the University.
- Each donor should be encouraged to provide funding for the ongoing maintenance costs of their gift. Donors should work with University Collections to create a fund for such ongoing costs through the establishment of an endowment or other mechanism.
- Each gift donation should be made without restrictions or stipulations unless prior approval is given by University Collections.
- Acquisition by Purchase
Indiana University campuses, schools, and departments may have funds set aside for the acquisition of art and objects for their buildings, grounds or units. The following guidelines govern these purchases:
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage in University Collections must approve acquisitions to ensure proper provenance and care are considered in the selection process.
- Indiana University will not assume risk for these objects unless they are part of the university’s inventory as maintained by the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage.
- Units must take reasonable steps to ensure that acquired works are being legally sold.
- All acquisitions must be displayed with reasonable security and in a manner that safeguards the life of the piece according to standards established by University Collections. The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage will review display plans for campus art to ensure these standards are met.
- Before purchasing artwork, departments should review the existing collection of campus art in storage to determine if artwork already owned by the university can meet their needs.
- All purchased artwork becomes the property of the Trustees of Indiana University. Departments purchasing artwork shall have funds available for the ongoing maintenance of the works that it purchases. The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage can help establish budgets and projections for ongoing care and consult on the establishment of endowments for monumental sculptures and large collections to support needed ongoing care. Should a purchasing unit no longer be able to maintain a purchased artwork, University Collections has the right to deaccession, store, or reallocate the item.
- Purchases of artwork by departments that exceed $5,000 must be reviewed and approved by University Collections.
- It is the responsibility of the account manager for the funds to be expended for artwork to ensure that the expenditure meets the guideline of supporting the academic mission of the university.
- All purchases become the property of the Trustees of Indiana University.
- Acquisition by Gift
- Loans from the university to other entities
- Loan requests from borrowing institutions for works in Indiana University's Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection will be handled through University Collections’ Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage.
- Approval or denial of such loans will be made in consultation with the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage and the building superintendent or responsible party that houses the work of art or object.
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage or their designate will make a condition report prior to and after each loan.
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage will create a loan contract to follow the loan's progress. (museum model available).
- Borrowing units shall assume all insurance, conservation, repair and shipping costs.
- Loans to the university
- University Collections shall review and approve all loans to the university that are outside of accredited museums before loaned items arrive at IU.
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage must be informed of such loans.
- Indiana University will not assume risk for these objects unless they are part of the university's inventory as maintained by the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage.
- All loans must be displayed with reasonable security and in a manner that safeguards the life of the piece according to standards established by the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage. The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage will review display plans for campus art and objects to ensure these standards are met.
- A condition report from the borrowing unit to the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage will be made prior to and at the end of each loan.
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage shall create a loan contract to follow the loan's progress (museum model available).
- Units must notify the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage if the piece is moved and before the piece is returned to the owner.
- Loans from the university to other entities
- Art that is no longer wanted by a unit must be returned to the IU Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection by contacting the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage.
- The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage will determine if the art or object should be retained or deaccessioned.
- All deaccessions must be made in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by state owned property in consultation with the Office of Procurement Services.
- All deaccessions of gifts must be made in accordance with Indiana University deaccession policies and with requirements set forth in related deeds of gift of legal documentation.
- Deaccessions may, with the approval of the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage, involve trades, upgrades or exchanges.
- All funds realized by resale must go toward the conservation and maintenance and security of the Indiana University Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection within University Collections.
- Any funds not utilized in this manner by the responsible party housing the sold artwork must be returned to a general account for conservation, maintenance and security for the entire Indiana University Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection. If the art or object in question was gifted for the benefit of a specific campus unit, or if a campus unit purchased the art or object with funds budgeted specifically for their use, the art being sold must be offered within the university community before deaccession. Transfer of funds between campus units must meet the guideline of supporting the academic mission of the university. Upon approval by the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage, the art or object may be offered for sale through the Office of Procurement Services following Indiana University deaccession policies.
- When art or objects from the IU Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection (which includes all art or objects described in this policy section) is sold, 20% of the proceeds shall go to the general Director's fund for the ongoing maintenance of the collection. The balance may be utilized by the unit selling the art or object, but only in accordance with AAM guidelines (see https://www.aam-us.org/ resources/ethics-standards-and-best-practices/code-of-ethics-for-museums) to wit: proceeds can only be used for the purchase, upgrade, or care and conservation of art or objects for Indiana University. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage, campus Chancellor and the Vice President, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Treasurer.
Indiana University Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection (Formerly known as the Campus Art Collection): The IU Public Art and Cultural Heritage Collection features objects and works of art including two-dimensional, three-dimensional, decorative arts, and miscellaneous objects of value (varia) housed outside of Indiana University accredited museums, therefore not governed by the professional rules and regulations of an accredited museum as outlined by the American Association of Museums (AAM).
The collection consists of those works that are in buildings or on campus grounds across university-wide and off-campus sites, given or acquired to enhance the environment of Indiana University. This collection is the property of the Trustees of Indiana University. University Collections administers and maintains the collection.
The collection includes but is not limited to paintings, watercolors, sketches, line drawings, photographs, prints, decorative arts, sculpture, antiques, and rugs.
Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage: The Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage reports to the Executive Director of University Collections and has the following responsibilities for public art or objects:
- Temporary outdoor installations
- Complaints or other matters referred by the campuses
- Plans for permanent installations
- Acceptance of gifts of art or of monies to acquire works of art affected by this policy
- Consultation on repair, restoration, or removal of public art as outlined in this policy
- Public art for heavily trafficked interior space
Object: An object is a material thing possessing functional, aesthetic, cultural, symbolic, or scientific value, usually moveable by nature or design. This includes historic objects and works of art that are a part of a collection.
University Collections: A unit of IU Research, University Collections ensure that all of IU’s collections, regardless of size, location, or resource level, are properly preserved, housed, and made accessible to all members of the IU community, public, and scholars everywhere. University Collections are charged by the Trustees of Indiana University with developing collections management and care frameworks and university policies, environmental stewardship assessments and guidelines, developing digital access to collections, increasing the use of collections in research and teaching, and supporting collections’ financial needs.
Violations of this policy shall be reported to the Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage and the relevant Provost or Chancellor of the campus for sanctions at their discretion. If a violation is confirmed by Director of Public Art and Cultural Heritage, the art or object in question may be removed from its location and repurposed by University Collections.
Originally developed in 2002 at the direction of Vice President J. Terry Clapacs, with assistance from Adelheid Gealt, Director of the IU Art Museum. Adapted to new policy format, January 2011.
In 2023, FIN-INS-12 was revised and renumbered to RP-11-010. The previous version of this policy can be accessed here.