Re: Donation of a collection to a museum
- Dear John100% - all factors that are essential.One of the things that greatly annoys me, is that even though there is a paucity of items pictured, & these are usually duplicated through various publications, when you visit the great museums of the world, there is only a miniscule amount of their collections on display.I believe they also have a responsibility to the public, their owners, to adequately catalogue, photograph, & make available to scholars or any other interested party.Have you visitied any of the web sites of the great museums lately (eg. British, Louvre, Metropolitan). They seem more interested in selling knick-knacks than having serious information available. What's worse, in the drive to get numbers through the doors, they're all starting to be geared for school kids, both in content & level of display.You'd think the web/internet was the ideal medium to be able to make their collections available to the world. Isn't this why the collections are maintained/researched - to expand the level of knowledge.There are some serious dichotomies there, as well as some insurmountable paradoxes.JoeJoe----- Original Message -----From: JPisc98357@...Sent: Wednesday, 5 September 2001 7:44Subject: Re: Donation of a collection to a museumDear Joe & Darrell,
I never stated that a museum given a significant donation of a historical
collection of artifacts would immediately put it on the market. Museums do
not market the items themselves, the are the anonymous sellers at Sotheby's,
Christie's, Butterfield's etc. auctions. The may wait for 20 years to
dispose of the items, they are not necessarily in a hurry.
If you do not provide an endowment to support a collection forever it
will eventually be given secondary status depending on the tastes of the
Curator or Keeper of the museum. The only way to protect the exhibit is to
have a clause in the donation papers that provides that the collection shall
revert to the heirs shoud the exhibit be closed, or fair market value if the
museum wished to bring in an independent appraisor. The appraisal and
reimbursement to your heirs should be based upon the value of the collection
when it is being taken out of exhibition.
The valuation of a good collection will appreciate greatly over a period
of generations and a good museum would be loathe to have such a collection
revert to the heirs.
If you do make a donation, insist that the collection be available for
collectors, students and academics wishing to make a study of the collection.
You do not want it to be locked up forever with no access by anyone who loves
Best regards, John Piscopo
PO Box 137
Western Springs, IL 60558-0137