Information for potential donors

The Art Museum of West Virginia University has benefited from gifts of works of art to expand and strengthen its collection. The current Museum collection of over 3,000 works of art has been developed over a forty-year period. The scope of the collection is international, consisting of works from Africa and Asia, as well as art from West Virginia and the region. Strengths of the collection include paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture, and ceramics. To maintain a high level of quality and to uphold professional standards, the Art Museum will accept only works of significant artistic and aesthetic merit that have been reviewed and recommended by the Collections Committee. The Museum’s Collections Management Protocol governs decisions of the Committee.

Potential donors are asked to contact Museum staff and provide name(s), address, phone number, and e-mail address along with a brief description to help determine whether the work or works of art fit within the Museum’s collecting scope. This description could include any available information about the object(s)’s creator, provenance, condition, current location, and if applicable, exhibition history, restoration/conservation history, and publication history. Potential donors are requested to provide images along with their descriptions of the offered gift so the Collections Committee may review the work or works of art within the collecting priorities of the Museum. Please note that the Art Museum does not accept delivery of unsolicited donations.

Works of art accepted for the Museum collection should:

  • be original works of museum quality and in keeping with the mission, purposes and programs of the Museum;
  • have a demonstrated authenticity, established provenance, and a clear proof of title;
  • not unnecessarily duplicate the holdings already in the collection;
  • have proven legal and ethical integrity; if there is a suspicion that the objects had been looted, stolen or otherwise illegally obtained, they should not be accepted into the collection;
  • be in good condition; the Museum only accepts donations for which it can provide appropriate storage, proper management, exhibition and care.

The Museum reserves the right to refuse gifts that do not serve its educational mission or do not fit within its collecting priorities and programmatic scope. The Museum does not accept conditional or restricted gifts. Donors must have clear and legal title to all objects offered to the Museum and be able to pass that title to the Museum.

In the case of bequests, works of art that do not fit the needs or scope of the Museum, for which the Museum cannot provide appropriate care, or which do not otherwise meet the standards for acquisition of works of art, the Museum may request that the executor or administrator of the donor’s estate sell the asset and remit proceeds to the WVU Foundation for the use and benefit of the Art Museum.

Gifts to the Art Museum may be tax-deductible. Potential donors should consult their tax advisors for further information. The Art Museum will not place a value on gifts for tax purposes due to regulations and policies issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Appraisals may be required to determine the tax-deductible value of contributions, and donors are responsible for arranging and paying for said appraisal under IRS Federal Tax Laws. The Art Museum and WVU Foundation request a copy of the appraisal for internal insurance purposes. The acceptance of an object does not imply an endorsement of the appraisal by the Art Museum or WVU Foundation.

Following Federal Tax Law, for a donation to be credited within a specific calendar year, there must be:

1. a written offer from the donor,

2. a written acceptance by the Art Museum, and

3. the physical transfer of the object to the museum or the Museum’s 3rd party representative before December 31st.