Advisory Board Duties and Responsibilities

Advisory Board Duties and Responsibilities

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
at Auburn University  

Last Revised: May 20, 2011
New revisions: March 25, 2013

     

JCSM Mission statement:
Art changes lives. Our mandate within the larger mission of Auburn University is to preserve, enhance, research and interpret the collections entrusted to us. Through the presentation of compelling exhibitions and programs to our diverse audiences, we foster the transformative power of art.

JCSM Core Values Statement: 
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University acknowledges that the following points are the guiding principles by which we will work and plan for the future of this institution.

Power of Art:  Central to our core values is the belief in the transformative powers of art. We are dedicated to providing the unparalleled experience of direct interaction with a unique work of art whether through our diverse exhibition schedule or through our museum’s growing permanent collections. These works of art are at the heart of our museum identity.

Professionalism: In all we do we will treat all colleagues, visitors, and staff members with respect, recognizing that we are at all times representative of JCSM, the University, and the museum profession. Together we welcome the responsibility of the care and preservation of those collections entrusted to us.

Excellence in Education: Key to our mission is providing a welcoming learning environment for our faculty, students, community and regional members. It is our intention that through academic research, visual appreciation and direct encounters with visual expression from different eras and places of origin we will provide significant and possibly even life-changing educational opportunities. In teaching that art is the result of discipline, study and the ability to face the uncertainties of creative experimentation, we encourage all students with diverse experiences to explore new and challenging ideas.

Leadership and Innovation: We will strive to achieve best practices in all we do and to empower and encourage those around us to discover original ways to motivate and inspire. The creative expression that is central to our institution shapes how we will plan, teach and face challenges.

Diverse Community: We are committed to reaching and sustaining a broad audience base representative not only of our whole university but of our entire regional community. As we expand our constituency we seek to be all inclusive and not discriminate against race, creed, color, religion, age, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status.

 

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
Advisory Board Duties and Responsibilities

The Advisory Board (AB) of The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art (JCSM) is different from a Board of Trustees of a private museum.  The museum is administered by Auburn University, and it is the university’s Board of Trustees which is ultimately responsible for the operation of the museum.  The Board of Trustees sets the policies for the museum, oversees its operation, and ensures that the museum is responsibly managed.  The Director of the museum reports to the Associate Provost, the Provost, the President, and, ultimately, the Board of Trustees of Auburn University.  By contrast, the Advisory Board of the museum does not have fiduciary responsibility and is not legally liable for any improprieties occurring within the museum’s governance. The Advisory Board’s role is to advise JCSM’s Director. After noting these primary differences, the Advisory Board does perform an important and active role in maintaining the health and vigor of the museum. Although the Director is responsible for the daily operational administration of the museum, the Advisory Board aids by advising on those general principles that guide the museum. The Board advises the Director in establishing priorities, assists in raising funds, helps conceptualize the mission of the museum, works with long-range plans, and evaluates the performance of the museum in a number of key areas. This is why the Advisory Board of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art should be composed of individuals coming from diverse backgrounds and possessing a wide array of special talents and experiences.

A member of the Advisory Board (AB) is a constant ambassador and proponent of the arts to the general public. AB members serve the organization’s welfare in all possible ways.  Specifically, an AB member’s responsibilities ideally should embrace all of the following:

  • Demonstrate personal support for the Museum and inspire other members of the community and Auburn University;
  • Give all meetings and other activities pertaining to the JCSMhigh priority on his/her calendar of commitments. Support as many JCSM programs by personally attending as time permits;
  • Be familiar with and stay current with all the facts upon which the AB must base their collective opinions and suggestions–to seek answers when they seem to be lacking;
  • Diligently work on committees assigned by the Director and President of the AB and to attend committee meetings regularly;
  • Recognize that an essential function of a good board is fund-raising and to cooperate fully in achieving the Museum’s financial goals by making his or her own gifts as generous as possible and by participating in annual fund-raising efforts;
  • Be involved fully in all deliberations affecting the ongoing philosophy and future planning of the AB; AB members should be both knowledgeable pursuers of “old business” and aggressive proposers of “new business.”

Essential to the success of the AB is its committee structure.  Each of the museum’s five committees has a specific charge: Collections and Acquisitions, Development and Finance, Education and Programming, Exhibitions, and Long Range Planning. These five committees discuss and advise the Director who then establishes the museum’s priorities.  It is vitally important that each of these committees create long-term goals, articulate them to the entire Board and periodically evaluate the committee’s success or failure in meeting these goals. Every member of the AB must serve on at least one committee.

AB members lead by example. They must be members of the museum and in addition they must be willing to donate a minimum of a $1,000 per year to the Advisory Board Endowment. Charitable contributions of $1,000 or higher may be made as quarterly payments, or they may be made as gifts-in-kind, or they may be completed by assisting the Director and/or Development Officer in soliciting funds in this amount.

  • AB members will help develop a network of patrons to promote JCSM and its membership/fund raising activities.
  • AB members are nominated by the Executive Committee who recommends the candidate to the full AB.  Should AB members agree to this nominee they are then recommended through the Office of the Provost to the University President for appointment for a three-year term. After the term is served a member may be asked to continue to serve for another three-year term based upon their past level of participation as an AB member. The number of members to the Advisory Board shall be no less than 20.

The Advisory board may include several non-voting ex-officio members.  They can include the Auburn University President and Provost or their representatives, as well as the chair of the Art Department and other members of the University administration deemed appropriate by vote of the Executive Committee.

In order to have a system of succession in place the President and Vice President are elected by the members of the Advisory Board for a two-year term which can be renewed once. Like the Director of JCSM, the President of the Board is a member of all Museum committees. The Vice President may choose to attend all meetings as well.  Working with the Director and referring to the preferences expressed by Board members, the President and the Director appoint committee chairs and members to the various museum committees.

The Advisory Board is governed by this document and a Code of Ethics Policy which are periodically reviewed and revised by a majority vote of the full Advisory Board. All members of the Advisory Board will sign a letter of commitment to the Advisory Board annually.

Executive Committee

The President, Vice President, outgoing president and the chair of each committee compose the Advisory Board Executive Committee which also serves as the nomination committee.  The future of the JCSM depends heavily on financial support from Auburn alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, as well as citizens of the community and region.  To help the museum meet its financial objectives and to develop positive relationships with the aforementioned constituency, we note that one of the primary roles of the Executive Committee is to provide assistance in the coordination of all fund-raising and Advisory Board membership recruiting activities. A primary emphasis will be on securing gifts and memberships to the museum at the $1,000 level and above.

 

Role and Responsibilities of the Executive Committee

President of the Advisory Board

  • is familiar with the museum’s mission, areas of excellence, goals and needs in order to develop a compelling case for enlisting support;
  • has overall responsibility for motivating the volunteer AB and sees that responsibilities accepted by the volunteers are carried out in a timely manner;
  • resides over both Advisory Board and Executive Committee meetings;
  • participates in solicitation and cultivation activities;
  • works closely with the Museum Director and Development Officer to assure that the support required and needed by volunteers is provided in a timely manner;
  • makes a personal gift that will inspire others to emulate his or her generosity.
  • Executive Committee Members
  • are familiar with the museum’s mission, areas of excellence, goals and needs in order to develop a compelling case for enlisting support;
  • act as spokespersons, ambassadors and advocates on behalf of the museum in their communities and among various segments of the museum constituency;
  • recruit individuals to become museum members at the higher levels;
  • recruit individuals to make charitable contributions to the museum at the $1,000 level or higher;
  • locate and recommend those candidates to be nominated by the full AB as appointees of the University President to serve as future members of the AB. This is done by the Director through the Office of the Provost. The University President makes these appointments for a three year term. After the term is served a member may be asked to continue to serve for another three year term based upon his or her past level of participation as an Advisory Board member;
  • nominate those Advisory Board members who have served successfully for three or more terms to be given the non-voting status of Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board which welcomes their attendance to any committee and full Advisory Board meeting though it is no longer mandatory;
  • as chairs of their individual committees, work closely with the Museum Director, and members of their committees in the planning and implementation of pertinent committee activities; and
  • make a personal gift to the museum that will inspire others to emulate their generosity.

JCSM Advisory Board Committees

Collections and Acquisitions

During every meeting of the Collections and Acquisitions Committee, the Curator after consultation with the Director presents those artworks that have been offered for acquisition into the collection either through auction, direct purchase from the owner or gift to the museum. The committee reviews these pieces and recommends that the pieces be accepted by JCSM. The head of the committee will present these recommendations to the full Advisory Board at the next meeting. Other updates concerning the collection shall also be presented at these meetings such as conservation efforts and loan requests.

The Collections and Acquisitions Committee will adhere to JCSM’s Collections Management Policy and Code of Ethics. They will under the guidance of the Curator and Director periodically review and if necessary make suggestions on the collections management policies to reflect professional best practices in collection ethics, acquisition and accessioning, disposition of non-accessioned objects/materials, incoming and outgoing loans, access to the collections, and deaccessioning. This committee may request periodic reviews of the condition of works belonging to the Museum’s permanent collection.

The committee will be apprised of all budgetary concerns including funds that are raised through direct donations or acquisition endowment income as well as line item budget funds designated for the acquisition of works of art and the care and preservation of the museum’s permanent collection. The committee serves to advise the Director, who has the authority on the expenditure of funds for the purchase of works of art.

 

  • Development and Finance Committee
  • The future of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art depends heavily on financial support from Auburn alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, as well as citizens of the community and region.  The primary role of this committee will be to provide assistance in the coordination of all fund-raising and membership recruiting activities for the museum. The main objective of this committee is to help the museum meet its financial objectives and to develop positive relationships with the aforementioned constituencies. This committee spearheads all development activity working in tandem with the Director and museum Development as they assist to solicit funding for future collections, exhibitions and programs. The committee members have access to the operating budget in order to have a full understanding of current needs.
  • The Development and Finance Committee is an active volunteer committee that works with the museum Director and Development Officer to establish and reach annual fund raising and membership goals.  This committee will adhere to JCSM’s Code of Ethics. The committee’s primary emphasis is securing gifts and memberships to the museum at the $1,000 level and above and working with the Director, Development Officer and the Auburn University Foundation Office to maintain and build endowments.
  • Education and Programming Committee
  • The Education and Programming Committee is responsible for advising the Director and Education Curators on subjects related to the educational mission of the museum and the effectiveness with which that mission has been implemented. This committee will adhere to JCSM’s Code of Ethics where applicable.  One of the most unique aspects of the museum is the breadth of its educational mission. The museum’s educational mandate is to reach all aspects of Auburn’s diverse regional community, including preschoolers, K-12 students, Auburn University students, faculty, staff, retirees, working adults, and families. To meet this mission, the Education and programming Committee works with the museum’s Education Curators to assist in their development and implementation of programming intended to reach and engage these audiences. This includes supporting their efforts in coordinating a corps of volunteers and training docents as well as promoting all of the programs initiated by the Education Curators and assisting them in locating funding for these programs. This committee seeks to engage a diverse regional audience with our programs.  This committee will also adhere to JCSM’s Code of Ethics.
  • Exhibitions Committee
  • This committee works with the Curator in consultation and with approval of the Director to consider potential exhibitions for the museum. Members of the committee may also present ideas or material related to exhibitions for the museum.  Exhibitions may be curated from the museum’s own permanent collection (often augmented by works borrowed from other collections) or contracted through loans from other museums or exhibition services.  This committee will also adhere to JCSM’s Code of Ethics.
  • Long Range Planning Committee
  • The Long Range Planning Committee considers and makes recommendations on a strategic plan for all aspects of the museum’s mission (see Mission Statement).  This includes an assessment of all the museum’s stakeholders’ interests and an ongoing plan of action for the museum’s future direction, establishing goals for each area of museum operations as well as securing the financial means to achieve them within a reasonable timeline. All planning should be done working within the parameters of best practices as established by the AAM and other museum professional organizations.  Again, adherence to JCSM’s Code of Ethics is essential in all long range planning.
  • Advisory Committee Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Previous discussion in this document outlines the role of specific committees of the Advisory Board.  The following are general responsibilities to be addressed by those participating in the committee work of the Advisory Board, either as a chair or as a committee member.
  • Committee Chairs become familiar with the museum’s mission, areas of excellence, goals and needs in order to develop a compelling case for enlisting support;
  • encourage an active committee that partners with the  museum Director and appropriate staff to accomplish those long range goals established;
  • has overall responsibility for motivating their committee members and sees that responsibilities accepted by these volunteers are carried out in a timely manner;
  • participate in solicitation and cultivation activities, that would establish sponsorships, funds or endowments to create greater opportunities for the museum to meet the goals of its mission; and
  • makes a personal gift that will inspire others to emulate his or her generosity.

Committee Members

  • become familiar with the museum’s mission, areas of excellence, goals and needs in order to develop a compelling case for enlisting support;
  • act as spokespersons, ambassadors and advocates on behalf of the museum in their communities and among various segments of the museum constituency;
  • recruit individuals to become museum members;
  • recruit individuals to make charitable contributions to the museum at the $1,000 level or higher. This includes annual donations to the 1072 Society for acquisitions and other programs such as Business Partners, as well as sponsorships, special funds or endowments;
  • work closely with the museum Director, and museum staff especially those directly assigned to work with specific committees to generate support and implement future  activities;
  • make a personal gift that will inspire others to emulate their generosity.
  • Advisory Board Committee Guidelines:
  • Committee members are culled from the Advisory Board and are assigned to committee work based on their expressed preference. Advisory Board members must serve on at least one committee but may choose to serve on other committees as well. Two additional members from outside the Museum Advisory Board may be recruited at the discretion of the Chair of the Committee. The committee also includes the Advisory Board President, Vice President, the museum Director and those museum staff assigned to work with the committee;
  • The chairperson of each committee is appointed by the Museum Director with recommendations from the President of the Advisory Board ;
  • A full meeting of each committee will be held three times annually.

Ex Officio Advisory Board Members

      The Executive Committee of the Advisory Board may invite individuals because of their role at the University and expertise to attend Advisory Board meetings as Ex Officio members.

Collections Policies

Collections Management Policy

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
at Auburn University

Revised policy May 2011

 

JCSM Mission Statement

Art changes lives. Our mandate within the larger mission of Auburn University is to preserve, enhance, research and interpret the collections entrusted to us. Through the presentation of compelling exhibitions and programs to our diverse audiences, we foster the transformative power of art.

JCSM Core Values Statement 

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University acknowledges that the following points are the guiding principles by which we will work and plan for the future of this institution.

Power of Art:  Central to our core values is the belief in the transformative powers of art. We are dedicated to providing the unparalleled experience of direct interaction with a unique work of art whether through our diverse exhibition schedule or through our museum’s growing permanent collections. These works of art are at the heart of our museum identity.

 

Professionalism: In all we do we will treat all colleagues, visitors, and staff members with respect, recognizing that we are at all times representative of JCSM, the University, and the museum profession. Together we welcome the responsibility of the care and preservation of those collections entrusted to us.

Excellence in Education: Key to our mission is providing a welcoming learning environment for our faculty, students, community and regional members. It is our intention that through academic research, visual appreciation and direct encounters with visual expression from different eras and places of origin we will provide significant and possibly even life-changing educational opportunities. In teaching that art is the result of discipline, study and the ability to face the uncertainties of creative experimentation, we encourage all students with diverse experiences to explore new and challenging ideas.

Leadership and Innovation: We will strive to achieve best practices in all we do and to empower and encourage those around us to discover original ways to motivate and inspire. The creative expression that is central to our institution shapes how we will plan, teach and face challenges.

Diverse Community: We are committed to reaching and sustaining a broad audience base representative not only of our whole university but of our entire regional community. As we expand our constituency we seek to be all inclusive and not discriminate against race, creed, color, religion, age, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status.

Collections Management Policy

As noted in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art (JCSM) at Auburn University’s mission statement on the preceding page part of the museum’s mandate within the larger mission of Auburn University is to preserve, enhance, research and interpret the collections entrusted to us.
This statement verifies that the museum’s collections are understood as an important and valuable resource and therefore warrants a stated policy that establishes directives and procedures for future development. The Director of the JCSM is charged with periodic review of this policy and may recommend revisions and amendments.  Revisions will be submitted to the Auburn University Office of the Provost as well as recommendations sought from the Advisory Board.

  1. Statement of Purpose

The objective of The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art (henceforth known as JCSM) is the advancement of learning through the collection, preservation, exhibition and elucidation of visual arts objects and to provide related educational services for the purpose of increasing and enriching the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the arts.  The acts of acquisition, accession and deaccession shall reflect these stated purposes.  The Director in consultation with the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions shall make all recommendations regarding acquisitions, deaccessions, loans from the collections, conservation of objects in the collections, and Collections Management Policy amendments.

  1. Scope of the Collections

A stated purpose of JCSM is the strengthening of its permanent collection through the acquisition of art objects for the purpose of research, the preservation of our global cultural heritage and the ongoing education of Auburn University’s students and faculty as well the citizens of the state of Alabama.

JCSM, has primary holdings in 19th-century Audubon prints, Belleek porcelains, 20th-century American modernism, and 19th- and 20th-century European and American art. While fine and decorative art of any genre and origin is of enormous value to the mission of the museum, the heart of its collections at this time concerns the history and development of American and European art.  Recognizing that a museum’s collection is often composed of diverse collections that together define the permanent collection, we anticipate that in the future, with gifts and acquisitions of the highest quality, JCSM’s permanent collection will broaden its holdings.

  1. Collection Ethics

JCSM’s staff, volunteers  and Advisory Board will adhere to the standards of professional conduct, ethics and methodology set by the Association of Art Museum Directors, the American Association of Museums and its affiliated standing professional committees and advisory groups and JCSM’s own Code of Ethics. Additionally, in all matters of collections management and care, all persons associated with JCSM will adhere to all applicable local, state and federal legislation and all pertinent international agreements including: the African Elephant Conservation Act; the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; the Treaty of Cooperation between the United States and Mexico for the Recovery and Return of Stolen Cultural Properties and the Archeological Resources Protection Act.

 

In addition, JCSM’s stewardship of collections entails the highest public trust and carries with it the presumption of rightful ownership, permanence, care, documentation, accessibility, and responsible disposal. JCSM ensures that:

 

  • Collections in its custody support its mission and public trust responsibilities;
  • Collections in its custody are protected, secure, unencumbered, cared for, and preserved;
  • Collections in its custody are accounted for and documented;
  • Access to the collections and related information is permitted and regulated for donor privacy and preservation of each object;
  • Acquisition, disposal, and loan activities are conducted in a manner that respect the protection and preservation of natural and cultural resources and discourages illicit trade in such materials;
  • Acquisition, disposal, and loan activities conform to JCSM’s mission and public trust responsibilities;
  • Disposal of collections through sale or trade is solely for the advancement of JCSM’s mission.  Proceeds from the sale of objects are to be used only for further development of the collection through new acquisitions.
  • The unique and special nature of human remains and funerary and sacred objects will be respected in decisions concerning such collections;
  • Collections-related activities promote the public good rather than individual financial gain.
  1. Acquisition of Objects

 

Objects may be acquired by purchase, commission, bequest, gift, exchange, field collection and/or abandonment.  No objects shall be knowingly or willfully accepted or acquired which are suspected to have been illegally collected contrary to state or federal law, regulation and/or convention.  JCSM subscribes to the provisions of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Statement on “Ethics of Acquisitions” (1970).  In brief, “there must be a full, clear and satisfactory documentation in relation to the origin of any object to be acquired.” JCSM will not accept objects for the collection where there is cause to believe that the circumstances of their collection involved needless destruction of historic sites, structures, habitats, districts or objects.

  1. Acquisitions Criteria

The strength of JCSM ultimately lies in the quality of the objects that it collects. JCSM should seek objects of historical and artistic significance that are excellent examples of the artist’s work or are clearly representative of a culture, a style or technique. In establishing criteria for determining whether an object shall be acquired, the following should be considered:

  • Does the object help fulfill the museum’s mission?
  • How will the work fit into the collection? Does it fill a gap or will it further elucidate our understanding of objects already part of the collection? Is it relevant to and consistent with the purposes and activities of the Museum;
  • Can JCSM provide for the storage, protection and preservation of objects under conditions that insure their availability for future generations and in keeping with professionally accepted standards;
  • Will it generate further research and scholarship?
  • Will the object be utilized in the foreseeable future? Items will have permanency in the collections as long as they retain their physical integrity, their identity and their authenticity, and/or as long as they remain viable for the purposes of JCSM.
  • Will the acquisition of the object cause JCSM major future expenses (i.e., conservation, insurance, new areas of collecting)? Should a work need to be conserved, JCSM will request that the donor pay to have this done as part of the gift unless special circumstances are presented.
  • Is the provenance documented?  (If the transaction is discovered to be fraudulent in any manner, JCSM will return the object, and seek full compensation if possible. All moral, legal and ethical implications of the acquisition are to be fully evaluated.
  • All donations of objects are considered outright, unconditional gifts to be used at the discretion of JCSM.  Title to all objects shall be free and clear, without restriction to use or future disposition.
  • All items with monetary values equal to or above $5000 must be accompanied by an IRS appraisal, paid for by the donor.
  • JCSM does not require a formal appraisal for in-kind gifts valued under $5000. However, donors shall whenever possible try to provide documentation (copies of recent auction sales, catalogue listings, etc.) that will provide an estimated value for accounting purposes. University accounting requires that the donor include an estimated valuations on all items received.
  1. Methods of Acquisition

JCSM may acquire objects for the collection by gift, bequest, purchase, commission, transfer, exchange, field collection and/or abandonment.)

The Curator of Collections and Exhibitions may bring potential items for acquisition to the attention of the Director who must agree that the works merit possible acquisition and should be presented to the Advisory Board’s Collections and Acquisitions Committee for its endorsement. Committee recommendations are then made to the full Advisory Board by the Chair of the Collections and Acquisitions Committee.

The Advisory Board’s Collections and Acquisitions Committee understands that in certain situations (i.e. yearend gifts, sales and auctions) immediate action is warranted. In that case the Director will attempt to inform two or more members of the committee of the pending situation and garner a consensus on behalf of the committee regarding their recommendation to accept the acquisitions or proposed gifts of art. Working in cooperation with the Director, this subcommittee will act on behalf of the entire Advisory Board and facilitate end-of-year procedures for donors and those rare situations that necessitate immediate action. “End of year” is defined as proposals that arrive after the Fall Advisory Board meeting and before the end of the calendar year.

JCSM’s Collections and Acquisitions Committee is chaired by an appointed Advisory Board member.  This committee shall recommend official action to the Advisory Board as described herein on works of art proposed for acquisition to, or disposal from, the collections of the Museum.  Like all committees of the Museum Advisory Board, when a quorum is present, a majority of votes cast shall govern the committee.  Anyone (including the general public, museum members, staff and Advisory Board members) may bring possible items for acquisition to the attention of the Curator and/or Director.  To allow for proper investigation, any such proposals are to be presented to the Curator and/or Director with sufficient time prior to the Collections and Acquisitions Committee meeting in which the object would be evaluated.  All further actions, including any arrangements with dealers, must await the Director’s clearance.  No Advisory Board member or staff member may obligate JCSM to the acceptance of any object.  No staff member shall offer appraisals of the monetary value of objects to donors, or reveal JCSM’s insurance value, for the purpose of establishing a fair market value of possible gifts.  Donors must obtain an independent appraisal from an authorized appraiser.  Records of such appraisals will be kept by JCSM in perpetuity.  Staff members will not appraise or otherwise place a monetary value on objects casually brought to JCSM for analysis.

If an Advisory Board member is approached with an offer of works of art to JCSM, that member should suggest that the donors contact the museum Director or Curator. The Advisory Board member is then released of further obligation regarding that offer.

Once the potential donor contacts museum staff, the Director and Curator may assess the offer according to the established Acquisitions Criteria. They determine if the museum is interested in pursuing the offer further.  Final determination regarding the offer is the responsibility and obligation of the Director who may decline the offer or bring it to the Collections and Acquisitions Committee with his/her recommendations for their review.

The Director with curatorial assistance shall be responsible for:

  • Screening all proposed gifts for quality, authenticity, market value, suitability for the collections.
  • Investigating the art market for objects deemed desirable additions to the collections by purchase, and performing necessary research.
  • Presenting for consideration by the Collections and Acquisitions Committee any objects recommended for addition to the collections.  At the Director’s discretion, gifts may be presented anonymously to the Collections and Acquisitions Committee to facilitate unbiased decisions.  The quality of the object, its condition, and relative merit in comparison with the best objects in the collections and elsewhere shall be demonstrated by the Director and/or Curator.
  • Presenting for consideration by the Collections and Acquisitions Committee any proposals for disposal of objects whether it is by sale, gift, exchange, or destruction.

Acquisition of objects by purchase shall require a Bill of Sale to be completed by the vendor.  Acquisitions of objects by donation/gift shall require a Deed of Gift to be signed by the donor.

For the enlightenment of JCSM’s Advisory Board, the Director shall periodically compile an analysis of the collections and shall consult with the Advisory Board regarding directions for future acquisitions.

  1. Accessioning Procedures

Objects on the premises for the purpose of possible acquisition shall be treated as temporary loans while they are evaluated for recommendation to the Collections and Acquisitions Committee for review.  A temporary loan form shall be completed as proof that an object is under consideration to be accepted into the collection and it should be dated for no more than 6 months.

Once an object has received Advisory Board authorization, the JCSM Registrar should change its status as an item on loan for approval to a new acquisition for the JCSM permanent collection. All paperwork (i.e. Purchase Orders, Deed of Gift forms, and Gift- in-Kind forms or IRS forms) prepared for either AU Procurement or the AU Foundation should be completed in a timely fashion by JCSM staff to assist donors or sellers. The object should be added to the JCSM collections Auburn University properties list for insurance purposes. In the case of a gift, an official acknowledgement should be sent from the Director’s office in addition to the document that will be sent by the AU Foundation. Donors should also receive a copy of the Deed of Gift and other necessary paperwork (i.e. Gift- in-Kind forms and IRS forms) which should include an adequate description of the objects involved and the conditions of the transfer.

The Registrar will assign an accession number chronologically according to the year and sequence of accession and will establish an individual accession file for each object as well as enter it into the museum’s computer database. The accession number should be physically attached to the object at that time. The Registrar will also assign the object a permanent storage location and have the artwork photographed. Accessioning an artwork into the collection is the chief responsibility of the Registrar and will consist of inspecting the object so as to create a written description of its physical condition; including the creator’s name, nationality, gender, and life dates; the object’s title, date, medium, dimensions, provenance and appraised or purchased value. Also listed should be the donor of the artwork and or a reference to how it was acquired; i.e. museum purchase.
Accessioning by the Registrar will take place within 30 working days of the receipt of the signed Deed of Gift or after the object has been accepted into the museum’s collection.
The Registrar should also develop and maintain artists’ files that contain all pertinent and available information about the artist.

Objects not accessioned shall be documented by Auxiliary Collections inventory numbers. As in the case of permanent collection objects, a record of location and donor/vendor shall be kept. Such objects shall be subject to collection insurance guidelines as well as proper storage and display procedures.
Collection records shall be the responsibility of the Registrar and supervised by the Curator who will be responsible for ongoing scholarly research on the object and will assist in obtaining appropriate provenance, attribution and dates. No original paperwork should ever be disposed of which includes memos, correspondence, invoices, payment papers, transfer of rights documents, deeds of gift, accessioning work sheets, condition reports and all other documents vital to the object’s history. All records shall be kept current and housed in the Registrar’s office. JCSM donors’ privacy should be maintained at all costs and thoughtful discretion should be used in making any of these records public. Arrangements should be made to have duplicate copies of collection records kept in a safe place off-site.

  1. Deaccessioning

Deaccessioning is the process of removing permanently from the Museum’s collection accessioned objects.  The deaccession process shall originate with the Director in consultation with the Curator. They may consult with outside expertise to verify their decisions. In all cases deaccessioning should be done with great caution and scrupulous deliberation. Deeming an object as unfashionable, unpopular or obscure are not appropriate criteria. Objects that have been lost or stolen should be listed as such and not removed from collections through deaccessioning.

The deaccessioning process demands that the following criteria are taken into consideration:

  • Whether the object is outside the scope of the mission and stated purpose of JCSM.
  • Whether the object lacks physical integrity and cannot be conserved or has deteriorated beyond usefulness.
  • Whether the object has been found to be inauthentic or misidentified.
  • Whether the object is a duplicate of lesser quality of something already in the collection.
  • Whether JCSM is unable to properly preserve the object.
  • Whether the object has doubtful potential utilization in the foreseeable future.
  • Whether the object is deemed of “unsuitable” quality (documented by a written appraisal by an outside professional). Deaccessioning this object would improve or strengthen JCSM’s collections and further its goals.
  • Whether evidence has come to light that the work was stolen from another individual or institution or that it was illegally exported or imported in violation of the laws of the jurisdiction in which the museum is located.

Deaccession Method:
Objects/materials shall be deaccessioned only upon the recommendation of the Director who will also propose the exact method of this action. In some instances a transfer to or exchange with another institution may be deemed appropriate. In the case of the sale of a deaccessioned object the following charter which was formally approved by the Auburn University Board of Trustees on 2/2/07 should be observed:

The collections of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University are a unique asset of the University and ultimately, the State and people of Alabama.  However, the acquisition, accession, deaccession and preservation of Museum collections are singular in the following critical sense:  the Museum’s accessioning and deaccessioning process must be at the discretion of the professional staff and Director, with the advice of the Museum’s Advisory Board.  Proposed dispersal of accessioned holdings must be done with the approval of the President of Auburn University.  The art holdings of the Museum are distinct properties intended for the edification and appreciation of our students, faculty and community at large, and were given and /or purchased for the purpose of instruction and preservation of our cultural heritage. It is essential that the Museum follow established professional protocol if the Museum is to be recognized by its peers and establish a high level of trustworthiness among our constituency. The highly valued items of the Museum’s permanent collection must be understood within the context of their singular importance as educational and cultural resources, which differentiate them from other material assets or property of the University.

Any and all proceeds of the sale of accessioned art objects in the permanent collection of the Museum will be used solely for the future acquisition of other art objects for the Permanent Collection. The process by which the Museum will dispose of objects from the Museum’s collection will be through public auction to assure that fair market value is realized. By following this professional practice, which is the standard for the Association of Art Museum Directors and the  American Association of Museums, these restricted funds from any sales would enable the Museum to perpetuate the original donor’s name. It will also enhance the quality of the collection and the reputation of the Museum and Auburn University. Such a respect for the past and a commitment to the present and future collections of the Museum is a matter of integrity and ensures the longevity and success of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University.

The sale or gift of deaccessioned object/materials from JCSM to its employees, members of the University administration or Advisory Board members, or to their representatives, family or partners is forbidden.  Advisory Board members and staff shall adhere to the highest ethical standards and shall avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest.

When procedures for deaccessioning objects/materials have been executed, accession records shall be marked DEACCESSIONED with the date of authorization.  Information regarding the final disposition, the date, the destination of the item, and value or consideration received shall be recorded on the accession card which will then contain the entire history of the object while in JCSM custody.  Accession records for deaccessioned objects/materials will be kept in perpetuity to preserve collections history.

Donors or their heirs should be contacted whenever possible to let them know that an item that was given is being deaccessioned and will be available for sale at public auction.  The proceeds from the sale of the object will be credited to the original donors as such: Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Jones, by exchange, or similar wording.

  1. Disposition of Non-Accessioned Objects:

Non-accessioned objects/materials become part of the JCSM’s Auxiliary Collection. These items were donated to JCSM often through the settlement of an estate but do not fall within the collection policy guidelines, and are deemed by the Director in consultation with the Curator of being inappropriate or unworthy either by their physical state or aesthetic/educational nature to be accessioned as part of the permanent collection.

A list of non-accessioned objects will be kept in the permanent files and are to be labeled Auxiliary Collection. The decision to dispose of an item from the Auxiliary Collection is done upon the recommendation of the Director to the Collections and Acquisitions Committee. These items may be given by gift or exchange to another Auburn University department or another tax-exempt educational institution, sold with funds accruing to the benefit of the Museum’s permanent collection, used as study pieces, or destroyed. They do not have to follow the Board of Trustee charter for deaccessioning.

JCSM does not sanction the sale or gift of non-accessioned items to its employees, Auburn University administration, or Advisory Board members or to their representatives, family or partners.

  1. Loans

Outgoing Loans:
Because all works of art are at risk of damage or loss during transit and while being handled for the purpose of shipment to another location, the decision to loan objects from the collections shall be carefully and prudently considered and permitted only when the loan is of demonstrable benefit to JCSM or to the advancement of scholarship.

All loan requests should be made whenever possible at least six months prior to the date when the loan will begin. This should be done in writing to JCSM’s Director. Loan requests will be approved or declined by the Director, with the advice of the Curator. Works of art from JCSM’s collections may be loaned to other organizations under the following conditions.

  • Careful consideration of the security and other facility aspects of the borrowing institution insofar as they might affect the safety, preservation, condition, or adequate display of the work of art.  The borrowing institution’s AAM Facilities report must be provided and analyzed. If it is found acceptable, this report shall be kept on file with the signed loan agreement. In the case of a touring show an AAM Facilities report from each venue should be sent to JCSM for consideration.
  • The nature and purpose of the borrowing organization and display of the borrowed work, whether for educational, cultural, promotional, commercial or other purposes must be considered in the context of JCSM’s mission. The Director should only consider lending materials from the collections to museums, historical societies, libraries, and other organizations that comply with the standards accepted by AAM. Loans should not be made to businesses or private individuals and only under special circumstances (such as scholarly research) to private art galleries.
  • Careful consideration of the value of the object to be loaned and any insurance issues that might be involved.
  •  Careful consideration of the condition of the work, e.g. whether the work is too fragile to travel or its size and weight might present shipping and installation problems or potential risk. Also the length of the loan must be considered in the case of overexposure to light.
  • Careful consideration of JCSM’s ongoing exhibition and display needs insofar as the requested work is concerned.

Should it be decided to loan a work of art for exhibition, a written agreement specifying the conditions for that loan will be produced by either JCSM or the borrowing institution. It will be signed by both JCSM’s Director as well as the authorized representative of the borrowing institution and remain in the object’s file. Any and all special restrictions deemed necessary by the Curator, Registrar and Director should be placed on the loan form to ensure the object’s safety based upon the AAM Facilities report and the object’s physical condition.

JCSM must have the complete itinerary for a loan and all other information (shipping, insurance, security) before a final decision is approved to loan a work of art from JCSM’s collection. The Registrar will be responsible for maintaining contact with the borrower while the loan is in effect to assure all agreements are honored.  All outgoing loans will be for a specified time period. JCSM will not make permanent loans. At the end of a loan period not to exceed one year, the loan may be renewed for another specified period that should not exceed one year, after careful review by the Curator which should include verification of the condition of the object.

Records will be kept for all correspondence, research related to the loan, loan agreements, verification of insurance coverage, and all packing and shipping arrangements.

Objects shipped on loan shall be repacked in the same materials and crates in which they were shipped from JCSM. All shipping arrangements to and from the exhibition site(s) are prearranged and should be adhered to unless otherwise agreed upon by lender and borrower.  Damages, whether in transit or on the borrower’s premises and regardless of responsibility, shall be reported immediately to the lender.

Insurance in the amount of the value determined by JCSM must be placed on all loans and carried in force from the time the objects leave the museum until the objects are returned in satisfactory condition.

Objects must be given special care to protect them against loss, breakage, or deterioration.  Small objects must be displayed in locked cases or have other appropriate security measures in place.  Loans must be displayed in public areas that have security enforced.

No restoration, repair, or cleaning may be performed without express consent of JCSM.

Objects must be returned to JCSM at the end of the agreed upon loan period, unless otherwise arranged.

All objects shall be identified as on loan from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, if used for exhibition or reproduction.

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is to receive two copies of any publication or catalog of the exhibition for which Museum objects have been lent.

Incoming Loans:
JCSM shall accept objects on loan only for exhibition purposes or as possible gifts or for purchase consideration. The Director shall approve all incoming loans on the basis of:

  • Exhibition needs
  • Ability of the museum to properly care for the object (to secure, insure and preserve)

Objects left in the custody of the museum:
Any object left in the custody of JCSM for study or review with the consent of the Director and Curator is considered a loan and should be handled as such with complete paperwork issued by the Registrar. All such objects will be secured and cared for by JCSM staff according to the standards used in the care of the JCSM’s collection.

Any object left on JCSM premises without notification or approval of the Director and Curator will not be considered on loan. Staff other than the Director and Curator may not accept objects for study or review on their behalf or in their stead. If an object is left without such approval the Curator or Registrar must contact the owner and request the removal of the object. If the owner of the object cannot be contacted or remains unknown for seven years, the object shall be deemed an unrestricted gift that JCSM may dispose of or accession as determined by the Director in consultation with the Curator.

During this seven-year period such objects, not officially on loan to JCSM but remaining in its custody until ownership is determined, shall be designated as x files or unknown and assigned  x-prefixed inventory numbers indicating the year an object was first noted.

The Registrar should be notified of all objects personally owned by staff that are kept on the museum’s premises as office décor, so they are not mistaken as museum or university property. Any objects leaving the building without the express permission of the Registrar, Curator or Director will be inspected by Security staff and proof of ownership requested.

  1. Inventory Procedures

Inventory:
It is the responsibility of the Director and Curator, in collaboration with the chair of the Advisory Board Collections and Acquisitions Committee, to conduct periodic spot-check and comprehensive inventories of the collections to ascertain the presence and location of all objects in the collections and to determine conservation needs.  Such inventories will be conducted using the accession records as a checklist and should address all areas of the collection.

Missing Objects:
Objects deemed to be missing from the collections after a thorough search of the museum facility conducted by museum staff, will be brought to the attention of university administration and other proper authorities (police and insurance) will be notified.

  1. Care of the Collections

The care of the JCSM collections encompasses not only the preservation and protection of objects but also the maintenance of the full range of records and inventories of its collections. The daily management and care of the collections will be chiefly the responsibility of the Registrar under the supervision of the Curator and in consultation with the Director. Objects on display or in storage shall be protected from detrimental forces such as excessive or fluctuating temperatures and humidity, dust, ultra-violet light, insects, vermin or improper handling. (Note that all pest control procedures should be strictly restricted to the use of chemicals and systems that have been proven to not adversely affect humans and or artwork.)

At all times, JCSM staff members shall be aware of their responsibilities to preserve and protect collections objects.  The Director shall have ultimate oversight responsibilities to maintain adequate protection for all aspects of the collections

All of the museum’s collections will be housed in storage spaces within JCSM that have controlled access as well as temperature and humidity control. Within these secured storage areas the Registrar will ensure that all objects are appropriately stored to protect them from theft, loss, damage and deterioration. Objects will not be relocated in storage or moved into or out of storage areas without the approval of the Registrar or Curator. Objects will not be relocated in galleries or moved into or out of the galleries or staff offices without the approval of the Registrar or Curator. The Registrar will maintain a log of the location of each object by accession number, which will be updated each time the object is moved.

No one but the Registrar, Preparator, Curator or their trained assistants will move, carry, or otherwise handle any art object. Should additional assistance be required, by volunteers or other staff members it is to be done expressly under the supervision of the Registrar, Preparator or Curator. In all cases personnel will observe those best practices set forth in established professional guidelines for handling art and artifacts.

The Director, Curator and/or Registrar shall monitor conservation needs and the movement of all collections objects within the museum. Objects/materials in need of conservation shall be treated as soon as possible. Conservation shall be performed only by qualified professionals using approved techniques and substances.

  1. Insurance

All collections are to be listed by the Registrar on the university collections inventory sheets so that they are covered by the policy provided by the university’s Risk Management and Insurance Office. The Registrar shall maintain up-to-date records for insurance purposes.
Priority shall be given to in-house contractual security for the collections with insurance as an adjunct to this.

Each outgoing loan shall be insured by the borrower at  JCSM’s stated value and each incoming loan shall be insured at the lender’s stated insurance value while on loan to JCSM.

XV.     Access to the Collections
JCSM believes the collections should be used to advance scholarship and, therefore, will make them accessible to the university and community for education and research.  A primary consideration of availability of items for examination and use will be based upon the condition of the item(s) and availability of other sources and information.  Access to the collection is secondary to its preservation. The following are procedures for access to objects from the JCSM collection:

  • A written request stating the purpose for access and anticipated use of their research and need for access. An appointment should be arranged that is convenient for staff.
  • Authorization for access will be given or denied by the Director.
  • Access to an object from the collections must be conducted under the supervision of the Registrar, Curator or Director.
  • Photographs for further research of the object or publication of this research may be requested and when available provided by JCSM. No other photography is allowed.
  • At all times, copyright, public information and privacy laws will be strictly enforced.

XVI.    Disaster Planning
A plan in case of natural or man-made disaster is in place for the museum.  These procedures will be reviewed periodically.

XVII.  Documentation
The museum will keep accurate records both in hard copy and electronically as specified throughout this policy.

XVIII. Appraisals
Periodic appraisals will be conducted for insurance values only.

XIX.    Security
The museum limits access to collections storage areas to curatorial and administrative staff.  Professional standards to safeguard collections and those objects on loan are observed.

Exhibition Policies

Exhibition Policy and Procedures

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
at Auburn University

May 2011

 

JCSM Mission Statement

Art changes lives. Our mandate within the larger mission of Auburn University is to preserve, enhance, research and interpret the collections entrusted to us. Through the presentation of compelling exhibitions and programs to our diverse audiences, we foster the transformative power of art.

JCSM Core Values Statement: 

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University acknowledges that the following points are the guiding principles by which we will work and plan for the future of this institution.

Power of Art:  Central to our core values is the belief in the transformative powers of art. We are dedicated to providing the unparalleled experience of direct interaction with a unique work of art whether through our diverse exhibition schedule or through our museum’s growing permanent collections. These works of art are at the heart of our museum identity.

Professionalism: In all we do we will treat all colleagues, visitors, and staff members with respect, recognizing that we are at all times representatives of JCSM, the University, and the museum profession. Together we welcome the responsibility of the care and preservation of those collections entrusted to us.

Excellence in Education: Key to our mission is providing a welcoming learning environment for our faculty, students, community and regional members. It is our intention that through academic research, visual appreciation and direct encounters with visual expression from different eras and places of origin we will provide significant and possibly even life-changing educational opportunities. In teaching that art is the result of discipline, study and the ability to face the uncertainties of creative experimentation, we encourage all students with diverse experiences to explore new and challenging ideas.

Leadership and Innovation: We will strive to achieve best practices in all we do and to empower and encourage those around us to discover original ways to motivate and inspire. The creative expression that is central to our institution shapes how we will plan, teach and face challenges.

Diverse Community: We are committed to reaching and sustaining a broad audience base representative not only of our whole university but of our entire regional community. As we expand our constituency we seek to be all inclusive and not discriminate against race, creed, color, religion, age, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status.

Exhibition Policy and Procedures

  • Purpose

The exhibition policy is intended to provide an outline of the process used to create exhibitions at JCSM, as well as to establish a method for reviewing the development process and to identify those staff and Advisory Board members who are accountable at all levels of the implementation of exhibition from idea to de-installation. In all cases the exhibitions at JCSM should reflect its statements of mission and core values, representing sensitivity to diverse perspectives and levels of knowledge and education. It should also reflect JCSM’s commitment to excellence in education as a university art museum.

  • Authority

The Curator of Collections and Exhibitions (curator) in consultation with the Director is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of JCSM’s exhibition planning guidelines. After thorough assessment of the educational value of any idea for a proposed exhibition as well as an analysis of cost and schedule availability with input from various staff members, the proposal is brought to the Advisory Board Exhibition Committee for further discussion and final recommendation.

  • Process

Ideas for exhibitions may come from a wide variety of constituents which include staff, museum volunteers, university faculty or the general community. All suggestions should come in written form to the curator who will give them due consideration in terms of educational value, cost, scheduling and if deemed appropriate, the curator will present the proposal to the director. Together after a thorough discussion, they will decide if the project is suitable and should be considered by the Advisory Board Exhibition Committee.

The following criteria should be used by the Advisory Board Exhibition Committee in considering exhibitions for JCSM:

  • Does the exhibition enhance further understanding of the arts and does it reinforce our mission?
  • Is the curatorial content compelling, intellectually stimulating and relevant to a diverse audience?
  • Is there something new to be seen and taught through this exhibition that has not been examined recently by a similar exhibition featured at JCSM? (We should strive for diverse art historical time periods, art styles, various cultures, media, as well as relevant, and challenging ideas).
  • Will this exhibition provide appealing educational programming opportunities for a majority of our constituents?
  • How will we fund this project?  Will we need outside sponsorships and will those funds be readily available?
  • How complicated would installation be and are we prepared for the challenge?
  • Does this exhibition promote and adhere to JCSM’s ethics policy guidelines?

 

  • Scheduling

As a part of Auburn University, JCSM is tied into the university calendar and most exhibits should reflect this schedule with major exhibition changes occurring at the beginning of the fall, spring and summer semesters. In scheduling exhibitions we should consider who are our different audience groups and can the various entities on campus, in the community and within the museum participate in this project.

 

  • Exhibition Development

 

Budget
All aspects of the exhibition budget for each exhibition should be considered including: installation costs, participation fees, shipping and research. Once a reasonable estimate of these costs for an exhibition are established it should be presented and discussed with the Assistant Director, Development Officer and Director so that a plan of action as to how this exhibition will fit into the museum’s overall budget is understood.

A second part of exhibition budget development would include the costs for any and all educational programs that may be associated with the exhibition. This would include speakers, and/or materials associated with learning outcomes such as gallery publications or handouts.

The final part of the overall exhibition budget should estimate the costs for printed materials such as invitations, receptions and advertising. The Assistant Director will need all of these numbers in preparing the overall budget annually.

Project
The museum’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions is the supervisor for all exhibitions whether the exhibition is drawn from JCSM’s permanent collection, originates as an in-house project utilizing loaned objects or was developed by another institution and for which JCSM serves as a venue.  When a second curator is involved (i.e. guest curator, another staff member, etc.) the museum’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions will work collaboratively with that person to assure that the professional standards of JCSM are upheld. This includes:

  • Overseeing that the scholarly information presented in gallery guides, catalogs, wall text and label copy are accurate and free of any political or social bias.  All written materials must be completed in a timely fashion scheduled by the curator and graphic designer to allow for sufficient planning and implementation, including proofreading and editing.
  • Working with the JCSM’s design team involving the preparator and graphic designer to develop the conceptual design and floor plan, including colors, layout and text.
  • Working with and monitoring the status of the registrar’s activities as to shipping schedules and arrangements, checklists, loan forms, and other correspondence.
  • Overseeing the registrar who is also responsible for the unpacking and packing of exhibitions as well as completing all reports concerning the condition of the objects.
  • Overseeing the preparator who is responsible for the preparation and painting of gallery walls, fabrication of temporary exhibition-related structures, placement of exhibition casework, in-house matting and framing, fabrication and installation of exhibition labels and didactics, and final lighting. The installation of all art objects for an exhibition is completed in conjunction with the registrar and curator.
  • Evaluation

A walk through of the exhibition by the Director and other staff should be scheduled a day before the formal opening of the show to the public. This will allow time for any minor adjustments or changes to be made, should it be deemed necessary by this in-house group.

Ideally exhibition evaluation materials should be created through the collaboration of members of the education, marketing and curatorial departments and should be generated for each exhibition.  An evaluative tool can be something as simple as a comment book placed in the gallery or as formal as an evaluation card with exhibition-specific questions that is made available to visitors. The evaluation can include questions about the exhibition content, visual appeal, quality of didactic materials, and layout.

At the close of the exhibition, comments gleaned from the evaluative process should be included in the final exhibition folder. They can also be presented to the Advisory Board’s Exhibition Committee for discussion.

  • Record of Exhibitions

A file should be compiled in the course of every exhibition’s development and duration and maintained in the registrar’s office as a permanent record of that exhibition project. It should include whenever possible:

  • The exhibition contract
  • Pertinent correspondence
  • A complete checklist of the exhibition
  • Loan forms
  • Pertinent artist information
  • Visuals of the installation
  • Installation floor plan
  • Project budget, and revisions
  • Wall text and labels
  • Credit line regarding sponsorship of  the exhibition and copies of any documentation of that sponsorship
  • All educational programming information related to the exhibition, including lesson plans, school activities, and recordings of lectures or public presentations
  • All publications related to the exhibition including catalogues, brochures, newsletters, rack cards, invitations, audiovisual and digital media
  • Press releases, media coverage
  • Shipping arrangements
  • Exhibition evaluations
  • Visitation count
  • Any other relevant materials

Ethics Policies

Code of Ethics

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts
at Auburn University 

March 25, 2013

Introduction

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University (JCSM) has prepared this Code of Ethics in accordance with the specifications and guidelines of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Alliance of Museums. It is noted and recommended that this document continue to be reviewed periodically under the advisement of JCSM’s director, members of the museum staff, the university administration and the museum’s Advisory Board.

  • This document is intended to provide professional guiding principles that will enable the staff, Advisory Board, docents and volunteers of JCSM to legally, ethically and effectively be accountable in the performance of their duties in a way that both supports the museum and university missions as well as realizes their responsibilities as stewards of objects held in public trust.
  • In addition all above-mentioned individuals must be aware of the ethics policies published by their respective professional organizations as well as the standards of behavior defined by the Auburn University Board of Trustees and those Ethics policies of the State of Alabama.
  • All additional volunteer constituents of JCSM  (to include the Advisory Board, docents, members of any and all fundraising committees, gift shop attendants, interns, work-study students, and any other individual or group assisting the museum) are expected to follow the guidelines set forth in this Code of Ethics.
  • It is ultimately the responsibility of JCSM”s director to set an example of ethical behavior and actions as well as to ensure that the  content of this Code of Ethics is communicated to all staff, volunteers and anyone directly associated with the ongoing business of JCSM.

Background
JCSM first opened to the public in 2003 and serves as an academic unit of Auburn University under the advisement of the Office of the Provost.  As part of the university, JCSM supports and advances Auburn University’s mission, which is defined by its land-grant traditions of service and access for the citizens of the State through its instructional, research and outreach programs. Like the university, JCSM will provide broad access to the institution’s educational resources. The Auburn University Board of Trustees is committed to sustain JCSM as an integral part of the University and as an exceptional cultural resource for the State of Alabama.

Implementation of the Code of Ethics:

  • JCSM’s Code of Ethics should be made available to each museum staff member in addition to all other Auburn University personnel policies. The director or other staff members who work with volunteers; i.e. docents and interns, are responsible for familiarizing themselves and their volunteers with the relevant sections of the code and safeguarding that they comply with its provisions.
  • Members of the Advisory Board should also agree to the specifications of this Code of Ethics and receive a copy at the time of their appointment enabling them to become familiar with it, particularly those sections pertaining to collections and donor relations.

 

JCSM Mission Statement

Art changes lives. Our mandate within the larger mission of Auburn University is to preserve, enhance, research and interpret the collections entrusted to us. Through the presentation of compelling exhibitions and programs to our diverse audiences, we foster the transformative power of art.

JCSM Core Values Statement: 

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University acknowledges that the following points are the guiding principles by which we will work and plan for the future of this institution.

  • Power of Art:  Central to our core values is the belief in the transformative powers of art. We are dedicated to providing the unparalleled experience of direct interaction with a unique work of art whether through our diverse exhibition schedule or through our museum’s growing permanent collections. These works of art are at the heart of our museum identity.
  • Professionalism: In all we do we will treat all colleagues, visitors, and staff members with respect, recognizing that we are at all times representatives of JCSM, the University, and the museum profession. Together we welcome the responsibility of the care and preservation of those collections entrusted to us.
  • Excellence in Education: Key to our mission is providing a welcoming learning environment for our faculty, students, community and members. It is our intention that through academic research, visual appreciation and direct encounters with visual expression from different eras and places of origin we will provide significant and possibly life-changing educational opportunities. In teaching that art is the result of discipline, study and the ability to face the uncertainties of creative experimentation, we encourage all students with diverse experiences to explore new and challenging ideas.
  • Leadership and Innovation: We will strive to achieve best practices in all we do and to empower and encourage those around us to discover original ways to motivate and inspire. The creative expression that is central to our institution shapes how we will plan, teach and face challenges.
  • Diverse Community: We are committed to reaching and sustaining a broad audience base representative not only of our whole university but of our entire regional community.  As we expand our constituency we seek to be all inclusive and not discriminate against race, creed, color, religion, age, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status.

Code of Ethics for Governance

JCSM, as an academic unit of Auburn University, has as its official governing authority the AU Board of Trustees and the university’s academic administration as represented by the AU President and the Office of the Provost. The Provost and by extension the Associate Provost serve on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the President to oversee the affairs of the museum. The museum’s director reports directly to the Office of the Provost. The governing authority entrusts the director with responsibility for developing the mission, vision and goals of the museum. In turn, the director works closely with museum staff and seeks counsel from members of the Advisory Board and other volunteers to develop and refine the mission, vision and goals and to ensure their implementation.

The museum’s professional staff, Advisory Board, docents, and other volunteers and interns should recognize and understand that their work for or on behalf of JCSM must be done in support of its mission and public trust responsibilities. This would include the museum’s permanent collections and educational programs as well as its physical, human and financial resources which are established, sustained, secured and interpreted as part of this mission. Among the most fundamental responsibilities of the museum are the ongoing development, research and preservation of its permanent collection which is an essential part of its educational goals of teaching and research.

The museum has policies and procedures in place that direct its operations such as Exhibitions Planning, Collections Management and the Advisory Board Duties and Responsibilities. These documents support the mission, vision and goals of the museum as defined in its Long Range Plan. Members of the governing authority, staff, Advisory Board and volunteers of the museum should be committed to the institution’s purposes and responsibilities as reflected in these established guidelines.

The museum follows all employment and contractual practices, including hiring and termination as determined by Auburn University. As part of the university, JCSM is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status. Recruitment, appointment, training, promotion, demotion, compensation, retention, discipline, and/or other employment practices are based on those instituted by the university and state.

 Code of Ethics for Public Accountability

All museum operations are directed and informed by professional standards and best practices. JCSM staff members observe and are encouraged to keep up with those latest developments and accepted standards in their fields and their areas of responsibility which are accepted by their peers and professional associations, such as the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors. JCSM employees should recognize that the work we do involves great responsibility and is a public trust. Museum staff must perform their duties with the utmost integrity and agree to always act with objectivity and maintain rigorous ethical principles and standards.

Museum staff members are encouraged to fully participate in a wide range of professional and personal activities comparable to professionals in other disciplines and consistent with their professional and staff responsibilities. But they may not engage in activities that suggest any financial interests which would represent a conflict of interest with the museum and/or the university, including such engagements as defined in applicable law, university regulations, or collective agreements. Since the museum’s success is dependent on its reputation as a prominent cultural institution, its staff has an obligation to help it maintain that reputation by serving in a dignified, trustworthy, reliable and loyal manner. Museum staff members are never wholly separated from their institution and therefore should always be mindful of the impression they make. They must never consider themselves or their activities entirely independent of the museum and must consequently be concerned not only with their personal motivations and interests but also with how their actions might be interpreted by those in the community.

All materials or items developed, written, designed, drawn, painted, constructed or installed by employees or volunteers on behalf of JCSM are considered to be the property of the museum (and Auburn University) with the museum having all rights to the property.  However, this proprietorship does not pertain to scholarly articles and monographs written by faculty members and museum curators. JCSM stresses that complete academic honesty be the basis for all didactic and published museum materials. The museum fully recognizes and respects all intellectual property rights of artists, scholars and critics.

Museum staff should treat the public courteously at all times and handle all correspondence and inquiries in an efficient and prompt manner. They should willingly share their knowledge to assist the general public in so far as the legal parameters of the profession. They should be willing to provide assistance to those specialists and serious scholars who request access to any material or documentation in our care, except in those areas of confidentiality such as personal data and appraisal information.

All confidential information relating to the source of material owned by or on loan to the museum, as well as security arrangements of the museum, or the security arrangements of private collections or any place visited in the course of official duties must not be disclosed. Confidentiality must also be observed in respect to any item brought to the museum by donors or potential donors for examination. Information on such items should not be exchanged or shared with another museum, dealer, or donor except in the case of a  legal obligation to assist the police or other proper authorities in investigating possible stolen or illicitly acquired or transferred property or as allowed by law.  It is the responsibility of all museum staff to observe all laws concerning the security and privacy of all confidential records and information, pertaining to individuals or groups who support the museum.

Members of the governing authority, staff, Advisory Board and volunteers of JCSM should not participate in any activities which may be understood as conflicts of interest. Any employee or volunteer associated with JCSM must follow all state ethics and laws as well as university rules concerning outside activities and conflicts of interest. Staff members and Advisory Board members as well as all other volunteers shall not, at any time, engage in any activity for profit, such as selling art to the museum, providing paid authentications for works of art or having an undisclosed interest in a property being acquired by the museum. No JCSM employee shall perform appraisals.  The museum shall maintain a list of appraisers but shall not provide an endorsement. The museum’s welfare and security should always be considered first should a conflict of interest arise.

The slightest suggestion or appearance of misconduct should at all times be avoided by the museum’s professional staff and their families. This would include refusing any gift, tips, favors or other dispensations that could be interpreted to influence their professional performance.
Any form of compensation, gift or other item of considerable value received in good faith by a museum worker from anyone who has dealings with the museum is expected to be reported to the director.

Given the nature of the strong interest in art that usually motivates the professional staff into museum work; collecting art is deemed an appropriate activity and may enhance their expertise. However, private collecting by the director and staff of the museum should never conflict with the interests of the museum. Because the possibility of conflict exists, the issue should be openly discussed by all those involved.

  • The director and museum staff must never compete with the museum for an art object. The museum should always have first option of acquiring an object before it is added to a staff member’s personal collection.
  • The director and museum staff who collect art should provide JCSM with an inventory of their collection which should be kept in their personnel file.
  • Personal collections owned by museum staff should never be stored at the museum nor should any personal research or conservation take place without the knowledge of the Collections and Acquisition Committee of the Advisory Board.
  • Objects on loan for an exhibition that are from the collection of a member of the museum staff should be credited anonymously.
  • Should a museum staff member wish to dispose of part or all of his/her personal collection it should first be offered to JCSM at fair market value.
  • Museum staff should not be involved in the sale of art, nor should they be employed by an art dealer or retain an interest in an art dealership. This does not apply to museum staff who create and sell their own art.
  • Neither relatives nor friends should engage in any transaction on behalf of a museum that is not in compliance with these stated policies.

JCSM is dedicated to adhering to essential ethical principles in all relationships with business suppliers. Those staff members who are authorized to procure materials on behalf of the museum should do so with the best interest of the museum at heart and act with objectivity, honesty and commitment.

Code of Ethics for Finance and Development

JCSM’s director and assistant director oversee all financial matters and reporting for the museum as it relates to supporting the museum’s mission, vision and goals.   In all financial matters, the museum complies with the directives, policies and procedures of the Office of Business and Finance at Auburn University and supports its mission and statement of purpose.

JCSM’s Development staff works in collaboration with the university’s Office of Development.   All development activities are conducted in support of the mission of JCSM and in accordance with the mission of the AU Foundation which is devoted to maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct in fundraising. Members of the governing authority, staff, Advisory Boards and volunteers must respect and maintain the confidentiality of all donor and development information, discussions and materials. With the exception of museum materials provided for public distribution, it will be considered a breach of confidence to share such materials or information with other organizations or individuals outside JCSM and Auburn University.

 

 

 Code of Ethics for Collections

An important educational resource for the museum is its permanent collections which are established, preserved, exhibited and interpreted in support of the museum’s mission and in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the museum’s Collection Management Policy. This policy also includes a plan for the future development of collections. All items in the museum’s possession, whether part of the permanent collection or on temporary loan, are to be accurately documented to facilitate provenance, identification, interpretation and conservation. The museum’s registrar, working with the university’s Office of Risk Management maintains adequate insurance coverage for all objects including those pieces in the permanent collection, objects in transit, items on loan and other objects not owned by the museum but temporarily on loan.

The museum will maintain secure and serviceable facilities and storage for its collections. Provisions for preventative conservation methods and techniques, including suitable environmental protection against the known causes of deterioration of works of art will be mandated.  Decisions about conservation or restoration will be jointly decided by the director, curator and registrar, who are familiar with current ethical issues and professional best practices for conservation and restoration. Periodic condition assessments of the collections are required of the curatorial staff as well as arrangements for over-all and specific maintenance in keeping with professionally accepted standards.

JCSM’s permanent collection represents an important educational resource for both present and future generations. It is our responsibility to make this collection judiciously accessible given the fragility of certain objects, but every effort will be made to respond to scholarly inquiries for information and visual documentation of objects. The museum’s curatorial staff will also upon request arrange and supervise at a mutually convenient time and place for objects from the collection to be studied and/or examined. Again, any and all sensitive or confidential material in the museum’s records cannot be disclosed to unauthorized persons.

The plan for future development of the collection identifies the priorities of the museum and serves as a basis for the consideration of potential purchases and appropriate gifts. This plan is a work in progress and is revised periodically by the curator and director in consultation with and the Collections and Acquisitions Committee of the JCSM Advisory Board.

Identifying possible future acquisitions is the responsibility of the museum’s director and curator. All gifts and bequests to the museum should ultimately be unrestricted. In addition, any conditions or limitations relating to an acquisition should be detailed clearly in the deed of gift or other written documentation. Museum acquisitions should be determined as to those objects that the museum is prepared and able to care for properly. Careful consideration should be made as to the appropriateness of any proposed acquisition whether it is offered for purchase or as a tax-benefit gift from the museum’s Advisory Board, staff members, their relatives or close associates.

The museum will take every precaution and advance due diligence to avoid the acquisition of stolen artworks as well as those removed in contravention of treaties and international conventions to which the United States is a signatory, or illegally imported into the United States.  JCSM will not knowingly secure any object for the collection that resulted in damage or destruction to its original site or involved less than accurate release to owners or governmental entities.

JCSM, within all legal considerations, will take responsible steps to cooperate in returning to the country of origin any object that may have inadvertently come into the museum’s possession, should it be demonstrated that the object is part of the country’s cultural heritage and was exported or otherwise transferred in violation of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970).

Also JCSM respects the terms of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague Convention, 1954) and will desist from the acquisition of cultural objects from any occupied country.

Since the permanent collection is a vital and important educational resource for the campus and community, JCSM’s director and curator are charged with the responsibility of refining the collections and upholding a high standard of aesthetic quality and historic importance. Should it be found that certain objects do not meet the standards as described in the museum’s Collection Management Policy then careful consideration will be given to the deaccessioning of those objects. (See section for deaccessioning procedure in JCSM’s Collection Management Policy).

In the interest of avoiding any perception of conflict of interest, museum staff members, or members of their immediate families, may never receive or purchase for their own or another individuals’ collections, even at public auction, objects deaccessioned from the museum’s collections. Likewise, no one shall be allowed to use items from the museum’s collections even temporarily, for any personal use. Because future development of the museum’s collections was our donor’s original intent any and all funds for acquisition, the monies (principal and interest) received from the sale of any accessioned work of art shall be applied solely to the future purchase of artwork for the museum’s collections. All insurance claims for the loss of a work of art shall be used only for new purchases as well. The donor credit line from any sold work should be transferred to objects acquired with such funds.

Code of Ethics for Educational Programs and Special Events

JCSM, under the umbrella of Auburn University, serves as an important educational entity and outreach resource that both promotes teaching and research and serves as a facilitator for innovative and imaginative engagement between the university and our diverse local, state, national and international audiences. All of JCSM’s educational programming should be based on rigorous scholarly research and best practices in the field. They should present correct material and not promote any cultural or social bias. JCSM’s audiences are comprised of diverse campus and community demographics which vary in ages from young children to seniors as well as differing socio-economic backgrounds. Therefore all of our educational programs should be correspondingly varied and diverse in order to reflect the concerns, interests, values and needs of these audiences.

Special events are planned and implemented to promote the objectives of museum development in the areas of membership and fundraising but must always support, reflect and promote the mission, vision and goals of the museum and Auburn University as well as the wider community. In accordance with university policies and ADA guidelines, the museum ensures that its facilities and programs are accessible to those with special needs.

Code of Ethics for Marketing and Public Relations

Only the director or members of the staff who have been authorized by the director will make statements to the media on behalf of the museum. All information provided to the public will be consistent with museum policy and all museum marketing and public relations staff will deal with the media in a truthful, business-like and evenhanded manner.