Just as our professional staff continually strengthen the collections through gifts and purchases of objects that hold significant potential for teaching, exhibition, or research, they also undertake systematic evaluation of the museum’s holdings in order to recommend the deaccessioning (removal from the collection) of selected works through sale, transfer, or exchange. 

Reasons for Deaccessioning an Object

Among the reasons that the museum might consider deaccessioning an object are the following:

  • it does not relate to the museum’s teaching mission or is outside the museum’s collecting purview;
  • it duplicates or is secondary to a work already in the collection;
  • it is compromised by extensive restoration or is in inherently poor, irreparable condition; or
  • it is a forgery.

In compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the museum also repatriates objects linked to religious or funerary practice to federally recognized Native American tribes.

Our Deaccessioning Process

All deaccessioning undertaken by the Hood Museum of Art adheres to the museum’s deaccession policy and professional guidelines provided by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). Any object considered for deaccession undergoes rigorous review by the professional staff (often drawing on the expertise of outside consultants) and the museum’s acquisitions committee, which approves all accessions (additions) to and deaccessions from the collections. Any funds raised through the auction of objects from the collection are directed toward future acquisitions.

Information about deaccessioned objects will be reported here as it becomes available.