Art Collection Acquisition, Commission and Management Guidelines


These guidelines apply to all members of the University.


These guidelines provide further explanation and recommended best practices for implementing of the Art Acquisition Collection and Commissions Policy.



The University Art Collection represents an important cultural asset for the University and the community. The collection is available for education and research purposes and is promoted through exhibitions and publications.

These guidelines provide a framework to manage University Art acquisitions whether by gift, commission or purchase and to manage the University Art Collection consistently across the University including disposal and de-accessioning. 

In particular, these guidelines relate to the role of the in the maintenance and enhancement of the works in the University of Auckland Art Collection. 

The Art Collection is administered by the Centre for Art Studies in the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries.

Focus of the Collection

The University art collection is focused on paintings, sculptures, photographs, digital works, drawings and prints by significant contemporary New Zealand artists including those by artists already represented in the collection and those who have specific links with the University.

Primary objectives of CAS’s management of the collection

  • To develop a major public art collection for the purpose of demonstrating the University’s continual commitment to the study, patronage and advancement of the visual arts
  • To foster general awareness and understanding of the visual arts in the University community and amongst members of the general public through education and other outreach activities
  • To enable research on the visual arts and support the teaching programmes of the University
  • To acquire works of art suitable for the purpose of enhancing the public areas, either buildings or grounds, of the University
  • To provide a high standard of curatorial care and management of a major University and national asset


Gifts of works of art will be accepted by the Centre for New Zealand Art Research and Discovery where the gift fits the focus of the Collection.  CAS consent and approval may not be required for gifts of art valued at less than $1000 to be accepted, but gifts with a value greater than $1000 should be reported to CAS so that they are recorded in the financial asset register, given an accession number and described in the Vernon Collection Management System.

Acquisition by commission or purchase

The Art Collection Committee (ACC) will review all proposed acquisitions in relation to the focus of the Collection and will make its recommendations on proposed acquisitions to the Centre for Art Studies Advisory Board.  Approval in writing is required from the ACC before any other member of the University commissions or acquires any art work.


1. Conditions

De-accessioning is not normally recommended but will be considered under the following circumstances:  In the case of de-accessioning work of living artists, an attempt should be made to inform them of this intention, and the possibility of an exchange of artworks with the artist should be explored.  Any proceeds gained from disposal must be credited solely to the budget for acquisition of new art works.

  • a work is deemed to have deteriorated beyond repair
  • the conservation and maintenance of a work is on-going and costly, outweighing its value
  • a work endangers other works in the collection
  • a work would be more appropriately housed by another collection or institution
  • a work which does not fit the focus of the Collection
  • work which lacks sufficient documentation to support authenticity and provenance

2. Process of disposal

The recommendation to de-accession should be made in writing, including recommended method of disposal, (supported by a conservation report and current valuation) by the Director of the Centre for Art Studies to the Art Collection Committee, whose members will then make their recommendation to the Centre for Art Studies Advisory Board.  The work will not be de-accessioned without the unanimous endorsement of the Centre for Art Studies Advisory Board.  Records and photographs must be retained of the de-accessioned work. 

Art Collection acquisition and installation diagram

art acquisition collection and commissions diagram 27.08.14

Art Collection acquisition and installation process

Care and management

CAS is responsible for ensuring the integrity and security of the objects in the collection by exhibiting, storing and caring for them in the best conditions and employing registration procedures and maintaining appropriate records of the collection, including professional cataloguing and continued research.

CAS is also responsible for ensuring that works are only lent to institutions which can demonstrate an ability to provide satisfactory handling, security and environment control and which meet all other conditions which are determined by the University and providing legally binding contractual loan agreements to assure compliance.

CAS will periodically conduct location audits of the Art Collection around the areas of the different campuses and implementing regular conservation management of the portable and fixed art works.

Display of art works

Works are available for display at the discretion of the CAS Director and will only be displayed in areas that are publicly accessible and meet relevant aesthetic, environmental and security standards.  Sample Loan Request Form and Loan Agreement forms are appended to this document.

The CAS Director and Curator will coordinate the display of works, including the approval of suitable display areas and overseeing the installation of works.  Faculties and departments interested in obtaining art work are in the first instance to contact the Curator (  

Faculties and departments will be responsible for meeting costs associated with installing the work(s) in their environment.  Works cannot be moved from approved locations or photographed whilst on display without arrangements being made with the CAS Director or Curator.

Loan Agreements will cover the location of every art work on loan to a faculty or department.  The Loan Agreements detail the work, the expectations of the lender and the requirements for borrowers from the University Art Collection.

Loan Agreements are to be signed by the dean of the faculty or head of the department as borrower and the Director CAS on behalf of the University as lender.  A summary of the internal loan process can be found at:

Damage or theft

In the event of a work being damaged or stolen whilst on display, the Faculty/Department must notify the Director or Curator immediately.  The Borrower will be responsible for costs associated with the conservation of damaged works, including repair or replacement of frames, if the damage resulted from negligence by the Borrower.

Refurbishment and Renovation

Where works are installed in an area to be refurbished or relocated, the Faculty/Department or, where appropriate, Property Services will contact the Curator at least ninety days prior to the commencement of the refurbishment or relocation to arrange for works to be retrieved and temporarily stored. 

If the art works form part of the fabric of the original building or were site-specific commissions, the process for their removal, storage and re-installation in a new site will be managed by Property Services in liaison with CAS staff as part of the capital works budget for that project. The display and insurance of works which are not part of the University collection will be the responsibility of their individual owners. 

Recall of works

Works may be recalled at any time for the purposes of conservation, security, reframing, photography, research, exhibition or external loan.  Recall of works is entirely at the discretion of the Director CAS.  Such works will only be replaced with other items where the period of recall exceeds eight weeks.  A sample Recall of Loan form is appended

External loans

Requests to borrow works from the collection must be in writing, addressed to the Director. A Loan Agreement will be forwarded to borrowers for their completion and signature before any work will be released.  Works from the collection will only be lent to professionally run galleries and exhibition spaces with controlled environments and museum standard practices.

Evidence of insurance cover must be provided before any work can be released for loan. The University may choose to retain its own blanket cover in some instances.

All works of art in the collection are covered by copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce any work must be granted in writing by the copyright holder and the Director of CAS prior to publication in any form. Copies of the publication are to be forwarded to the Curator for archival purposes.

All loans must be acknowledged as being the property of The University Art Collection in all publicity material, publications, display labels.  The University’s name must appear in full and no abbreviated forms are acceptable.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Art includes installations, sound and moving image

Art Collection Committee is a sub-committee of the Advisory Board of CAS

CAS means the Centre for Art Studies

Collection refers to the University of Auckland Art Collection

Council is the University's governing body which comprises lay, staff and student members

Gift means a gift as defined in the University of Auckland Charitable Gift and Sponsorship Acceptance and Approval Policy (add link) and, for the purposes of this policy only, includes the lending of any art to the University

Member refers to a member of the University and includes members of Council, members of Council committees and other University committees, students, staff members, University committee appointees and where the context permits, graduates of the University

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Content manager: Director Centre for Arts Studies

Owned by: Dean of National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries

Review date: August 2019