Creating a Collection: A Tour Through the Smith College Museum of ArtMain MenuHow do museums build and unbuild collections?How This WorksInstructions on How to Use this WebsiteHow to Read a Museum LabelThis will help you navigate the SCMA and other museumsWhat is "Public Trust"?Why Museums CollectHow Museums CollectWhy Museums Remove Objects from their CollectionsHow Museums Remove Objects from their CollectionsSamantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
12017-03-20T19:26:49-07:00Why Museums Collect16structured_gallery2017-04-19T16:32:44-07:00There are many reasons why the SCMA wants to add new artworks to its collection. If you’re a collector, you might already know this. You may just be starting a collection. You may want widen the scope or increase the depth of your collection. You may be filling a gap in your collection, or replacing something that isn’t in good shape anymore.
These are some of the main reasons museums collect new objects.
Click one of the pages below to learn more about one of the reasons museums collect. The new page will direct you towards an artwork in the SCMA!
12017-03-20T19:34:38-07:00How Museums Collect10structured_gallery2017-04-19T16:38:52-07:00It's one thing to know why the SCMA collects, it's another to know how it does this. There are many ways the SCMA can “acquire”—get—a new object for its collection.
Sometimes the SCMA buys the art it wants, from the artist or from a professional who sells art for artists. Museums can also receive artworks as gifts. Sometimes artists donate their art, or sometimes an art-lover will donate it. Also, sometimes an art-lover promises to donate an artwork after they pass away. This is called “bequeathing.”
In all of these cases, though, the SCMA has to be sure that the artwork is something the museum really wants and needs for its collection. Just as removing something from the collection can be a big decision, adding a new artwork takes a lot of careful thought. This is because artworks use the museum's resources--including space in the gallery and storage, money and time for conservation, and thought for developing educational resources for the artwork.
Click on one of the pages below to learn more about how museums get new artworks for their collections.