The University Art Acquisition and Oversight Policy serves as the campuswide guiding policy for the stewardship of campus art collections and authorizes the establishment of a University standing committee, the Art Acquisition Committee (AAC).
180.2 Methods of Acquisition
Additions to the collection acquired by donation (through bequests, outright gift of property or cash designated for the purchase of art) are coordinated with the University Development division and reviewed by the AAC.
Additions to the collection may also be acquired through commissions, purchases and various other means, which may transfer ownership to the University or to its auxiliary organizations such as the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), the Cal Poly Foundation or the Cal Poly Corporation (CPC). This applies to any artwork purchased with University funds that is valued over $500.00.
In advance of acquisition, the known or associated costs for short- and/or long-term general maintenance, restoration, insurance, preservation and/or conservation must be evaluated. Based on its evaluation, the AAC may recommend that acceptance of artwork be contingent upon the donation or allocation of additional funds for installation and/or storage, maintenance needs, and/or long-term care and preservation as required by the California Preservation Act. The AAC, in conjunction with University Development, may also suggest as a condition of acceptance that the donor or project proponent establish an endowment fund for the artwork.
The capacity to support the cost of insurance, preservation, maintenance and other related costs for the management of the artwork will be considered. Gifts should come without restrictions, and major gifts should be accompanied by endowed funds to assist in the cost of insurance, preservation, maintenance and other related costs for the management of the artwork. Such considerations must not be so rigid as to preclude extraordinary opportunities. See the Gift-In-Kind Policy (CAP 711) for relevant University guidelines pertaining to gifts.
Project proponents and/or departments purchasing permanent works of art should identify funding sources to assist in the cost of insurance, preservation, maintenance and other related costs for the management of the artwork.
180.3 Acquisition Principles
The acquisition of valuable artwork can present difficult and sometimes conflicting ethical, legal and management questions for the University. The following principles have common application to the acquisition of artwork intended for the University's permanent collections and should be applied as circumstances require.
The University has a principal obligation to ensure the conservation, preservation and security of artworks that are in its possession or under its control. Acquisitions should be made only after the costs of acquisition, conservation, preservation, storage and display have been identified and funded.
A limited number of works of art are part of a cultural patrimony, and these should be separated from their culture of origin only under extraordinary circumstances. The University will recognize as part of a cultural patrimony those works that are indispensable to a people in understanding their origins and culture.
The University deplores the unscientific excavation of sites, the dismemberment of monuments for illicit sale, and the resulting loss of cultural, historical and scientific information to the people of the world. No work will be acquired if its acquisition will encourage the future unscientific separation of art from its historical or archaeological context. Specific Art Acquisition Criteria shall be applied when considering collection acquisition opportunities.
Artwork should be safe to the University community, passersby, curious spectators of all ages, and the environment as a whole. Works and installations will be reviewed for Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and seismic compliance as well as other aspects of code as relevant.
Proposals for physical memorials honoring deceased students, faculty, staff or friends of the University, which include a commissioned artwork component, will be presented to the Art Acquisition Committee. Findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Campus Landscape Committee for further development and implementation.
Since 1924, the Mustang has been a symbol for Cal Poly and has been depicted in a variety of art forms and styles. Several of the Mustang statues have become well-known parts of the campus landscape. The campus does not discourage donation of art or sculptural representations of mustangs, but is also actively interested in art of all types.
Legal title must be assigned to the appropriate University entity, the California Polytechnic State University, ASI, the Cal Poly Foundation or the CPC. An accession record will be generated by the campus curator to document holder of legal title.
The campus Gift Acceptance Committee and the AAC must approve all gifts of artwork, archives, literary collections, historic papers, and other creative gifts, other than those accepted with the intent to market and convert to cash. In addition to the Gift-In-Kind policies and procedures, the Acceptance Criteria Procedures should also be considered for gifts/donations to the University Art Collection.
180.4 Loan Policy
180.4.1 Outgoing Loans
In special circumstances the University may be asked to loan artwork to another institution. Before any loan is approved, the loan arrangements (including shipping and insurance, to be provided by borrower) and environmental and security controls at the borrowing institution will be thoroughly considered by the University. The approval of any loan is contingent upon an examination of each work of art in question to ascertain whether it can physically withstand the preparation, packing, shipping, and handling that will be required to affect the loan. Loan requests are reviewed by the AAC and approved by the provost.
180.4.2 Campus Loans
Loans are generally not made to members of the Cal Poly community for decorative purposes in private campus offices.
180.4.3 Incoming Loans
Temporary incoming loans of material for exhibition or study may be accepted from individuals or organizations for relatively short periods of a fixed duration. Incoming loans must be covered by a written agreement that includes the details for duration of loan, placement, security, insurance (provided by lender) and return of the artwork when the loan is over.
180.5 Relocation of Artwork
In keeping with widely-held professional ethics and related codes of conduct for the collection, preservation, and stewardship of public artwork and related projects, the University is committed to preserving site-specific artworks in their original places (in situ) whenever possible. However, the University cannot provide an absolute guarantee that artwork will remain in a single location or remain permanently on the campus. The campus landscape is an evolving, active environment, and it is not possible to predict every future need for building sites or landscape alterations. Relocation of Artwork Criteria are outlined in AAC procedures.
180.6 Deaccession Policy
On rare occasions, the removal of artwork from the University’s collection may be warranted. Before deaccessioning artwork, a thorough review of the terms of the original gift should be made. The AAC reviews all requests for deaccession and makes recommendations to President, provost, and the University Advancement division for approval. Appropriate deaccession methods will be employed as outlined in the AAC procedures.
180.8 Policy Implementation
180.8.1 Library Facilitation
Management of and facilitating access to the University Art Collection is part of the portfolio of the Robert E. Kennedy Library resources. The library provides educational access to the collection, coordinates art acquisition proposals, and oversees storage and preservation of the collections in order to ensure that the program remains in compliance with policy and meets the mission and needs of the University.
180.8.2 Art Acquisition Committee Objective
Working with the campus curator, the AAC serves as the lead advisory group guiding the campus in the development of the University Art Collections. The AAC considers the artistic merit and adherence to the University Art Acquisition and Oversight Policy regarding artwork proposed for acquisition. The AAC recommends policy, guidelines and procedures on the oversight, use, display and other implementation of the University Art Collections, including collecting scope, acquisition, management and deaccession of artwork.
180.8.3 Art Acquisition Committee Functions
The AAC shall review and recommend art acquisitions for acceptance into the University’s permanent collection of art based on a clearly delineated set of procedures and shall serve in an advisory capacity in consultation to the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs regarding possible costs associated with care and control of artwork. See the AAC functions, meetings and membership on the University Standing Committees webpage.
180.8.4 Art Acquisition Committee Terms of Office
TNon ex-officio members serve a two-year term, except for student members, who serve a one-year term; members at large serve on a per project basis. All members of the AAC are voting members. The provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs appoints the chair, with the consent of the President.
180.8.5 Art Acquisition Committee Ethical Obligations and Conflicts of Interest
No member of AAC may profit financially or receive favors from any transaction involving the sale, resale, gift, loan, deaccession or exchange of any artwork to the University.