Artifact Donations

The Petterson Museum of Intercultural Art welcomes the donation of objects that will complement and fulfill our current collections. As outlined below, the Museum follows a policy of selective acquisition. Each donation request is thoughtfully considered by the Museum Specialist to determine if the gift is in line with the specific criteria for the acquisition and acceptance of donations, as outlined in the Museum’s Collections Policy; any object accepted into the Museum’s collection should be consistent with the institution’s mission, be relevant, and be properly cared for.

Acquisitions/Donations: The Museum follows a policy of selective acquisition. Any Object(s) acquired by whatever means must have a clear connection with and be supportive of the Museum’s Mission. The Museum may acquire Object(s) through gift, donation, and bequest, as well as other lawful means. Restrictions of limited funds, limited space, expense of preservation and conservation, and the Museum’s emphasis upon preservation of its resources make unlimited acquisition unfeasible.

Museum Mission: “To encourage understanding and appreciation of human diversity though the collection and the preservation and exhibition of artifacts from all parts of the world, with programs that foster appreciative awareness of our common humanity.”

Statement on Collections and Exhibitions: “The Petterson Museum seeks to utilize the objects in the collection to examine, teach, and compare the experiences of cultures and peoples from around the world. Through exhibition of material culture, the Museum displays how people use objects to relate to the world around them. The objects that the Museum collects give insight into the aesthetics, beliefs, and practical needs of a culture.”

Objects that the Museum Will Not Accept:

  • Manufactured Objects: The Petterson primarily focuses on handmade rather than manufactured objects.

  • Tourism Objects: The Petterson seeks to display art and objects that are representative of how people within a culture or people would live or interact with the objects, rather than an outside consumption of cultural objects as only decorative curios. Thus, the Petterson Museum will not further collect objects identified as art made solely for tourist consumption. Exceptions may be made based on if the object has substantial historical significance or if the provenance of the object strongly supports a narrative of intercultural interactions.

  • Fine Art: The Petterson will not further collect fine art unless those pieces illustrate important cultural values or experiences.

  • Time Period: Objects from the late 20th Century and 21st Century will only be accepted if they represent a significant cultural or artistic moment or change.

1. Who made it?
2. Who did it belong to?
3. How was it used?
4. What is the story behind the item**
5. Why did you decide to donate the item.
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