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Art Collection Procedure

Effective Date: June 29, 2012
Downloadable Version: PDF ICON Art Collection Procedure
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Given its size and stature within the Canadian educational and cultural landscapes, Humber has a strong interest in developing and maintaining a collection of art and artifacts that can be employed to inform and educate students, staff and the community. In addition, Humber has a vast number of programs that have a focus on fine and applied arts, including design. A collection of art and artifacts is a necessary prerequisite for the education and support of students in and graduates from these programs.

While the institutional interest in art and artifacts can justifiably be quite broad, there needs to be constraints employed for the strategic development of a collection and the adoption of a strategy that will, in time, lead to coherency and maximize educational value within the framework of capacity.


Art: works of art of all forms, including but not limited to paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, architecture, installations, digital and electronic works.


Following are principles and procedures that are intended to guide the development of an institutional collection for a ten year period (concluding in 2022), following which these principles will be reviewed and renewed.

1. The development, organization, operation, presentation, acquisition, sale, deaccession etc. related to the institutional collection, including Humber’s galleries, is managed by the Curator/Director with support from the Humber Arts Curatorial Committee. The nature of art and challenges associated with building a collection are such that the Curator/Director must be free to make strategic decisions, within budget and other operational constraints. Collection and operational decisions will be reviewed annually by the President through a written report. The Curator/Direction reports to the Vice President Academic and manages free of direct influence from programming and special interests.

2. The Humber Arts Curatorial Committee  is comprised of:

  • Humber’s Gallery Curator/Director (Chair)
  • Humber’s Vice President Academic
  • One (1) Humber Academic Dean or Associate Dean (typically from a school that offers “arts” programming)
  • Two (2) Humber Faculty Members (at least one of whom will teach in a fine or applied arts or design program)
  • One (1) Community Member (typically drawn from an “arts” Program Advisory Committee

3. There are several broad categories of art and artifacts which the institution will target in the development of its collection:

a) Work from Students in Fine Arts and Design Programs

This is anticipated to be at least six to ten pieces or more on an annual basis. In determining which pieces will be purchased for the institutional art bank, the Humber Arts Curatorial Committee will be the arbiter. Emphasis will be placed on acquiring pieces that represent each year of graduates, pieces from different programs, pieces that can be displayed in an institutional show (size, for example, could be a constraint), pieces that can be stored when not on display (again, size, for example, could be a constraint); pieces that reflect different media, and pieces from student artists who show the most potential to make a major contribution to their area of artistic expertise over their lifetimes, in other words, the collection will emphasise collecting the work of the most promising graduates subject to the institutional capacity to store and display the works.

The Humber Arts Curatorial Committee will encourage input from faculty and program personnel, where applicable, in order to grow this component of the collection. The goal will be to ensure that within the next fifty years Humber will have a strong and representative collection of many of the best works created by student and faculty artists to that point in time. The Humber Arts Curatorial Committee may also, at its discretion, consider purchasing work completed by faculty or staff where that is thought to dramatically enhance the collection and when funds are available.

b) Art and Artifacts Acquired Directly by Humber of Significance to the Local Community

This art is acquired because they are of such significance to the local community as to directly and materially support the educational process in one or more programs or directly and materially support an overall beneficial atmosphere for particular students or student groups. For example, the Humber Arts Curatorial Committee may develop a collection of figure drawings from known artists in support of the several Humber programs where figure drawing is fundamental to the student experience and the value of being able to reflect on and consider immediately and directly the work of successful artists is highly significant. Another example would be the development of a collection of aboriginal art and artifacts with the purpose of creating an environment that welcomes students of aboriginal backgrounds.

c) Art and Artifacts Offered through Donations or Bequests from Iindividuals or Organizations
While there will be a large number of individuals and organizations willing to donate art and artifacts (and in some cases will do so with the expectation of a tax receipt), all such offers will be subject to the review and recommendation of the Humber Arts Curatorial Committee. Criterion employed by the Committee when considering donations will include:

      • stature of the artist who created the work (preference for national or international figures);
      • capacity for Humber to display and store the work;
      • capacity for the work to inform the development of student artists at Humber;
      • capacity of the work to inspire students who may not be studying within fine or applied arts, or design programs;
      • appraised value (typically, for this category of collection development it will be expected that the work is appraised at or above $15,000).

Importantly, Humber will only under the most exceptional conditions accept a donated work or bequest with any stipulation that the institution must hold and maintain the work beyond five (5) years. The five (5) years or less provision allows the institution to lease, loan, trade, auction or sell the work in order to acquire other works that may be more directly, over time, central to the strategic development of the collection. Where a donated piece of art is deaccessioned, and new work(s) acquired with the funds realized from the sale, the new work will be designated as coming from the original donor “by way of exchange.” Humber will not accept art or artifacts that require the institution to hold the work in perpetuity. Appraisal of works will be the done under the authority of the Director of Financial Services and Planning.

4. Within the four years following the of the implementation of this policy and procedure, the Humber Arts Curatorial Committee will develop a strategic framework that will, among other things, identify specific types and areas of focus for the development of the collection. The process for this development will include a broad consultation inside and outside the organization. The Humber Arts Curatorial Committee will be guided by three chief principles:

  • over time, the institution will develop a collection that is notable as having certain specializations;
  • the institution will focus on collecting a smaller number of superior works rather than a larger number of average works; and
  • the collection will strongly emphasise works that can be displayed rather than stored.

5. At this point in time and until any strategic changes in direction are formally approved, the focus for the development of the collection will be “contemporary work from emerging and established Canadian artists, with particular emphasis on artists from this community and region. “ Considerations for collection purposes will include quality, relevance, condition, provenance and cost.

6. It is the responsibility of the Curator/Director to properly catalogue, research and preserve the collection as well as to ensure it is appropriately insured.