Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art

Art Illuminating the Spirit

LUMA Acquisition and Deacquisition Policies


The Martin D’Arcy, S.J. Collection

Donald Rowe, S.J., began this collection in 1969 with the aim of exposing Loyola University Chicago students to the beauty and power of original works of art. Perceiving a lack of interest in the three-dimensional arts from Europe of the 12th to 18th centuries, Father Rowe concentrated his acquisition in those areas. They coincided with his training and the holdings of collectors and dealers he came to know, many through his personal friendship with Martin D’Arcy, S.J. Over the last 40 years, the D’Arcy has firmly established itself as a leading regional collection of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art.

Father Rowe acquired approximately 80 to 85 percent of the current collection, mostly through purchases rather than by gifts or bequests, allowing him to control the collection’s growth and to maintain its original focus. His acquisitions were paid for from a revolving fund which no longer exists. Following his retirement, new acquisitions fell off dramatically with only a handful of purchases made between 1992 and 2008.

In 2007, the Acquisition Committee voted to expand the parameters of the collection in four fields:

  • Manuscripts (including cuttings and single leaves) and incunabula
  • Prints and drawings, particularly of 3-dimensional objects (as the Art Institute of Chicago is well provisioned with narrative prints)
  • Jesuit art reflecting the history and influence of Jesuit missions around the world, particularly in Latin America and China
  • Orthodox art

Over the years, the collection has been known by different institutional names: the Martin D’Arcy Gallery and the Loyola University Museum of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Art. With the establishment of LUMA in 2005, it became the permanent collection of the new museum and henceforth is known as the Martin D’Arcy, S.J. Collection, affectionately as the D’Arcy.

LUMA Collection

With the opening of the Loyola University Museum of Art in 2005 and the establishment of a new mission incorporating the D’Arcy Collection, a new collection began to evolve. It comprises Western art outside of the D’Arcy’s parameters. Currently, the new collection reflects the Museum’s recent and forthcoming exhibition program.

University Collection

This is a LUMA collection database designation for important works of art that are the property of Loyola University Chicago and stored either permanently or temporarily at LUMA. University Collection pieces are significant in terms of their artistic value, historical importance, and worth. LUMA’s staff seeks to maintain an eye on their care and preservation and maintains documentation concerning them, but ultimately their disposition is the decision of the University president on the advice of LUMA’s director in her capacity as LUC’s Director of Cultural Affairs.

Study Collection

As of March 1, 2008, a study collection is being developed to augment the Museum’s educational programming. Art and artifacts designated for this non-accessioned collection are illustrative of the mission in content, style, or materials, but of such quality that these objects do not need the normal standard of environmental protection, security, special handling, or indemnification.

N.B. Study objects will not be subject to full acquisition documentation.

(Reviewed by the Acquisition Committee, 4/8/08)

Purpose and Professional Standards

The Loyola University Museum of Art (the Museum) at Loyola University Chicago (the University), as a public trust and cultural institution, holds works of art and cultural artifacts of financial and historical value related to the Museum’s mission: to explore the spiritual in art of all faiths and cultures. The collections are held for the benefit of the public and University communities. Collections are made available through exhibitions, electronic media, and print in order to fulfill the educational mission of the Museum.

Acquisitions are made with the intention of building the collection(s) to illustrate the Museum’s mission. As such, significant evaluation is given to the art or artifact and its viability of perpetual stewardship when considering potential acquisitions.

The Museum’s collections are financial assets of the University, the Museum’s governing authority. This Acquisition Policy outlines both the priorities and methods for accepting new works into the collections and the process and method for removing objects from the collections. Recognizing that the University owns the Museum’s collection, the Director of Cultural Affairs is responsible for making the governing authority aware of its legal and ethical responsibilities to the Museum’s collection, including issues of its use and the physical conditions under which it is maintained.

Policies developed by the Director and the Curator and approved by the Museum’s Board of Advisors must be ratified by the central governing authority of the University.

The Museum should be given the right of first refusal in the event of the disposal of art or artifacts owned by the University outside of the Museum’s existing collections.

All moral, legal, and ethical implications of the acquisition must be considered and resolved. The Museum has an ethical responsibility to investigate to its satisfaction any suggestions of illegal provenance.

All acquisitions should generally occur without donor restrictions. Restriction may be considered when in the best interest of the Museum. When restriction is required by the donor, those restrictions must be listed in the Deed of Gift.

Use and disposition of acquisitions are at the discretion of the Museum.

Promised gifts must be specified as such in writing by the intended donor before being accepted by the Museum for long-term loan. Any costs associated with a promised gift should be specified and agreed upon in writing and should be approved by the Director of Cultural Affairs.

Collection Objectives

Martin D’Arcy, S.J. Collection

Acquisitions should enhance the breadth and depth of the collection while maintaining its quality and uniqueness in the region.

Should LUMA continue to rely upon gifts and bequests in building this collection, it runs the risk of diminishing the D’Arcy’s tight focus and consistent high quality. It is recommended that the Museum Board should consider re-establishing a revolving fund that would allow the Museum to acquire new pieces for the D’Arcy quickly, an advantage when seeking to buy at auction. A donor for the purchase would be sought to repay the fund. Expenditures from a revolving acquisition fund for purchases will be subject to review of collection priorities.

Highest Priority

  • Medieval and Renaissance liturgical objects in all media related to the performance of the Mass
  • Art and artifacts depicting Classical mythology

High Priority

  • Religious art and artifacts from the Italian Renaissance
  • Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and printed books

Medium Priority

  • Vestments and textiles
  • 17th-century secular art and artifacts, especially Dutch material
  • Prints and drawings, particularly of religious objects and buildings so as not to  compete with holdings at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Low Priority

  • Architectural elements
  • Furniture 

LUMA Collection

Acquiring works of art and artifacts related to the exploration of spirituality in all cultures enables the museum to draw on a general collection for exhibitions that illustrate the mission. All media and materials may be acceptable; however, special evaluation will be given to objects that may use materials that are difficult to conserve or may deteriorate quickly.

Highest Priority

  • Art and artifacts in all mediums representative of the five major world faiths of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam
  • Special emphasis on works of paper, textiles, or photography

High Priority

  • Works of 19th- and 20th-century and contemporary artists whose main body of work is documented as concerning Western spirituality, and non-Western philosophy, religions, and faith

Medium Priority

  • Esoteric faiths or beliefs illustrated in any medium

Low Priority

  • Contemporary decorative arts, furniture, glass, and ceramics

Priority by medium

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Works on paper
  • Photography
  • Artists’ books
  • Textiles
  • Electronic media

Art and artifacts not fitting these priorities may be considered for acquisition at the discretion of the Director or acquired as part of a general University collection under the stewardship of the University.

Methods of Acquisition

All material may be added to the collection through various means including: abandonment, gifts, bequests, exchanges, and any other events that transfer title to the Museum. All rights and interests, including reproduction, title, and copyright shall be obtained by Loyola University Chicago for all acquisitions without restrictions or conditions, if possible, or shall have the potential for assignment to Loyola University Chicago under appropriate law. The Deed of Gift will assign stewardship of a gift of art to the Loyola University Museum of Art.

Criteria for Acquisition


  • The donor must possess free and clear title of the gift.
  • The object’s financial value must be determined prior to the gift by the donor and/or appraiser.
  • The artistic merit of the gift must be relevant to the collecting priorities.
  • Provenance should be documented, if possible.
  • The object’s condition must be evaluated and restoration costs considered. If there are known associated costs for restoration or conservation of a gift, the Deed of Gift should specify who is to assume this cost.


  • If the object is to be purchased, sufficient funding should be available in either the Director’s Discretionary Fund or the D’Arcy Fund. New acquisitions cannot be funded through the Museum’s General Operating Budget.
  • Purchases in excess of $5,000.00 must be approved by University’s Department of Finance.
  • Known or associated costs for restoration or conservation must be evaluated in advance of the purchase.

Acquisition Committee

The Acquisition Committee shall consist of the following individuals: the Director of Cultural Affairs, the Chief Curator, two or more members of the Museum Board of Advisors, a representative of the University’s Department of Finance or the President’s Office, and outside consultants as needed.

Duties shall consist of evaluating possible acquisitions in light of the Museum mission, educational programs, facilities, and its ability to care for the objects. They will also make a preliminary review of all materials to be deaccessioned prior to petitioning the Department of Finance for removal from collection.

The committee will meet bi-annually or when needed.

The committee will act as advocates in the art community to encourage gifts of art and funds and will be done in discussion with the Chief Curator and Director.

No museum staff, board, or Acquisition Committee member may obligate the Museum to accept any object not consistent with the intent or spirit of the Acquisition Policy and Museum mission.

If the Acquisition Committee fails to reach an agreement about the acquisition of a single or collection of artifacts, an additional outside advisor in the relevant field under discussion may be called upon for opinion.

Upon review of any additional considerations, the Director or Chief Curator will recommend to the Office of the University President the acquisition by the University.

Minutes will be kept of the Acquisition Committee meetings.

Conditions of Donations

Gifts to the Loyola University Museum of Art at Loyola University Chicago may be deductible from taxable income in accordance with the provision of the federal income tax code. Donors desiring to take a charitable contribution deduction must obtain an independent appraisal by a disinterested third party in accordance with the IRS current regulations.

Donors are required to make available to the Museum a copy of the appraisal if the value of the donation is in excess of $4,999.00. A certified appraiser shall execute appraisals and the cost of the appraiser’s professional fees is the responsibility of the donor. IRS form 8283 is to be completed and signed by the donor and the Museum director.

If, in the event of an undervalued gift, a new appraisal within six weeks of the gift is executed, the Museum will notify the donor of the new value.

Museum employees and volunteers are prohibited from appraising.

Documentation of New Acquisitions

The following documentation shall be completed for each object:

  • Receipt of Object
  • Designation of Acquisition Number and Catalog Record
  • Condition Report
  • Appraisal, Bill of Sale, or explanation of conditions under which the object was acquired
  • Deed of Gift signed by the President of Loyola University Chicago and the donor

Required Acknowledgements and Notifications:

  • University Gift Report documentation within 10 days of receipt of gift
  • Notification of acquisition and value to University Risk Management
  • Acknowledgement letter sent to donor
  • Annual year-end auditor statements on new gifts and values


Museum employees must notify the Director if offered a personal gift of art or artifact.  The Director, after consideration of the object as suitable or non-suitable for Museum acquisition, will make a disposition. If the employee retains the gift, the University Comptroller's Office must be notified within ten days of accepting the gift. The Museum will maintain records on all gifts of art to Museum employees.

Employees are to avoid conflict of interest in purchasing works of art or artifacts related to the mission of the Museum or specific Museum collections. Notification should be made to the Museum Director of the purchase of any material that could be considered for Museum acquisition.


Subject to the discretion of the Director of Cultural Affairs and the Chief Curator, objects in the collection may be proposed for removal for any or all of the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the Museum’s mission or permanent collections
  • Condition of the object, particularly if it has deteriorated or been damaged beyond repair or poses a health hazard
  • Care of the object by the Museum is no longer feasible
  • Redundancy to the extent that the object is duplicated in the collection and of less artistic merit; or unnecessarily duplicates the subject matter of another object
  • The object is found not to be authentic, falsely attributed to the extent that the object is no longer appropriate for the collection, or proved to be a fake or forgery
  • The quality of the collection will be strengthened by the deaccession

All of the above is subject to a written agreement between the donor and the Museum.

De-accessioning Procedures

Methods of removing objects from the collection will be carried out in accordance with any local, state, and federal regulations and legal requirements and in accordance with Loyola University Chicago policies as follow:

  • An affirmative vote for deaccessioning must come from the Acquisition Committee, finalized by the approval of the University President.
  • The Acquisition Committee will notify the Board of its recommendations on objects to be deaccessioned at the first Museum Board meeting following the Acquisition Committee meeting.
  • A third party authority on the object to be deaccessioned will be consulted to verify current market value.
  • Subsequent notice and justification for deaccessioning will be given to the University’s designated representative before any action is taken to remove the work from the collection.

The Museum will undertake due diligence to contact the donor or heirs of the donor if the object to be deaccessioned was a gift or bequest to extend the right of first refusal. Special consideration and notification is given to living artists whose work has been acquired through purchase or donation.

Documentation of Deaccessions

Documentation of the following steps in the deaccession process will be retained in the original object file:

  • Director or Curator’s written justification and photograph for each object
  • Approval of the Acquisition Committee
  • Authorization by the University President
  • Copies of exchange, sale receipts, or any other relevant documentation.

Allocation of Proceeds from Sale

All proceeds from the sale of a deaccessioned object, with the exception of any related costs*, are designated to:

  • Purchase funds
  • Conservation and care of collection

*Related costs of crating, shipping, travel, or photography will be repaid out of the sale proceeds.

All deaccessioned objects having originally come into the collection as a gift and conveyed through sale will have the original Deed of Gift reviewed for any stipulation regarding its deaccession.


The Museum, acting in the best interest of the University and the general public, will follow the recommended best practices of the American Association of Museums for deaccessioning:

  • Donation or exchange to a sister institution or 501(c)3
  • Institutional transfer to another academic or administrative department in the University
  • Sale through public auction (preferred) or by controlled private treaty
  • Re-classification as a study object
  • Destruction of the object or remanded to an insurance company in the case of partial loss


Works of art or artifacts specifically donated and designated for sale to benefit the Museum will not be accessioned but recorded separately as works for sale. Current tax laws on the duration of time between gift and sale will be adhered to.

Third party review and/or appraisal of art and artifacts donated to the museum specifically to benefit the Museum through sale proceeds is mandated to assure that these pieces receive the full market value at sale.