The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog was established to collect, preserve, and exhibit works of art and artifacts of historical value pertaining to the dog. In this way the museum can foster, promote and increase the knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the dog. All works of art offered to the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog must be considered by an accessions committee, if applicable a conservation authority, and finally the Board of Directors. Prospective donors often hold a somewhat subjective view of their art, which puts a burden on the accessions committee. The proposed gifts may not constitute museum quality art as mandated by professional protocol. The accessions committee will endeavor to show sensitivity to the donor’s feelings while maintaining the highest standards of the museum and find a balance between the two.
Following are the criteria by which the museum considers new gifts:
- What is the aesthetic or historical significance of the object?
- Is the object museum quality, and further is it in condition to be exhibited or will conservation measures be required?
- Does the museum have the proper means and facilities to safeguard the object according to accepted museum practices? The museum presently has limited storage space and must consider the high costs of insuring and correctly maintaining each object it accepts.
These criteria also apply to bequests. The museum will, on occasion, consider for its study collection offers of objects that do not fulfill all the exacting criteria above. The accessions committee makes these decisions. Objects in the study collection are made available to various groups in furtherance of the museum’s missions as regards education. Donors are informed of the status and may withdraw their offer. All offers (whether intended for the permanent collection or the study collection) accepted by the accessions committee are given unconditionally and absolutely to the museum. Loans (whether short-term or long-term) are not accepted. The donor may not reserve reproductions rights. Each donor will sign a deed of gift acknowledging the acceptance of these conditions.
The director of the museum will be happy to discuss further museum procedures for the donation of an object to the museum. If the prospective donor decides to proceed, the director will request a full written description of the object(s). A 4 x 6 photo or electronic image will be adequate if professional photographs cannot be provided. The written description, to the extent possible, should include measurements, materials, marks, provenance and any other pertinent information which will assist the accessions committee. Do not send the object until asked by the director or accessions committee. If the accessions committee accepts your gift, you will then be advised of the best method of transporting or shipping the artwork to the museum. The cost of shipping and insurance on an art object(s) while in transit are the responsibility of the donor.
If required, the donor must obtain an appraisal from a qualified appraiser. This appraisal must be summarized in the appropriate tax form as required by the Internal Revenue Service regulations. The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and gifts are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. For reasons of conflict of interest, neither the museum staff nor any of its Board of Directors can provide appraisals. An individual may wish to contact the American Society of Appraisers for information about available appraisers.
These criteria and procedures apply to legacies as well. It would be wise to discuss with the director any plans for such bequests. The museum will not accept gifts from which copies will be made as a means of fundraising for other organizations. At the present time, the museum does not accept dog show or field trial trophies, including those of sterling silver, unless they are known to be of extreme historical significance
When a gift has been received by the museum and all the procedures and processing is complete, the gift will be described, and its donor acknowledged, in Sirius, the museum’s newsletter. The art will be displayed at the museum as a new acquisition.