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Art Collection Policy




Policy statements

Policy ownership and support


Approval information

PDF version


1. Purpose

1.1 This Art Collection Policy (the policy) provides a framework to effectively manage acquisition, care and conservation of the UTS art collection (the collection).

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all UTS staff and contractors involved in the management and care of the collection. It applies to all works of art acquired or proposed for acquisition by the university.

3. Principles

3.1 UTS understands the value of artistic works and aims to integrate creativity through art into daily life on campus.

3.2 UTS seeks to display items from the collection for the enjoyment of the university and wider community.

3.3 Care and consideration will be taken in the acquisition, display, and management of art across the university, reflecting the UTS Strategic Plan to provide a university experience that is intellectually vibrant and socially engaging.

3.4 Art collection management activities will be conducted ethically and in the interest of the university, while upholding the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries, Museums Galleries Australia Code of Ethics, International Council of Museums Code of Ethics and the statements outlined in this policy.

3.5 UTS has determined principal collecting areas, however does not exclude the consideration of appropriate international contemporary artwork as part of the acquisition process.

3.6 UTS aims to principally acquire and retain artworks:

  • that complement the existing collection of post 1960s Australian art
  • that respond to evolving and innovative contemporary art practices
  • by Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific region artists that enhance an understanding of Indigenous cultures
  • that reflect the relationship between art, technology and/or society
  • from the UTS Gallery exhibition program or by artists associated with UTS.

4. Policy statements

The Art Advisory Group

4.1 The Art Advisory Group provides advocacy and input into activities of the gallery, collection and programs in line with this policy. The terms of reference for the Art Advisory Group are approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) and published on the UTS Art website.

Acquisitions of artwork

4.2 UTS acquires artwork through purchase, exchange or donation.

4.3 UTS will not acquire any artwork that is not in line with the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries.

4.4 The Curator may determine guidelines for the acquisition and disposal of artworks in line with this policy and within the limits of the Delegations. Artworks will be acquired in accordance with limits of general expenditure outlined in the Delegations.

4.5 All faculties, units and staff must seek the advice of the Curator in advance of purchasing or accepting any artwork.

4.6 All acquisitions must have a valid title or ownership documentation. Where validity of ownership is in question, UTS may, upon advice, act as custodian pending resolution.

4.7 Any financial donations for the purpose of acquiring artworks will be assessed and processed using the Fundraising Policy, the Donation Acceptance Procedures (staff only) and the Donation Processing and Disbursement Procedures (staff only).

4.8 UTS will comply with the requirements of the Department of Communications and the Arts Cultural Gifts Program when considering or accepting any gifts proposed by this scheme.

4.9 Artworks previously acquired on behalf of the university, or received as an unsolicited gift, may be transferred to the collection in line with the provisions outlined in this policy.


4.10 UTS may commission artwork, including site specific public artworks and formal portraits of university figures, on the advice of the Curator within the limits of the Delegations.


4.11 Offers of artwork loans to the collection will be assessed by the Curator in line with this policy.

4.12 All loans (inward and outward) must be approved by the Curator, subject to the condition and availability of the artwork(s) requested and the completion of a risk assessment.

4.13 Outward loans to private individuals will not be approved.

4.14 All loans (inward and outward) are subject to the conditions set out on a formal loan agreement issued by the Curator and developed in consultation with UTS Legal. These agreements must be signed off by both parties to the loan.


4.15 The collection is to be displayed at the discretion of the Curator. Priority for the display of artworks on campus will be given to high profile public spaces for the maximum benefit of the university community and their visitors. Artworks will be appropriately acknowledged.

Deaccession and disposal

4.16 UTS reserves the right to remove and/or dispose of artworks in the permanent collection as a necessary part of responsible collection management. UTS will observe any legal conditions pertaining to its right of disposal.

4.17 UTS will normally endeavour to retain all artworks in the collection. Where artworks are not required for display they may be loaned or stored prior to disposal being considered.

4.18 The final deaccession decision and manner of disposal will be decided by the Curator on the recommendation and endorsement of the Art Advisory Group following careful consideration of the significance, provenance, age, condition, value and appropriateness as a ‘furnishing’ loan.

Record keeping and reporting

4.19 Newly approved acquisitions and loans will be formally included in the collection register, maintained by the Curator or their nominee, and in line with the Records Management Policy.

4.20 Records for all deaccessioned or disposed artworks, including the minutes, decision making and approval process for each disposal, will be kept on the collection register and official committee files by the Curator.

4.21 All art collection records and the collection register will be managed by the curator or their nominee in line with the Records Management Policy.

4.22 The following annual reporting will be provided by the Curator:

  • an annual summary of UTS Art programs and operations for the Deputy Director Marketing and Communication Unit (MCU), the Art Advisory Group and UTS Senior Executive
  • an annual report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) on UTS Art asset management (ie the collection, acquisitions, donations, loans and disposals).

Policy breaches and conflicts of interest

4.23 All persons associated with the collection will declare any known or perceived conflict of interest (see Code of Conduct) in undertaking any activity under the scope of this policy.

4.24 Breaches of this policy are considered a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct. This includes the right of UTS to notify a relevant statutory authority and/or agency where breaches of relevant legislation may be evident.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) oversees enforcement and compliance of this policy, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed.

5.2 Policy contacts: The Curator and the Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications Unit are responsible for the implementation of this policy and act as primary points of contact for advice on implementing its provisions.

5.3 Others: The Art Advisory Group provides advice and guidance as outlined in the terms of reference.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures.

Acquisition means the process of gaining legal possession of artwork for the UTS art collection, through purchase, donation, bequest or transfer.

Artwork means any original creative work including drawing, painting, sculpture, photograph, installation, digital media or design item.

Bequest is defined in the Fundraising Policy.

Collection management activities mean all of the practices and procedures implemented by UTS in acquiring, handling, accessing, storing, securing, lending, conserving and disposing of UTS art collection items.

Commission means the request and authorisation for the production of an original artwork by UTS.

Deaccession means the process of permanently removing and deregistering artwork from the UTS art collection. It is expected that this will only take place for clearly stated reasons, ensuring all legal and procedural requirements are met.

Disposal means the physical removal of artwork from the UTS art collection after it has been formally deaccessioned.

Gift is defined in the Fundraising Policy.

Donation is defined in the Fundraising Policy.

Loan means the act of borrowing an artwork for temporary inclusion in the UTS art collection, or granting an external party or organisation the use of artwork from the permanent collection; both with the understanding that the artwork will be returned to the original owner.

Loan agreement means the formal document that sets out the agreed conditions of the loan between the lender and borrower.

Permanent collection means the body of artworks permanently acquired for inclusion into the UTS art collection.

Approval information

Policy contact Curator
Approval authority Vice-Chancellor
Review date Three years post approval
File number UR19/1328
Superseded documents UTS Art Collection Acquisition and Management Policy (UR13/1064)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Vice-Chancellor 17/04/2019 23/05/2019 New policy.

PDF version

Art Collection Policy (PDF)


Code of Conduct

Cultural Gifts Program


Donation Acceptance Procedures (staff only)

Donation Processing and Disbursement Procedures (staff only)

Fundraising Policy

International Council of Museums Code of Ethics

Museums Galleries Australia Code of Ethics

National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries

Records Management Policy

UTS Art Collection

UTS Art website

UTS Strategic Plan