Art on Campus (Formerly Art Acquisition)

Effective: 1979
Reviewed/Updated: November 2, 2023
Contact: University Museums


Administered by the University Museums, the Iowa State University Art Collections includes all original fine, decorative, and public works of art owned by Iowa State University. This includes works of art located in the Brunnier Art Museum, Farm House Museum, and exterior and interior public art works on campus (the Art on Campus Collection), and the Christian Petersen Art Museum. Acquisition emphasis includes objects that artistically and historically amplify and reinforce the fine and decorative works of art in the Brunnier Art Museum and Farm House Museum. Acquisitions to the Art on Campus Collection and the Christian Petersen Art Museum and Collection will include professional public works of art by nationally and internationally recognized artists, as well as significant Iowa artists; and whenever possible, the Art on Campus Collection shall reflect the diverse academic departments and colleges, their missions, and be supportive of Iowa State's mission and goals. At Iowa State University, University Museums is designated as the Public Arts Administrator for the Art on Campus Collection and Program, which includes education, care, and maintenance of the Art on Campus Collection. The acquisitions of public works art are initiated at the discretion of University Museums or initiated under any approved Iowa State University capital project. The management of public art committees, project collaboration with Facilities Planning and Management and campus units, and interactions with the public artist(s) or studio will be through the University Museums Director and Chief Curator and the Art on Campus Curator.  

Policy Statement

Works of art may be added to Iowa State's University Art Collections by means of gifts, bequests, purchases, exchange, or any other transactions by which legal title to objects pass to the University Museums, Iowa State University. The provenance of all acquisitioned works of art must be satisfactory to the director/curator of the University Museums. Outside counseling and expertise to verify the provenance should be used if necessary. The University Museums adheres to the November 14, 1970 UNESCO Convention on the means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

The University Museums must be able to provide proper care, including conservation, maintenance and storage for accessioned objects. All works of art acquisitioned by University Museums will become the sole property of Iowa State University and shall not be encumbered or restricted.


All works of art must be reviewed for acquisition by Iowa State University by University Museums staff and the University Museums Advisory Committee and the Acquisitions sub-committee. Art acquisitions meetings are scheduled in December and May to review works of art recommended for acceptance into the permanent collections. The University Museums director and chief curator will present recommendations of acceptance or rejection of works of art for the permanent collections, providing a statement explaining rationale for rejection or describing the provenance, quality, and desirability for accepting the gift or making a purchase.

The University Museums provides the donor of acquisitioned works of art with a deed of gift which is signed by the University Museums director. The ISU Foundation accepts the gift or bequest on behalf of the University Museums and Iowa State University so that the donor may receive the appropriate tax deduction and donor recognition. The University Museums will not provide appraisals on donated objects. The University Museums director acknowledges all gifts and bequests. The University Museums' collections manager will provide the ISU Foundation with a copy of the deed of the gift pertaining to donation of objects.

Recording Acceptance

Upon acceptance of a work of art to the permanent collection, the collections manager will issue the object a permanent accession number. This permanent accession number will be marked on the object and remains with the object. All acquisitioned works of art will be photographed for purposes or record and identification. All records pertaining to acquisitioned works of art will be kept by University Museums and maintained by the collections manager.