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Permanent Collection Management, Acquisition and De-Accession Policy

The primary objective of this policy shall be to ensure that the VAS Permanent Collection represents the highest possible artistic standards of the Society. A considered approach shall be taken to the growth and evolution of the Collection such that the Collection remains a balanced reflection of the Society’s history and its role in celebrating its current and future member artists. 

The Permanent Collection convenorship must comprise three exhibiting Council members. 

This policy addresses the following two aspects of the Collection management. 

Management Policy: 

MP1/ The Permanent Collection convenors will review the quality and composition of the Collection after each five-year period.   

MP2/ The Review shall consider the following: 

  1. That the Collection is maintaining a standard of quality and artistic merit  representing the highest standards of the Society. 
  2. That the Collection incorporates a balanced mix of works representing the eras, genres, themes and mediums relevant to the Society’s past and present. 
  3. That the Collection maintains an overall visual appeal to the viewing members and   the public, and serves to enhance the reputation and relevance of the Society. 
  4. That works in the Collection are in good condition and are being suitably preserved. 
  5. That the total size of the collection is maintained at a level ensuring the safe storage and handling of works within the available storage space. 
  6. That past members of note are appropriately represented within the constraints of the size and quality of the collection. 
  7. That any artist, past or present, is not over-represented in the Collection. 

Should the convenors decide to seek the (a) acquisition of works for inclusion in the Collection, (b) de-accession of one or more existing works or (c) undertake priority restoration on an existing work, a report shall be prepared for Council outlining the basis for this decision in relation to one or more of the criteria listed in MP2 above. 

The report is to be reviewed by the President of the day before presentation to the Council. 

Acquisition Policy: 

AP1/ For a work to be accepted into the Collection it must represent an enhancement to the overall Collection with regard to the following criteria: 

  1. Artistic Merit, being the primary consideration. 
  2. Presentation, including the level of professionalism in the handling of the medium 
  3. Representation of a person of note in regard to the Society currently or historically. 
  4. Representation of a genre, style, medium or era relevant to the Society, past and present 

AP2/ Acquisition of works shall be by one of two methods. 

  1. Acceptance, by majority Council vote, of a work offered as a donation. The work shall be presented to Council by the Permanent Collection convenors with their recommendation for acceptance or rejection of the offered work. If an offered work is rejected, the donor shall be advised the reasons why the work failed to adequately meet the criteria for acquisition, or that it’s inclusion in the Collection would impact on the balance of style, genre, or artist representation in the Collection, as deemed appropriate.  
  2. Purchase of a work. Purchase of a work can be made by way of direct approach to the artist, or from an exhibition or auction house, after recommendation by the Convenors. Purchase from an exhibition may include external art exhibitions other than VAS exhibitions. 

AP3/ Victorian Artists’ Society Permanent Collection Acquisition and Management Fund 

  1. A Fund of up to $4000 shall be set aside each financial year, provided that the current year’s working capital cash at bank exceeds a ratio of 6 months expenditure. Should the VAS Treasurer believe the capital cash ratio does not meet this criterion, the allocation of this amount shall be adjusted or held over for review at a later date set by the Treasurer. Other extraordinary circumstances causing the Treasurer to deem the expenditure ill advised, can trigger a veto on any funds being allocated to the Fund until the Treasurer advises otherwise.       
  2. The Fund shall be used for: The purchase of works for the Collection, as deemed appropriate by Council after recommendation from the Convenors and the President of the day. 
  3. The restoration of an existing work or works and/or re-framing of existing works, as deemed appropriate by Council after recommendation by the Convenors and the President of the day. 

De-Accession Policy 

DP1/ If the Convenors conclude that the removal of a work(s) will enhance the collection by way of improved overall quality, appeal or balanced representation of an artist, genre, era, style or medium, a report recommending the de-accession shall be presented to Council for approval. 

DP2/ De-accession of a work shall be carried out by way of any of the following methods, as deemed appropriate for that individual work, the artist or connections: 

  1. Approach to the original donor or family for the return of the work with an explanation related to one or more of the Collection criteria.  
  2. If the original donor or family are unknown, the de-accessioned artwork must be featured in a notice to members as well as within a Public Notice in one of Melbourne’s major newspapers. 
  3. The Convenors may wish to replace the work of a notable VAS exhibiting artist in the current Collection, (for example an AOTY/Ex-President/Life member), past or present, with a work that better represents the overall standard of their work.  A discussion could be held offering them an opportunity to exchange the work with the one that better represents their evolution as an artist.  Alternatively, in the case of a deceased artist, a work might be acquired from the open art market.   
  4. The offering of the work(s) for sale through an art auction house. Monies raised from the sale of de-accessioned works shall be allocated to the Fund. 
  5. No VAS member shall be eligible to purchase or otherwise obtain a de-accessioned work through VAS before auction. Members may bid for a work at the public auction. If works are passed in at auction, they will then be available for sale at the valuation price through the VAS. 

Acknowledgment of traditional owners.

We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.