Kalamazoo College Art Collection

Photo of person looking at art

Questions about the College Art Collection can be sent to kcollegeartcollection@kzoo.edu

The College Art Collection currently contains more than 500 works of art, including oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, textiles, ceramics, and other media.  Much of the Collection is housed in the Upjohn Library Commons.

The Art Collection primarily serves as a teaching tool for the College community, and it also enhances the aesthetics of the campus environment.  As a result, there are two groups within the collection:

The Study Collection is made up of original, rare, and irreplaceable artwork, as well as works with conservation issues that should not be placed on permanent or long term display.  Exhibiting these items would place them at risk, so they may be viewed only in the A.M. Todd Rare Book room.

The Campus Collection consists of those artworks that may be placed on permanent or long-term display because they are not suitable for educational purposes. These pieces can be displayed in offices or public areas of campus buildings.

Thumbnails of works in the College Art Collection can be viewed in CACHE, the College’s Institutional Repository:  College Art Collection in CACHE

In order to assure the consistency, quality, and long-term care of the College Art Collection, the College has established Kalamazoo College Art Team (KCAT). KCAT follows policies for the accession, deaccession, and care of the College Art Collection:

Kalamazoo College Art Team (KCAT) Policies

Kalamazoo College Art Team (KCAT) Policies
January 3, 2019
History

Since the 1960s Kalamazoo College has compiled an art collection, mostly through donations but also from purchases, to serve as a teaching tool for the College community. When the Light Fine Arts building was constructed in 1964 there were some funds set aside to purchase prints. Around this time the Marson Art Gallery would hold public sales in the lobby of the Fine Arts building and a percentage of the proceeds allowed the College to purchase prints from the gallery. By the early 1970s, the funding for purchasing prints was exhausted and few public sales of prints were being held.

The Kalamazoo College Art Collection is stored in the Upjohn Library Commons building, in the Rare Book Room. Those works not in storage are on display in various locations throughout the campus. Currently there are more than 500 works of art within the collection consisting of paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, textiles, ceramics, and other media.

Since there was never a collection policy, the College’s collection was not developed with a focus in any specific format, style, genre, etc. Oftentimes, the donations were made without specifications for the item’s use or display. In addition to this, record-keeping of the acquisitions has been incomplete. Due to this lack of consistency, the College has established the Kalamazoo College Art Team (KCAT) to oversee not only the proper care and cataloguing of artworks but also to practice quality control.

The Kalamazoo College Art Team (KCAT) consists of:
• College Archivist
• Graphic Designer
• IS Administrative Assistant
• Reference Librarian
• Staff member in Advancement

Kalamazoo College Art Team Policies

Purpose and Scope of the Kalamazoo College Art Collections

The College Art Collection has always been a general collection and as such there is no intention to focus on any one type of artwork. The primary purpose of the collection is to support the curriculum but it also enhances the aesthetics of the campus environment. As a result, there are two groups within the collection:

The Study Collection is made up of original, rare, and irreplaceable artwork as well as those pieces with conservation issues that should not be placed on permanent or long-term display. Exhibiting these items would place them at risk, so they can only be viewed in the A.M. Todd Rare Book room.

The Campus Collection consists of those artworks that can be placed on permanent or long-term display because they are not suitable for educational purposes. These pieces can be displayed in offices or public areas of campus buildings, and works in public areas should be fastened with security hangers.

College Art Collection General Policy on Accessions and Deaccessions

If a work of art is offered as a donation to the College, the Kalamazoo College Art Team (KCAT) and the Advancement Office will review the piece. KCAT may take into account the following factors:
• appropriateness of the artwork for the curriculum of the Art Department;
• whether the artwork complements or balances the collection;
• condition of the piece;
• whether the donation includes funds for preservation or conservation;
• cost of maintaining, storing, and insuring the artwork.

Donations should be considered unconditional gifts, and copyright, patents, trademarks or other intellectual property rights associated with the piece should also be transferred to the College. If accepted, donors will be asked to complete a Deed of Gift form. For further information see the College Gift Acceptance Policy. The following documentation should also accompany the donation: evidence of legal title; provenance of the piece; and any appraisals. KCAT does not offer appraisals of artwork, and this remains the responsibility of the donor. Once acquired, the artwork will be assigned an accession number and a catalogue record will be created in the collection database.

KCAT does not assume responsibility for artwork acquired by other departments, institutions, or organizations within the College, but can be consulted in regards to care and security. In addition, KCAT does not assume liability for damage or theft of student and personal art on display in public areas. It should also be noted that the College Archives also maintains an art collection with works historically significant to the campus. The College Archives maintains its own collection policy and the College Archivist should be consulted when relevant donations are offered (i.e. portrait of a president or faculty member, painting of a campus building).

KCAT may deaccession artwork if:
• it is lost or stolen;
• damage or deterioration renders the piece unsuitable for educational purposes or display and the cost of conservation is prohibitive;
• it falls outside the scope of the collection policy;
• it is redundant.
When artwork from the collection is deaccessioned, a record detailing the reasons will be created in the collection database.

Care of Collections

The College Archivist is responsible for monitoring conservation and preservation issues related to artwork in the collection. They will make recommendations to KCAT as to those items requiring conservation. The College provides limited funding to maintain the College Art Collection and its conservation. If any artwork does undergo conservation treatment, it will be documented and retained permanently in the collection database. The College Archivist will maintain records in the database and the Rare Book Room Curator will oversee storage of the collection. An inventory should be completed at least once every 5 years and an inspection of a portion of the collection should be done each year. Each summer an inspection should be made of the most valuable artwork as well as those objects on loan on the