The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts gratefully accepts donations of art works, if they meet the goals of the museum’s Collecting Plan and the criteria established by the Collections Management Policy.  Works of art under gift consideration must serve the best interests of the museum and significantly enhance the collection.  To assist you, we offer the following answers to frequently asked questions.

What kinds of art works are collected?

The museum’s Collections Management Policy serves as a guideline for the acquisition of all objects.  Art & artifacts under consideration for accession to the permanent collection must conform to the museum’s mission, meet the vision of the Collecting Plan, and must enhance and strengthen the museum’s existing collections.  They must have free and clear title, a documented legal provenance, and be acquired in an ethical manner.  In addition, artworks under gift consideration must meet established criteria such as quality, artistic merit, aesthetic value, rarity, and historical significance.  When weighing offered gifts, museum staff and trustees also consider current condition, needs and costs for conservation and storage, installation requirements. The museum does not accept gifts with restrictions on use.

How are art works collected?

All potential gifts are reviewed initially by a staff committee including the Director and curatorial staff.  If object(s) are identified as desirable acquisitions for the permanent collection, the Curator prepares a recommendation for presentation to the Collections Committee, a committee comprised of trustees, designated advisors, and staff.  If the art work is selected, the Committee makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to accept the work.  The Board of Trustees makes the final decision, by vote, to accept the offered work.

Works that are not accepted as accessions for the museum’s permanent collection may be accepted as acquisitions “for the benefit of the museum.”  These works may be sold at the museum’s discretion, and the proceeds used to support collections growth, exhibition projects, or public programs.

Appraisal and Authentication 

To prevent any conflict of interest, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts does not provide appraisal, identification, or authentication services. Follow this link to view/download a list of appraisers (without qualification or endorsement): Click here for the list. For further information on appraisers, please visit the websites for Appraisers Association of America or the International Society of Appraisers.

Do you have artworks that might fulfill our collecting mission?
If so, please follow these steps:

1. Send pictures and information about the artwork(s) to for initial review by museum staff.  If you do not have email, you may call the museum at 301-739-5727.

2. After reviewing your photos, the museum staff will contact you to discuss the offered artwork, or to schedule an appointment to view it.

3. Once museum staff confirms the object meets the collecting goals of the Museum, you will be contacted regarding completion of the necessary paperwork, including a Deed of Gift form. At that time we will begin planning for delivery of the artwork to the Museum.

4. Acknowledgement of the gift will be sent to the donor after the Collections Committee has recommended acquisition of the gift and the Board of Trustees has voted to accept it.

5. Please be advised that this process can sometimes take up to three months to complete.