San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Deaccession Policy and Procedures - Use of Deaccession Proceeds

Approved May 14, 2020 by the Executive Committee of SFMOMA’s Board of Trustees

The following Interim Guidelines amend SFMOMA’s Deaccessioning Policy Regarding Use of Deaccession Proceeds through April 10, 2022.

SFMOMA holds its art collections in trust for the benefit of the public and is responsible for the care and conservation of the collection and works of art on loan. Conservation and care are essential to the stewardship of museum collections for current and future generations. Devoting museum resources to the direct care of the works in the Collection is essential to safeguard and preserve the quality of the works and extend their lifespan, and is core to SFMOMA’s charitable mission.

In accordance with the interim AAMD policies that were enacted in April 2020 and will be in effect through April 10, 2022, as well as with existing AAM guidelines, the following interim policies and procedures will govern SFMOMA’s use of proceeds from deaccessioned objects.

Use of Proceeds Realized From the Sale of Works From SFMOMA’s Permanent Collection (“Deaccession Proceeds”)

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Museum’s Collections Management policy, and in accordance with long-standing American museum practice, legal parameters and Museum ethical standards, all funds received from the sale of deaccessioned artworks shall be used to fund the acquisition of other works of art, or for the “direct care of collection items” (“Direct Care”) as further provided below, and in accordance with the 24 month interim measures outlined in the April 10, 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Resolutions of the Association of Art Museum Directors (the “AAMD Resolutions”), as may be amended from time to time.

After April 10, 2022, in the absence of a renewal or extension of such AAMD Resolution, this Interim Policy shall automatically expire.

  1. Restriction on Proceeds – Prohibition on Use for Operating or Capital Expenses. Deaccession Proceeds shall not, under any circumstances, be used for museum general operating expenses or capital improvements.
  2. Use for Acquisitions or Direct Care of Collections. Deaccession Proceeds shall be applied to the purchase of other artworks in accordance with SFMOMA’s accessions policy or may also be used to support Direct Care of the collections as defined and further identified under the process outlined below and in accordance with the AAMD Resolutions.
  3. Administration of Funds and Compliance with FASB Standards. Deaccession Proceeds used for art acquisitions are administered on a department-by-department basis by the appropriate Accessions Committee. The Museum’s Chief Financial Officer must confirm that any proposed use, including any expense for Direct Care of collections, complies with this policy and the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) March 2019 amendment, or any subsequent governing amendments.
  4. Definition of Direct Care of Collections. For purposes of this policy, the expenditures for “Direct Care” refer to investments in the existing collections that enhance their life, usefulness or quality and thereby ensuring they will continue to benefit the public. Conservation and use of museum resources for Direct Care is essential to preserve the Museum’s collections for current and future generations. SFMOMA may use Deaccession Proceeds for the following types of direct care activities and expenditures, in order to benefit the long term care of, and access to, the collections in furtherance of the Museum’s mission. Direct Care of the collection expenditures may include, but are not limited to,
    • Costs associated with conservation of collection objects, object maintenance, analysis, treatment, surveying, inventorying, documenting (including photography), storage, and managing collections information systems;
    • Costs associated with materials and systems that benefit, or are required for, the direct care, conservation, maintenance, preservation, storage, safeguarding, photographing, documenting and condition reporting of collections;
    • Costs associated with expert conservation, registration, maintenance, cataloguing, audio visual, imaging, framing and documentation services for the collections;
    • Salaries of conservators or other staff experts engaged in the Direct Care of the collections as well as costs associated with fees for outside vendors and independent contractors providing such Direct Care services for the collections; and
    • Other Direct Care expenditures that may be identified or further clarified in writing from time to time by a committee consisting of the Director, the Chief Exhibitions and Collections Officer, the Head of Conservation, the Chief Curator, the Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel (or their respective Executive Team or senior staff designees) (the “Direct Care Committee”) and approved by the Executive Committee.
  5. Direct Care Committee Approval Process and Annual Cap. Prior to the Museum expending any deaccessioned proceeds for any Direct Care expense under this policy, the Direct Care Committee shall recommend such expenditures, including both an itemized list of the expenditures together with a recommended fiscal year cap on such expenses in compliance with this policy and the applicable FASB standards, for final approval by the Executive Committee or the Board.

Approved May 14, 2020 by the Executive Committee of SFMOMA’s Board of Trustees