University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation

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UTS Art Collection Acquisition and Management Policy
Note: This Policy is current, however is under review.


Statement of purpose

To provide the opportunity for the University community and public to be confronted by artworks of high quality which will broaden their awareness of historical and contemporary art practice

To integrate art into the University community and to reassert the relevance of the arts to all fields of endeavour

To encourage the development of a sense of collective cultural purpose amongst the University community

Principal collecting areas

In determining the principal collecting areas it is not intended to exclude the consideration of appropriate international contemporary artwork.

1. Art and technology

The University aims to build a collection of works, which spring from the creative use of technology, as well as works that refer to and interpret the use of technology in society.

2. Consolidating the existing collection

The University also aims to acquire works that build on its current strengths, linking the existing collection to more recent contemporary art practices and developments. The strengths of the existing collection are post 1960s Australian painting and printmaking.

3. Portraits

An important area is the formal portraiture of significant figures in the University's history. UTS maintains this tradition by commissioning portraits by eminent artists of the day.

4. Sculpture

The University has been successful in acquiring and commissioning some notable examples of mid to late 20th century Australian sculpture. A sculpture courtyard is being developed for the rooftop space outside the UTS Gallery.

5. Historic artefacts

The Curator shall be responsible for determining whether paintings, drawings, photographs etc., significant to the cultural heritage of UTS form part of the collection. Works should be archived, but need not form part of the University collection.

Donations, gifts and bequests

Donations of works of art falling outside the identified areas of the collection will be considered for acquisition by the Art Advisory Committee and recommendations made to the Vice-Chancellor.

Acceptance of works will be based on quality and relevance to the collection.

UTS will be attentive to the regulations and procedures of the Taxation Incentives for the Arts, when considering any gift proposed through this scheme.

In the event of the Fund (that account set up to receive donations under the Taxation Incentive for the Arts Scheme – UTS Gallery) being dissolved, the assets which remain after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be paid and applied by the Committee in accordance with the powers to any fund, institution or authority which, itself, is exempt from income tax and which qualified as a giftable organisation pursuant to subsection 78(4) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

The Art Advisory Committee is responsible for managing the Fund established to receive donations under the Tax Incentives for the Arts Scheme.


The Art Advisory Committee on the recommendation of the Curator will consider proposed incoming loans

The Art Advisory Committee on the recommendation of the Curator will consider proposed outgoing loans made from the Collection to other institutions for exhibition purposes.


The commissioning of works of art by UTS including official portraits and art in public places will be undertaken upon the advice of the Art Advisory Committee.

Collection management

Definition of the collection

Any acquisition of artworks approved for inclusion into the UTS Art Collection by the Art Advisory Committee


To consolidate the current holdings of art within UTS.

To develop the Collection to the point where it is able to play a leading role in the intellectual and cultural development of the university community and general public.

Acquisition procedures

UTS will acquire works for the collection through purchase, exchange, and gift.

UTS reserves the right to negotiate varied approaches to payment for acquisitions, including phased payment, for the maximum benefit of the University.

Any Faculty, School, Department or Division within the University is required to seek the advice of the Curator before committing funds to the purchase of artworks.

The Art Advisory Committee will inform the Vice-Chancellor on a regular basis of all acquisitions and donations and make recommendations regarding proposed acquisitions where necessary (as outlined below). Artworks will be acquired in accordance with the following guidelines:

(a) The Curator has the discretion to purchase individual works of art up to the value of $2,000 within budget and policy constraints.

(b) A standing Acquisition Sub-Committee, comprising at least three members appointed from the Art Advisory Committee will be responsible for approving the purchase of individual works of art over $2,000 and not exceeding $6,000.

(c) The purchase of individual works of art over $6,000 but not exceeding $25,000 can only proceed with the formal approval of the Art Advisory Committee.

(d) The purchase of individual works of art above the value of $25,000 can only proceed with the formal approval of the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Art Advisory Committee.

(e) Where it is not possible to make personal inspection of artworks worthy of acquisition, the Curator may select on the basis of professional advice and consultation and the approval of the Acquisitions Sub-Committee, to the extent and limits defined in (a) and (b).

Acceptance of donations of artworks into the UTS art collection will be subject to the approval of the Art Advisory Committee.

Following their acceptance and minuting, new acquisitions will be entered in the Collection catalogue system.

A complete list of acquisitions will be included in the Art Advisory Committee annual report to the Vice-Chancellor.

The Curator is responsible for attending exhibitions, art auctions, artists' studios, private and commercial estates and other relevant sites for the purpose of inspecting works of art for acquisition in accordance with the Acquisitions Policy. Members of the Art Advisory Committee can advise the Curator of any relevant sites and artworks for inspection.

Presentation of the collection

The collection is to be displayed in public areas, libraries and designated office areas on each of UTS campuses. However, those parts of the collection which have been acquired through the Tax Incentives for the Arts Scheme will be identified appropriately to acknowledge the source of the donation under the Tax Incentives for the Arts Scheme.

The Collection will be displayed in an aesthetically pleasing and appropriate context which maximises its accessibility and enhances public enjoyment and education. UTS is also mindful that works should be displayed in a manner which gives due recognition to the artists' intent.

When appropriate, UTS will maintain records of artists' instructions for the presentation of their work. Where practical and reasonable, any such instructions will be respected when installing works from the collection.

Disposal of the collection

The Collection will be subject to periodic review.

UTS reserves the right to dispose of works as a necessary part of developing the collection to its fullest potential, and of responsible collection management; or where a work requires such attention that it unreasonably drains resources needed for the care of the rest of the Collection.

UTS will always approach the disposal of works with caution, and incorporate appropriate delay and review mechanisms in its procedures for disposal.

UTS will observe any legal conditions pertaining to its right of disposal.

Full records will be kept of any object disposed of and of the process whereby the decision to dispose was made.

Any proceeds gained from disposal will be credited solely to funds used for the acquisition or maintenance of the collection.

Code of ethics

UTS will not acquire any object, whether by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange, unless the Art Advisory Committee is satisfied that a valid title can be acquired to that object. Where the validity of ownership is in question, the UTS could act as custodian pending resolution.

UTS will be sensitive to religious beliefs and cultural significance relating to certain objects originating in various societies, and will not acquire or display objects in a manner likely to cause reasonable offence.

UTS recognises the need for co-operation and consultation between museums and university collections with similar or overlapping interests and collecting policies.

In acquiring works, the interests of UTS will be the sole consideration. At all times all persons associated with the collection shall ensure that they do not place themselves in a situation involving conflict of interest with UTS. Specifically, they will not seek, in any activity, to obtain personal financial benefit directly or indirectly through their participation with UTS other than by way of salary for performance of normal duties relating to employment.