Deaccessioning: A policy perspective

Chris Burgess, Rachel Shane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The concept of removing artwork from a museum's collection (deaccessioning) has been the topic of much discussion and debate over the last several years. However, the conversation has mostly focused on the ethics of deaccessioning. Notably, the primary professional associations governing museums position their policies on deaccessioning within their ethical standards. Yet little has been studied on the history and motivation of the development of such policy. Through the tracing of deaccessioning history and public debates, this research examines the practice of deaccessioning from a policy perspective. Through the examination of the actions at national, state, local, and institutional levels, this study considers the history and future of deaccessioning policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-185
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Arts Management Law and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • collection policy
  • deaccessioning
  • museums
  • professional associations
  • regulatory policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Strategy and Management
  • Law


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