Art Resources / FAQ

Boise Art Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational, and charitable organization, nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. As such, it must adhere to all laws, regulations and standards governing art museums and their professional practices. The museum may not endorse specific services or companies and is prohibited from providing appraisals and authentications.

For legal and ethical reasons, BAM is unable to provide authentications, valuations, or appraisal services or to recommend specific vendors.  You can locate a certified appraiser through The American Society of Appraisers ( and the International Society of Appraisers (  An auction resource, such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, or Bonhams, or even an online auction site, such as Ebay ( or Art Price ( may help you learn more about the value of your object.

For legal and ethical reasons, BAM is unable to provide conservation services.  The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works ( provides a free referral service, guidelines on selecting a conservator, and free publications to help you care for your collection.

There are a few companies locally and nationally that specialize in fine art handling and shipping.  BAM cannot recommend specific vendors.  We are aware of several companies, listed below.  You may be able to find others by conducting a search.           1-800-803-9901         (208) 322-9459

In addition, there are several companies that provide art crating and shipping services to other locations.  BAM cannot recommend specific vendors.

There are multiple framing companies in our area.  A search of “artwork framing” will provide you with options.  Some framers practice the most current conservation methods.  Be sure to request the level of care you want.  The American Institute of Conservation can tell you what kinds of questions to ask.  Visit for more information.

Instructions for hanging different types of artwork can be found online, and demonstrations can be found on YouTube.  Some framers offer art-hanging services.  Some moving companies will help you hang large artworks that require several strong people to lift.  If the artwork was purchased from an artist, the artist sometimes will help hang it.  If the artwork was purchased from a commercial gallery, the commercial gallery will often provide art-hanging services.  Boise Art Museum is a non-profit art museum and is not a commercial gallery.

Since its beginnings, BAM has relied on the generosity of donors to help build the Permanent Collection.  Purchases of art are rare and occur when special funding is available.  On those occasions, BAM acquires artwork within the Museum’s collecting mission, policies, and priorities, from reputable art dealers and professional artists.

Collectors, artists and philanthropists from across the Treasure Valley and the United States have donated artwork to grow the Museum’s collection and share inspiring art from around the world with our community. We are grateful to the visionary donors who have donated artwork to BAM. BAM is the only nationally accredited collecting art museum in the state of Idaho and within a 300-mile radius. The collection encompasses more than 4,000 objects. If you would like to become a part of this tradition of donating gifts of art to the Boise Art Museum, here are some things to consider.

  • Consideration of the Gift
    Boise Art Museum will evaluate the gift to ensure it is appropriate for our collecting mission and priorities and as an addition to our Permanent Collection. We may decline a gift because the art may not fit within our collecting priorities, is a duplicate or similar to works already in our collection, or is not of appropriate museum quality. Also, a gift may be declined because of costs associated with accepting the artwork, including packing, crating, shipping, restoration, conservation, or concerns related to its long-term care. All gifts to our collection are subject to final approval by the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Valuation
    If you expect your gift to be valued at more than $5,000, the IRS requires you to obtain a qualified appraisal and provides procedures for taxpayers to request a review of art valuations for income, estate, and gift returns. You may request from the IRS a Statement of Value for an advance review of art valuation claims prior to filing your return. You must submit an appraisal from a qualified independent appraiser and the appraisal must meet substantiation requirements. This statement then can be used in completing your tax return. The procedure usually applies to artwork appraised at $50,000 or more. Please note that, for legal and ethical reasons, when donating an artwork to BAM, the donor is responsible for securing and paying for any required appraisals and furnishing information to the appropriate government entities. BAM does not provide appraisals.
  • Funds for the Long-term Care of the Artwork
    Accepting the donation of artwork comes with a serious responsibility on the part of the Museum for the object’s long-term care and insurance, which is an expense consideration when deciding on acceptance of the gift. In the case of artwork requiring ongoing care or conservation, Boise Art Museum gives preference to artwork that is accompanied by an outright monetary gift to maintain it into the future.
  • First Steps
    If you are interested in donating a museum-quality artwork, please e-mail this form and an image to You may also mail these materials to Boise Art Museum, PO Box 9794, Boise, ID 83707 Attn: Artwork Donation. To protect the integrity and security of our collection, no outside works of art may be brought into the Museum without prior authorization from the Museum’s Registrar – please do not deliver artworks or objects for consideration to the Museum unless arrangements have been made in advance with the Registrar.

Boise Art Museum’s Collections Plan and Policies

The mission of the Boise Art Museum is to create visual arts experiences that engage people and inspire learning through exceptional exhibitions, collections, and educational opportunities. The purpose of the Permanent Collection is to support this mission. The Collections Plan is mission-driven and functions as the foundation for the Museum’s collecting.

The Collection Management Policy addresses the factors to be considered in the process for consideration of accepting a potential gift, including:

  • The object fits within the present scope of the Museum’s collecting priorities;
  • The object is of high quality and is most characteristic or representative of an artist’s oeuvre;
  • The object can be properly cataloged, conserved, stored, and protected;
  • The object is useful in the foreseeable future for the Museum’s education, exhibition, or research programs;
  • The object is guaranteed to have satisfactory provenance;
  • The Museum does not accept gifts of objects which carry restrictions;
  • When a collection of objects is offered, the Museum reserves the right to accept that portion deemed consistent with the Museum’s collection goals;
  • Fractional gifts are accepted only if the remainder of the work is a promised gift accompanied by a legally binding contract;
  • Final decisions related to formal accession of a gifted work of art for Boise Art Museum’s Permanent Collection are made by the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees.


Collection Scope

The present scope of BAM’s collection is American Art (18th century to the present), with additional emphasis on Asian Art (BCE to the present), European Art (19th century to the present), and Ethnographic Collections. Today the Permanent Collection consists of 4,039 works of art and dates from antiquity through the 21st century.


Collecting Priorities

American art is the primary collecting area of the Boise Art Museum.  The Museum also maintains a focus on artists related to the Northwest, including Idaho.  Asian art is a continued collecting interest for the Boise Art Museum, particularly historical and contemporary Asian art that builds upon the existing collection.

Collecting priorities include:

  1. Significant works by artists related to the Northwest
  2. Significant representative works by major American artists of the 20th and 21st century, especially those not presently represented in the collection;
  3. Significant works in the media of ceramics, prints, and photography to build on the existing collection;
  4. Significant representative works by emerging American artists.
  5. Significant representative works of “new media/new technologies,” including strategies for the acquisition of the equipment needed for such a collection;
  6. Significant pre-20th century American art, especially relating to the American West, the Northwest, and Idaho.

What is deaccessioning?
The Museum takes seriously its role as caretakers of our collective cultural heritage.  Deaccessioning is a process that museums undertake periodically to maintain the goals and priorities of their Collection Management Policies.  Deaccessioning generally means permanently removing an object or work of art from a Museum’s collection by sale, gift to or exchange with another institution, or destruction.

The national Association of Art Museum Directors’ Policy on Deaccessioning, can be viewed here »

Why deaccession?
The collections of art museums are like gardens. Their cultivation requires periodic pruning to improve overall quality and thoughtful long–term growth. As good stewards of the collections in their care, art museums periodically deaccession works of art based on redundancy, poor condition, or limited service to the institution’s mission. The thoughtful and considered decision to deaccession is made solely to improve the quality, scope, and appropriateness of the collection, and to support the mission and long-term goals of the Museum. It is a museum best practice to regularly review existing works in the collection to ensure relevancy and condition.

Who decides what to deaccession?
No action pertaining to deaccessions would be taken if it compromised the integrity and good standing of the institution within its community at large and the museum profession.  The process includes the Museum’s Executive Director, Curator, Trustees, Collections Committee, and scholars, who weigh all considerations in consultation with Museum policy when determining whether or not to deaccession an object. Working with the Museum curators and outside specialists, the Executive Director recommends objects for deaccession to the Collections Committee.  The Collections Committee advises the Board of Trustees, who have final approval related to deaccessions.

Where do any funds go?
Proceeds, if any, from a deaccessioned artwork are used only to acquire other works of art. At the Boise Art Museum, per the Museum’s Collection Management Policy and standard museum professional practices, funds realized from a deaccessioned objects are used for the purchase of other art, preferably in the general category of the deaccessioned object.  The funds are never used as operating funds, to build a general endowment, or for any other expenses. When appropriate, the name of the original donor is recorded with the object purchased with these funds.

You can research artists and art in many different ways.  Start your search online at a site like or  You should also search your local library – librarians are skilled unearthing hard-to-find information.  The Boise Public Library’s librarians offer online assistance at  Additionally, the Boise State University reference department is a good resource, or use their librarians’ Ask Us form at  For information about public art in Boise, visit  The BAM Store has many publications available for purchase on the topic of art and artists.  Visit today to browse our selection.

BAM’s professional staff is comprised of employees who have advanced degrees in art, art history, art education, and museum studies along with art teaching, art making, and art museum experience.  Staff across departments meet on an ongoing basis to discuss prospective exhibitions and their relevance to the community.  Multiple factors are considered, including educational value, engagement potential, quality of work, exhibition history, theme/topic/message/idea, availability within the exhibition calendar, cost/budget, funding outlook, other exhibitions scheduled to be on display concurrently, and other Museum and community events planned at that time.  BAM’s professionals continually research art, artists, and exhibitions locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally to make recommendations and selections for BAM’s exhibitions.  BAM works with reputable dealers, professional artists, other nationally accredited art museums, and highly regarded exhibition lending organizations and foundations when selecting, curating, and planning exhibitions.  BAM staff also plans exhibitions that are a result of our collaborative community projects and partnerships as well as student and Idaho artist invitationals.  BAM’s Permanent Collection is an ongoing source for the Museum’s exhibitions.  Convenings of community advisory groups help staff strategize to engage members of the community with some exhibitions.  If you would like to share information about an artist or exhibition, please e-mail images, exhibition descriptions and history to  You may also mail materials to Boise Art Museum, PO Box 9794, Boise, ID 83707 Attn:  Exhibitions.  Because of the volume of artist and exhibition information we receive, we are not able to reply to each informational e-mail/packet.

BAM’s small professional staff is available by appointment only.  A list of staff e-mail addresses can be found here or you may request an appointment by calling (208) 345-8330 ext. 110.

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 August 2024

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