Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Margaret Lindauer


The museum field has changed dramatically in the past thirty years, shifting from museum staff collecting anything and everything to staff collecting with a narrow focus defined within a museum’s collection plan. Today’s museum professionals are faced with a backlog of collection problems such as works that do not fit within the museum’s mission statement, unaccessioned works and a lack of storage due to the overzealous collecting of previous generations. Many museums are now attempting to deal with the problems left by past staff members by going through the collection, piece by piece, and making decisions which shape the collection to better reflect the image of the museum today. I addressed this problem with one collection, the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation Collection, at VCUarts Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. This project consisted of locating and inventorying the collection as well as documenting the works to prepare for possible accession into the Anderson Gallery permanent collection. This paper addresses the challenges and outcomes of my collection survey, while providing a model for others to follow in dealing with decades of collections buildup.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2009