Deaccessioning is defined as the process by which a work of art or other object (collectively, a “work”), wholly or in part, is permanently removed from a museum’s collection. Disposal is defined as the transfer of ownership by the museum after a work has been deaccessioned... Funds received from the disposal of a deaccessioned work shall not be used for operations or capital expenses. Such funds, including any earnings and appreciation thereon, may be used only for the acquisition of works in a manner consistent with the museum’s policy on the use of restricted acquisition funds. In order to account properly for their use, AAMD recommends that such funds, including any earnings and appreciation, be tracked separate from other acquisition funds.
— Association of Art Museum Directors Policy on Deaccessioning, June 9, 2010


Laumeier Sculpture Park began a thorough Collections Assessment valuation of policies, archives and processes in 2009 in order to improve record-keeping, affirm policies and evaluate the relevance of works in our Study Collection. After careful evaluation and work with the Collection, Exhibition & Education Committee, the Board of Directors approved updated language to our Collections Policy in 2013. With a newly focused Collections Policy that recognized both our artistic goals for outdoor work and the institution’s ability to maintain, conserve and interpret artworks, the staff was able to identify artworks that were not relevant to our goals and/or the mission of the organization. 

These artworks have been identified for deaccessioning (through sale, transfer or exchange), with any funds realized from sale at public auction to be restricted to purchasing new works for the Collection, preserving the credit line of the donor(s). Staff puts forward works that sit outside our Collection priorities to the Collection, Exhibition & Education Committee for approval, then completes the process for the sale of said works over time.

The first focus of the Collections Assessment was the Study Collection, a series of related objects never accessioned into Laumeier’s Permanent Collection. Many of these study objects are not artworks—rather, they are photographs, non-art related maquettes, etc. Laumeier’s storage does not allow for regular study by scholars or researchers; thus, the Study Collection is being disbanded, with the objects being absorbed into the archives, accessioned (if relevant to the Collection) or sold at public auction.

These objects will be advertised in accordance with the State of Missouri’s legislation governing abandoned cultural property in an effort to find the original owners and/or to gain clear title. After the required waiting period, all abandoned cultural property will either be accessioned or disposed. The income generated through the auction of deaccessioned artworks will be reapplied toward the purchase of new artworks, per the Association of Art Museum Directors Policy on Deaccessioning.

These deaccession efforts will allow Laumeier to reaffirm our Collection priorities, reflect the objectives of our exhibition program and represent the best of changing sculptural practice of the 20th and 21st centuries. Below is a searchable list of deaccessioned artworks recently sold, transferred or exchanged, including corresponding sale results when applicable, deaccessioned works awaiting sale, transfer or exchange and their assigned valuations.

View Laumeier's Collections Policy