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Guidelines for Artwork Donations

The permanent collection at the Savannah African Art Museum contains numerous works of art and educational reproductions from the 19th and 20th centuries made from ceramic, metal, wood, glass, and fiber. The museum is dedicated to the continued conservation, research, and display of the works within the collection. 

Since 2017 the museum's collection has expanded with new acquisitions and donations of art from other collections. However, because of the large number of objects under our stewardship and limited storage, we must follow strict criteria when selecting and accepting the donation of new objects. Some of the deciding factors for our institution include collecting and programming priorities, storage needs, storage availability, and long-term preservation costs. 

If you would like to donate any works of traditional African art to the museum and your proposed donation meets our guidelines below, please email our curators at

Unsolicited Donations

The Savannah African Art Museum does not accept unsolicited donations of artwork through the mail or in person. If the museum receives donations in this way they will be considered abandoned property and the museum reserves the right to dispose of the abandoned property at its discretion. 

Shango Priest Robe  © Savannah African Art Museum

Shango Priest Robe  

©Savannah African Art Museum

Artwork Donation Guidelines and Criteria 

  1. The Savannah African Art Museum holds a high standard for collection acquisitions. The museum will do its due diligence in making inquiries into the provenance of the object(s) considered for donation. The museum will conform to all ethical standards, both legal and professional, in regard to the acquisition of art into its permanent collection.

  2. The object(s) must be relevant and fit within the mission, purpose, scope, and programming of the museum. The following criteria are used in determining whether an object should be considered for donation. 

    • Is it culturally relevant to the continent of Africa?​

    • Does it add to the existing collection?

    • Does it fill a gap within the collection?

    • Does it strengthen the collection?

    • Is there a potential use for research, exhibition, or education? 

    • Is the condition of the work stable and well-preserved? 

  3. The museum will give primary consideration to the institution's ability to provide proper care and storage for any work in or being considered for the collection. No object(s) will be considered for acquisition if the museum feels that it can not support the long-term preservation needs of the acquisition. 

  4. Donors must have a clear title to the object(s), and provide a verifiable record of authenticity and provenance for all proposed donations. 

  5. All acquisitions are considered an outright, unconditional, and irrevocable donations to the museum. The museum will not guarantee that the object(s) donated will be displayed, exhibited, or stored as a singular stand-alone collection. 

  6. Federal law prevents the museum from providing tax advice or appraisal values for donated items. Donors are responsible for appraisals of value on any object(s) they intend to donate. For more information, please visit the IRS's website for more information on determining the value of your donated property. 

  7. Donations are fully tax-deductible within IRS Guidelines. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.


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