How to Donate Artwork



How do I offer an object to the WMQFA?

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts accepts emails and letters that describe objects that are being offered as gifts or bequests. A photo of the object(s) is required along with a description, including materials, date of manufacture and/or collection, and dimensions; verifiable record of authenticity and provenance (history of ownership); and information about any prior treatments with preservative chemicals, such as moth balls or insecticides.

This information can be sent to: 


Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts
Collections Manager
P.O Box 562
Cedarburg, WI 53012

How long before I learn whether the Museum wants to acquire my object?

Generally, the most time-consuming portion of the acquisition process is gathering information from the donor. We may have to contact you several times before we have enough information for your object to be considered by the Accessions Committee. Sometimes additional research into legal issues or consultation with outside curatorial experts is necessary as well. Once we have all of this information, your offer will be considered by the Accessions Committee. After the Committee’s recommendation has been reviewed, we will contact you with a formal reply.


How does the Museum decide which objects to accept for the collection?

The WMQFA has a collections policy which we must adhere to and a Mission which helps direct what is collected. Briefly, the Collections Committee will assess the object on the basis of various criteria and discuss their findings.  A recommendation is then made to the Collections Manager who, acting for the Museum, reaches out to the prospective donor with the Committee's decision.

Can I send or bring my object to the Museum now?

Please do not send or bring unsolicited objects to the Museum. We will contact you at an appropriate time to arrange shipping to the Museum. The Museum does not have the capacity to store objects while the committee considers them.

How is ownership transferred?

With a gift donation, as soon as the Museum has decided to accept the donor’s offer, a formal acceptance will be sent and arrangements will also be made for the object to arrive at the WMQFA, if this has not occurred previously. The donor is also provided with two copies of our Deed of Gift for signature. One of these Deeds is to be returned to us; the other is to be kept for the donor’s own records. When WMQFA receives the completed Deed of Gift and the object is in our physical custody, the gift is completed.

I will make a gift only if I can set certain conditions for my object. Are you still interested?

The WMQFA has limited resources, space for collections or display, and a collections policy that does not allow us to accept gifts with restrictions.

What will the Museum do with my donation? Will it be always on exhibit?

Only a small percentage of the Museum’s collection are on exhibit at any one time. Material not on exhibit may be used for research and study, along with the ability for loans to other institutions. Material that is not suitable for our permanent collection may also be used in our Education Collection which is used for study, demonstrations and lectures.

Will you keep the objects I donate forever?

The WMQFA does not accept material for the collections without the intent to keep it and care for it for the foreseeable future. However, some circumstances may make it advisable to remove items from the permanent collections. This is usually the case where the object is in very poor condition or where the item is a duplication of material in the Museum's collection. To remove an object from the collection, the object must be first reviewed by the Collections Manager, then approved by the Accessions Committee for deaccession and then also approved by the board of directors. When an object is deaccessioned WMQFA makes every effort to find a new home for it where it will also be available for public purposes. As with any gift, the material becomes property of the Museum for the betterment of its programs with the intent it always be used to further the Museum's mission. It is not the Museum’s policy to return such material to the donor or donor’s family.

Can you appraise my donation?

Federal law prevents the Museum from providing identification services or appraisal values for donated items. Donors are responsible for appraisals of value.

Can I leave things to the Museum in my will?

Material may be willed (bequested) to the Museum. Prior to making a bequest you must go through the proper accessions procedures to notify the museum of your intent and to determine the acceptance of the material. You should also discuss any plans with an attorney.

How can I make a contribution to support the cost of caring for my object?

Collections stewardship requires considerable resources of space, materials, and personnel. We are very grateful to donors who understand this “big picture” and contribute funds to support the preservation and accessibility of collections.

It’s New Year’s Eve! Can I offer to donate an object today and get a tax deduction for this year?

Unfortunately, no. For year-end donations, all information must be submitted no later than December 1st.