Processes for selecting works

Following the lines of work and interest set by management and the curatorial team, curators and the Collection department seek out and investigate acquisition proposals to expand the MACBA Collection. The museum also receives purchase, donation and deposit proposals studied by the Collection department and the curatorial team. All of the proposals selected are assessed by the advisory committee. This committee is an annual meeting of international experts in contemporary art that analyses and evaluates the acquisition proposals presented by the museum. Since 2016 the committee has been made up by Catherine David, Chris Dercon, Estrella de Diego and Cuauhtémoc Medina. The meeting is also attended by the director of the MACBA, the president and the director of the MACBA Foundation, the chief curator, the head of Public Programmes and the curator and head of the Collection.

The identification of the needs of the Collection and the coherence of the proposed works with the existing works are essential. Once interest has been confirmed and the proposals prioritized, in most cases the MACBA Fundation will follow the purchase procedures after feasibility has been confirmed by a financial committee. Some works by Catalan artists approved by the committee may be presented to the Government of Catalonia to be purchased for the National Collection of Contemporary Art which will in turn deposit them with the MACBA for custodianship.

The donation and deposit proposals received will undergo the same evaluation procedures as purchases.

Incorporation of works

Adquisición destacado

In museology, acquisition refers to a work’s entry into the museum provided that this represents a transfer of property, which may be temporary or definitive. Definitive acquisitions include purchases, donations and bequests, while the most common temporary acquisitions are deposits in commodatum and loans.

A purchased work becomes the absolute property of the museum in exchange for an agreed sum of money. A donation is the charitable and irrevocable transfer of a work by its owner to the museum that accepts it. A bequest is a form of voluntary private transfer by which the deceased or deviser donates works of art or documentary resources through their will.

A deposit in commodatum is the temporary transfer of use of a work that is to be returned by the bailee to the bailor at the end of the transfer period stipulated in the contract establishing the specific terms of the deposit. A loan is the temporary transfer of use of a work from the museum’s own collection to another institution requesting it, generally to be included in a temporary exhibition.

Growth of the MACBA Collection

Graphic Collection growth 2020
The artist has to face the unknown with a positive mood and sink his teeth in without fear.
Eduardo Chillida