Εθνικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης
Collection

ΕΜΣΤ NEW ACQUISITIONS POLICY
PURCHASES, GIFTS, BEQUESTS & LONG-TERM LOANS

The Collection
EMΣT collects Greek and international works of contemporary art, with a focus on the 21st century. The EMΣT Collection in the main comprises conceptual art and socio-politically oriented works.
In terms of media, the Collection includes painting, sculpture, mixed-media constructions and installations, drawings and engravings, photography, video art and works incorporating contemporary audio-visual and/or other technological means, and performance documentation.
The remit of the Collection encompasses works by contemporary Greek artists active from the 1960s onwards that illuminate the history and key developmental stages of the contemporary tradition both within Greece and beyond its borders. This policy of collecting contemporary Greek art also supports and showcases younger generations of artists who represent the dynamic here and now of the arts in Greece.
When it comes to international art, the collection policy is centred around Greece’s strategic geographical location, on the south-eastern tip of Europe, bordering Turkey and the rest of the Balkans, and in close proximity to the Middle East, and North Africa. It is a locus rich in narrative possibility, rooted as it is in the multi-cultural, historical, and socio-political dynamics of the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, and the region once known as the Levant.

The five (5) criteria governing acquisitions:
Operating in accordance with its rules of governance, mission statement, and the present stated policy, EMΣT is growing its collection by means of purchases, gifts, bequests, and long-term loans.
The acquisition criteria are as follows:
1. The needs of the Collection EMΣT seeks to acquire works of art that complement, frame, and enrich the Collection, in line with the points outlined above.
More specifically:

  • Works by major Greek artists not currently represented in the collection, celebrated for their contributions to the history and development of contemporary arts from the 1960s onwards.
  • Works by Greek artists representative of the rich artistic, avant-garde legacy of the Greek diaspora, a large part of which has never received the recognition it rightly deserves or has even been marginalised.
  • Works by mid-career and young Greek artists that enrich the collection, offering up both alternative, multi-faceted takes on political and cultural life in Greece, and tools for better understanding an international status quo ever in flux.
  • Works by international contemporary artists that align with the present stated Acquisitions Policy, which itself centres on Greece’s geopolitical realities and the Global South.
  • Works by international artists who have undertaken long-term research into Greece and have produced pieces relating to the country’s recent history and culture.

2. Condition | Acquired works ought to be in good condition, though exceptions may be made. For example: when the degradation of materials is acknowledged by the artist as being acceptable, or when works can be replicated by mechanical processes, or in cases where a work is considered so important that a high risk of deterioration is deemed acceptable.
3. Manageability | The capabilities that exist at EMΣT to conserve and store the works in accordance with the latest and most efficacious museum standards and practices.
4. Display potential | The potential/feasibility for exhibiting the works, taking into account spatial requirements and technical parameters.
5. Loan potential | The potential for loaning the works to other institutions, both in Greece and around the world, in order to forge fruitful partnerships with such stakeholders.

Acquisitions Procedures
EMΣT is growing its collection by means of purchases, gifts, bequests, and long-term loans.

Acquisitions
With regard to acquisitions, the artistic directorship at EMΣT – working in collaboration with the in-house curatorial team– proposes works for purchase that are then submitted to the museum’s Administrative Board for approval. This same process also applies for long-term loans.
ΕΜΣΤ does not purchase works directly from artists when they have professional representation. ΕΜΣΤ actively supports intermediary platforms (galleries or commercial art centres).
ΕΜΣΤ pledges not to purchase works without first performing due diligence to ensure that their suppliers (artists and/or art dealers) are in full compliance with all legal and tax-related obligations relevant to each transaction at hand.
ΕΜΣΤ does not purchase works from artists or collectors who are also members of its staff or sit on its Administrative Board.

Gifts
With regard to gifts, these are only accepted by EMΣT selectively, and only if such acquisitions are contingent upon works being of high quality, aligned with the museum’s Collection Policy, in good condition, and acquired by their donors in accordance with the terms and conditions set out by all relevant legislation in force at the time of their acquisition.
Any proposed gift must be documentarily substantiated and shall be subject to review by the academic and curatorial team at EMΣT in order to evaluate its merit.
EMΣT reserves the right to accept only select works from any proposed gift. Such proposals are reviewed twice a year. The ultimate acceptance of a gift is dependent upon it also being ratified by the museum’s Administrative Board.
This same process also applies for bequests.
EMΣT maintains archival documentation that includes a work’s inventory number, legal status and ownership history, condition report (produced upon inspection), high-resolution images of the work, loan and exhibition history, copyright agreement, and acquisition agreement.




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