[From UAMN Collections Management Policy]
XV. APPRAISALS AND AUTHENTICATIONS
DEFINITION: “Appraisals” are those assessments made regarding the financial value of an object, whether for insurance or fair market value. “Authentications” are those statements made that validate the genuine-ness of a given object, based on the expertise of that individual making the statement.
1. Museum staff may not appraise items in their disciplinary specialty that may be donated on behalf of a private owner. The Museum may maintain a list of appraisers but will not provide an endorsement.
2. Museum staff will not offer legal or tax advice to donors or potential donors regarding the tax or other legal implications of their donations and must inform the donor that it is the donor’s responsibility to seek independent advice from a qualified tax specialist or attorney.
3. Appraisals may be performed by staff for internal use, such as for insurance evaluations or for loans. Any such appraisal must represent an honest and objective judgment and must indicate how the evaluation was reached.
4. The Museum will not accept any donations believed to be improperly represented as to legality, authenticity, condition, or value until such time as the original claim has been substantiated by a competent, independent authority or until the attribution or value has been changed to reflect the true character of the items offered for donation.
1. It is beneficial to the Museum and its constituency for staff members to assist collectors and other museum professionals in identifying, authenticating, and assessing the scientific and/or aesthetic quality and conditions of specimens, artifacts, and works of art.
2. Information of this kind may be provided freely on an oral basis, but written statements must be accompanied by the Museum’s disclaimer form or statement.
3. Staff shall confine themselves to their areas of expertise.
4. All assistance, whether written or oral, shall be provided free of monetary or other compensation to staff members, however staff members may be reimbursed for costs incurred, such as travel.