Donating to Glenbow's Collection

We collect and share stories that matter to our community.

Art + Objects

For over fifty years, Glenbow has collected art and objects that represent the culture and history of our region and beyond. Every item (whether donated or purchased), is acquired into the collection with the intention that it should be used to learn, understand, spark curiosity and inspire.

Our goal is to collect and share stories that matter to our community. Each object or artwork holds a story (maybe even a few). They can also inspire new stories, gaining life and purpose from those who come to visit them.

What is the criteria for accepting donations to the museum’s collection?

Glenbow Museum collects artifacts and artwork primarily of significance to the northwest quadrant of North America. We have a defined set of collecting goals for each area of the collection. We are extremely judicious about adding to the collection and want to ensure that everything we collect is of high quality and fits within our mandate. The museum is interested in objects or works of art which are well documented, and that help to share stories about people and their cultures, lifestyles, and history.

When a prospective donor offers Glenbow an artwork, we consider our mandate, the artist and determine whether or not the piece being offered is a good example of their work, what we already have in the collection. We may also look at connections between artists in our collection, the condition of the work and the complexity of storing and caring for the work.

How is material used when it’s not on display?

Researchers in a variety of fields regularly access the collection, as do the families of donors, and other members of the community if they have an interest in a particular artist or type of artifact. We provide images of artworks and objects to a broad variety of publications and media. We also provide broad access to the Indigenous collection to First Nations groups from southern Alberta and throughout Canada. Additionally, every year we lend hundreds of objects and artworks to other galleries and museums throughout Canada, the United States, and occasionally in Europe.

How do I donate something to Glenbow’s collection?

Glenbow has limited resources to direct toward purchases for the collection. The majority of Glenbow’s collections have been donated and we continue to build our collections primarily through donations.

When an object or an artwork is offered to Glenbow as a donation we want as much information as you can provide, and a picture is always useful. Offers are reviewed by the appropriate staff and, if it is determined we would like to add the object to the collection it is presented to a committee for formal acceptance. When the formal acceptance is complete we will issue a Gift Agreement

In all instances of objects valued at more than $1,000.00, the fair market value of an acquisition will be determined through an independent appraiser. In most cases the museum will arrange the appraisal. If the donor provides the appraisal, the appraiser must be acceptable to the museum. The donor is responsible for the costs of the appraisal.

In most circumstances, it is possible for the donor to realize a tax benefit from a donation to the museum. Donors are encouraged to speak with their accountants regarding this possibility and what the benefit may be. Museum staff can supply basic tax information, however they can not give tax advice or appraise the monetary value of a collection if that value is more than $1,000.00.

To discuss a possible donation please contact:

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