NMAfA will consider requests for loans for temporary exhibitions and longer-term installations of educational significance from nonprofit museums, institutions, and galleries. The museum does not permit loans to individuals or loans for commercial purposes or private pecuniary gain.
Indefinite or permanent loans are not permitted. Loans are approved for a maximum of four years, with a two-year initial approval and two subsequent annual renewals. In general, NMAfA approves loans to traveling exhibitions for up to three (3) venues; requests for additional venues will be determined by the Loan Committee.
Loan requests are processed by the museum’s Loan Committee in accordance with the Collections Management Policy and Outgoing Loan Guidelines. Potential borrowers must comply with NMAfA’s environmental and security standards, special display requirements, and any object-specific cultural restrictions; all are enforced to prevent deterioration and to preserve and protect cultural information. To obtain a full copy of the Outgoing Loan Guidelines, contact Rebecca Myles (email@example.com).
Requests should include:
- scanned, signed letter from a duly authorized party; include information regarding the nature of the request, exhibition dates, venues, and whether a catalogue will be published
- final object(s) list
- current AAM Facilities Report for the venue(s) in question.
Formal loan requests must be received at least nine months in advance of opening. Please allow up to three months for a response from the Loan Committee. It is not necessary for requesting institutions to include their loan agreements with the request; as a policy, NMAfA uses its own outgoing loan agreements.
A loan to a traveling exhibition will be approved and documented as a single loan to the organizing institution; the borrower assumes responsibility for the loan for the full tour of the exhibition, including transmission of all exhibition and object requirements. Requests for which all venues are not confirmed will be reviewed; provisional approval for confirmed venues may be provided, but final approval will be pending review of facility reports from all venues.
Requests for loans to high-ranking government officials must be submitted through the Smithsonian’s Office of Government Relations. Loans to Smithsonian Affiliates must be initiated through the Smithsonian National Affiliates Program and may be governed by additional guidelines that can be found at Smithsonian Affiliations.
GUIDELINES FOR INSTALLATION, EXHIBITION, & PHOTOGRAPHY
NMAfA provides exhibition mounts for three-dimensional objects, which must be used and cannot be modified without permission. The borrower is strongly advised to request mount information so that it may be included in the exhibition design. In special mounting situations, the borrower may be required to build structural walls, inclined planes, or special exhibit furniture in order to accommodate such mounts. Paintings and works on paper will be provided with framing packages suitable for exhibition; textiles and beadwork will be prepared in a manner suitable for the type and condition of the object. Display specifications for time-based media artwork or Installations will be provided.
The Loan Committee determines the need for a courier to accompany and install loans based on a host of issues including object condition or valuation, installation requirements, and exhibition venue. NMAfA typically requires a courier to accompany and install international loans. Details on this requirement will be communicated following the Loan Committee’s approval. All courier costs must be borne by the borrower, and travel requirements must be consistent with GSA travel allotments and Smithsonian policy.
Photography by the borrower is permitted for stewardship purposes; requests for photography suitable for publication should be submitted as soon as possible to the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org). The borrower must provide at least two copies of the catalogue or other major publication(s) associated with the exhibition. NMAfA allows photography by the public for their personal use.
Borrowing institutions will be charged a loan processing fee of $150 per object. Borrowers are also responsible for all costs related to the loan, including but not limited to packing, fine arts shipping, insurance, and courier expenses when applicable. In addition, the cost of conservation treatment and mount making that require the services of a contract conservator must be borne by the borrowing institution. The Smithsonian will insure the object under its fine arts policy and invoice the cost of the premium to the borrower.
NMAfA will make every effort to keep loan costs to a minimum; however, the exact costs cannot be determined until the formal loan request has been received. Estimates of expenses will be provided following the loan review, and borrowers must confirm that they accept the payment obligation in the loan agreement.