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Art Policy Page One

Denver Public Library Art Collection Policy


This policy is a guide for the Library Staff and Board Members to use in the selection of new art for our collection.  These guidelines will also determine when and how art is withdrawn from the Library. Furthermore, it serves as a source of information for the public about the principles and the considerations involved in selecting art for the Denver Public Library, lending artwork to Library patrons and replacement responsibility in case of damaged or lost pieces.



1.      Artwork is selected annually from the Denver Public Library’s Dr. E.H. Stumme Art Show.

2.      The Denver Public Library reserves the right to accept or reject any artwork presented as an entry to the show.

3.      A preset amount for spending will be determined.

4.       Staff and Board Members can view the artwork and vote on 2 or 3 purchases. Each art piece that is for sale will have a monetary value determined by the individual artist.

5.      After the Art Show, the votes are counted and the most popular pieces will be recognized as possible purchases.

6.      The Library Director will ultimately choose the best pieces in accordance with the quality of artwork and the amount preset for spending. Special consideration is given to the possibility of Library lending to our patrons.

7.      The Board Members are made aware of the individual purchases, with each monetary value disclosed.

8.      After the chosen artwork is recognized, each artist is contacted with a request for purchase. The procedure is done by a phone call from the Library Director. A payment to the artist is made through the mail.

9.      After purchase, the artwork is the sole property of the Denver Public Library, the use of which is determined by Library staff and Board Members exclusively.

10. A photograph of each piece of artwork is taken and added to the Library Artwork Collection photo album, with the artwork’s title, the artist’s name and the purchase price along with a Library catalogue number.

11.    The artwork is catalogued into the Library collection and barcoded for checkout. A tag is attached to the back of the artwork identifying the title of the artwork, the individual artist and the purchase amount.

12.  Patrons wishing to checkout artwork must have an active Denver Public Library library card. Checkout is for two months.

13. Library patrons who are new to the Denver Public Library and have never checked out artwork are required to sign an Art Work Release Form.

14.  Responsibility in case of damaged or lost pieces is solely that of the patron and would be equal to the replacement cost (i.e. purchase price) of the artwork.



1.      Artwork is periodically withdrawn from the Denver Public Library art collection when it is deemed necessary due to disrepair, unpopularity, or lack of shelf space.

2.      The complete collection of artwork is reviewed by the Library Director and Assistant Director annually to determine the condition of each art piece and the availability of shelf space.

3.      When is it recognized that certain pieces of artwork no longer contribute to the collection as a whole, they are removed from library shelving.

4.      Because the artwork is the sole property of the Denver Public Library, the Library is not required to contact the artist when his/her artwork is removed from the collection.

5.      If and when the Library Director and Board members decide to have a Silent Auction to sell the removed artwork, a predetermined starting bid for each piece is chosen.