Donating and Selling to the Museum

When a museum accepts art, that art becomes part of what is referred to as the museum's "permanent collection." The Canton Museum of Art collects 19th century and later American works on paper, with a concentration in watercolors and contemporary ceramics, 1950s and forward. The large number of objects already under our care dictates that we follow strict criteria when determining whether to accept new objects. Factors include collecting and programming priorities, the availability of storage, and long-term preservation costs. We also have a long-range plan of artists that we are looking for to fill in gaps and build on the strength of our collection focus.

Acquisition Guidelines

·         The object(s) must be consistent with and relevant to the stated mission, purpose, scope, and activities of the museum. The following criteria are used in determining whether an object should be considered for acquisition:

·         its aesthetic importance;

·         its relevance to the collection;

·         whether it fills a gap in or builds on a strength of the collection;

·         its potential use for research, exhibition, or educational purposes; and

·         the condition of the work such that it can properly be preserved.

·         No object(s) will be considered for acquisition if future care and preservation needs exceed the museum’s resources. Donations that also include financial support for long-term storage and preservation are strongly encouraged.

·         Donors must have clear title to the object(s), and provide verifiable record of authenticity and provenance for all proposed donations.

·         All acquisitions should be outright, unconditional, and irrevocable upon transfer to the museum.

·         Federal law prevents the museum from providing tax advice or appraisal values for donated items. Donors are responsible for appraisals of value.

·         Donations are fully tax deductible within IRS guidelines. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

Thinking of Selling?

If you wish to sell an artwork that you own, we recommend that you contact a gallery or auction house. The museum rarely purchases artwork from private individuals.

Regional Auction Houses:

Aspire Auctions
12730 Larchmere Blvd. 
Cleveland, OH 44120
216-231-5515 ]

Gray's Auctioneers
10717 Detroit Ave. 
Cleveland, OH 44102
216-458-7695 ]

Rachel Davis Fine Arts
1301 W. 79th Street 
Cleveland, OH 44103
216-939-1190 ]

Cowan's Auctions
26801 Miles Rd.
Warrensville, OH 44128
216-292-8300 ]

The museum offers this list of regional auction houses without endorsement. It is up to the party contacting these houses to do their due diligence and research before utilizing them.

Thinking of Donating?

The Canton Museum of Art’s permanent collection continues to grow largely in thanks to generous donors. Any proposed gift that the Curatorial Department wishes to add to the permanent collection must be approved by our Collections Committee in a process that can take weeks or months. The museum is not able to accept unidentified objects or reproductions.

If you would like to donate a work of art to the museum and you believe that your proposed donation meets our guidelines above, please email the Curator of Collections at with the following:

·         Images

·         Artist name

·         Artwork Title

·         Creation date

·         Medium

·         Dimensions

·         Condition

·         Provenance

If you do not know these details, it would be helpful to research the artwork before offering it to the museum. The Canton Museum of Art does not accept unsolicited donations of artwork through the mail or in person. Any unsolicited objects received will be considered abandoned, and the museum reserves the right to dispose of such property as it sees fit.