Where do you purchase works of art?

We purchase works from a variety of sources including auction houses, exhibitions, commercial art galleries and dealers and the artists themselves.

Who decides what is purchased?

Most acquisitions are submitted for approval to the GAC Advisory Committee, which meets three times a year and also advises on policy and stewardship matters. The Advisory Committee comprises five ex-officio members, five independent members and a chairperson.

Can you authenticate or value my painting?

No. As a non-commercial organisation we are unable to authenticate works of art or offer valuations. If you would like to find out more about a work of art, or its value, you should contact a reputable commercial dealer or auction house.

Can you give advice on conservation?

No. We are not in a position to offer formal conservation advice relating to works of art outside the Collection. To find a reputable conservator and for useful advice, it is best to consult the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation or the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

What is the policy on missing works of art?

The Collection has been in existence since 1898 and for much of that time has operated globally. Keeping track of the Collection is always a top priority, and was a particular challenge before the advent of computerised databases, email and mobile phones. As a result, works of art have occasionally gone missing. For example, a number of works of art were retrospectively recorded as missing following the introduction of robust record keeping in the late 1970s.

There have been instances where works have gone missing or have been reported destroyed as the result of war, acts of terrorism or civil unrest, for example in Tripoli in the spring of 2011.

With works of art in about 370 buildings around the world, the GAC relies on local staff for the day-to-day oversight of the Collection. Works initially reported as missing are often found in another room in the same building at a later date. Known instances of deliberate theft are rare.

Works of art that go missing – for whatever reason – remain on the GAC’s database and we do not give up on the possibility that they will be recovered at some point, unless there is clear evidence that the work has been destroyed.

If an original, unique work of art (i.e. not a print) goes missing then it is reported to the police and registered on relevant databases such as the Art Loss Register.