Historically and right up to the present, the collections at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona (Barcelona Design Museum) have always been enhanced by major donations that have substantially increased the objects conserved. These are all heritage collections conserved by Barcelona City Council and are, therefore, public property. The Museum curators work to identify those pieces that can enrich the collections and which are, generally speaking, donated free of charge. Donating an object to the Museum is an act of generosity towards the city of Barcelona and society as a whole. Such acts also show appreciation of heritage and support for culture in general.
The Acquisitions Committee (formed by Museum management, curators and experts) evaluates offers made by private individuals, determining whether the pieces concerned would enhance the Museum’s heritage and whether or not they should be accepted, according to their relevance to the collections. Donors should be aware that, when a museum accepts a piece, it also takes on a series of commitments and duties (in terms of both budget and operations). Accepting a donation involves tasks such as registration, preventive conservation, restoration, documentation and communication. This work, which forms part of a museum’s mission, entails continual annual costs. That is why, on behalf of the Museum, the Acquisitions Committee accepts only pieces that are truly outstanding in their excellence and quality.
The mission that museums pursue is that of forming significant collections that can stand as reference points. This goal is achieved both by enhancing and completing existing series and by establishing new collections and typologies. The collections are, and must be, rich in significant works, consistent (so that each piece in a particular series relates to all the others), balanced (so that different periods are well represented), plural (representing all the museum’s fields of interest) and complete (avoiding the existence of gaps). To assess the suitability of a work offered for donation, the Acquisitions Committee has established acquisitions criteria that serve as a basis and reference for evaluation. These criteria provide guidelines based on the principles established for material heritage that prioritise the acquisition of certain objects over others. These criteria require that the proposed piece should be authentic, of interest and of exceptional heritage value. It should maintain the unity of the collection that it is to form part of, stand out for its excellence and comprise a reference in its field. It should be outstanding in its singularity, and not duplicate or repeat an existing object. Moreover, acquisitions should meet all legal requirements (provenance must be demonstrated, authenticated and verified) and respect ethical rules.
Can I make a donation?
If you want to propose a donation to the Museum, please fill in the following form, taking care to include as much information about the object as possible and attaching at least one photograph. The Collections Department conserves the Museum’s heritage and knows what pieces can enrich it. Proposed donations must meet the above requirements and undergo evaluation by the Acquisitions Committee regarding their suitability. Donors should understand that acceptance of gifts does not signify the Museum’s agreement to exhibit or disseminate the object of the donation.