Professional Guidelines

Introduction

Ethical standards and professional guidelines are codes of behavior that evolve over time and represent a consensus of opinion in an organization or association about appropriate actions to take under particular circumstances. They are generalized principles and cannot enumerate every eventuality that might occur. Moreover, they are rarely legally binding, or even enforceable by the group. But they serve an important function: to articulate current norms and expected standards of behavior. Below is a list of guidelines enacted by various professional arts groups (in alphabetical order), primarily regarding the collecting, acquisition, and ownership of art objects, including objects that may have been looted during the Nazi era, or antiquities that may have been looted from archaeological sites or been exported from their countries of origin in contravention of patrimony or other laws. Clicking on the links leads to the full text of the guidelines. IFAR will update and expand this list, as needed.



American Alliance of Museums (formerly American Association of Museums) (AAM)

Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era (1999, amended 2001)


American Alliance of Museums (formerly American Association of Museums) (AAM)

Standards Regarding Archaeological Material and Ancient Art (2008)


American Alliance of Museums (formerly American Association of Museums) (AAM)

Code of Ethics for Museums (last amended in 2000)


Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association (ATADA)

Bylaws of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association, Articles X and XI (last amended 2014)


Appraisers Association of America

Code of Ethics (as revised 2013)


Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

Code of Ethics (last amended 2016)


Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA)

Code of Ethics and Professional Practices


Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

Code of Ethics (last amended 2011)


Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

Report of the AAMD Task Force on the Spoliation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era (1933-1945) (1998, with 2001 addendum)


Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

New Report on Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art Issued by Association of Art Museum Directors (2008)


Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

Art Museums and the Identification and Restitution of Works Stolen by the Nazis (2007) - Position Paper (Not Guidelines)


Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

Guidelines on the Acquisition of Archaeological Material and Ancient Art (as revised 2013)


British Art Market Federation (BAMF)

Principles of Conduct of the UK Art Market (2000)


College Art Association (CAA)

CAA Statement on the Importance of Documenting the Historical Context of Objects and Sites (2004)


College Art Association (CAA)

Standards for the Practice of Art History (Code of Ethics for Art Historians) (as revised 2014)


Confederation international des negociants en oeuvres d'art (CINOA)

Code of Ethics (last amended 2015)


Indianapolis Museum of Art

Moratorium on Acquisition of Archaeological Objects Lacking Adequate Provenance (2007)


International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA)

Code of Ethics and Practice; Due Diligence Guidelines (2015)


International Council of Museums (ICOM)

ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums (as revised 2004)


J. Paul Getty Museum

Acquisitions Policy for the J. Paul Getty Museum (2006)


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Collections Management Policy (last revised 2015)


Museums Association (MA), United Kingdom

Code of Ethics (last updated 2015)


Society for American Archaeology (SAA)

Principles of Archaeological Ethics (1996)


World Archaeological Congress (WAC)

First Code of Ethics (1990)


World Archaeological Congress (WAC)

WAC Accord on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (2014)



Additional Comments

In addition to the above guidelines, professional ethics and standards are discussed in many hard-copy publications, particularly those relating to museum governance. An excellent resource is the American Association of Museums' Bookstore, www.aam-us.org/bookstore. See also various books on art law, such as Law, Ethics, and the Visual Arts, 5th edition, by John H. Merryman, Albert E. Elsen, and Stephen K. Urice (Kluwer Law International, 2007), pp. 232-246; 1238-1271, and passim.