Researching your art

The Birmingham Museum of Art cannot evaluate or appraise works of art. However, there are many great resources for researching on your own or for seeking an official appraisal.

Getting started:

The Smithsonian American Art Museum website has brought together many useful tips and resources on topics like finding the value of your art, discovering its history, and how to care for it. Click here to read more: http://americanart.si.edu/research/tools/art/ 

Researching locally:

Located on the first floor of the Museum, the Hanson Library is one of the most comprehensive art research libraries in the southeastern United States. The Library is open by appointment only. Please contact library@artsbma.org to make your appointment today. You may view the catalog here: http://bma.bywatersolutions.com/

The Mervyn H. Sterne Library is the main research library at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has an extensive collection of items that support teaching and researching in the arts and humanities. The Sterne library is open to the public. Visit the Sterne Library website for information about any of its services and facilities or call Reference Services, 205-934-6364, or User Services, 205-934-4338.

Appraisals:

The American Association of Museums and the Internal Revenue Service prohibit the Museum from providing monetary valuations or appraisals. Below is a partial list of appraisal organizations that may be of assistance to you. This list should not be considered an endorsement by the Museum of the abilities or qualifications of these organizations.

See Publication #561, Determining the Value of Donated Property, at www.irs.gov, for information on the Internal Revenue Service’s appraisal requirements for non-profit gifts.

Click here to view a list of appraisers.

Caring for Art:

From costumes to furniture, there are many qualified conservators in the Southeast who can clean, repair, and frame your artwork.

Click here to view a list of conservators and framers.

Selling Art:

For selling a large collection of art and antiques, you could go through a large regional auction house, who send in a representative to evaluate the collection beforehand.  There are also a number of estate sale companies in the area.

Click here to view a list of auction and estate sale services.