Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions


Most of the 2,600+ objects in our permanent collection were received as donations or bequests through planned giving. Most are solicited, but some come unsolicited from a variety of sources including University alumni, local collectors, artists and dealers. Solicited gifts are specific artworks that we ask people if they would consider gifting to the museum – these are objects that we know will fit into our collecting goals and plans. Some of these sources include Museum Exchange, artist foundations and estates, living artists, and collectors with whom we have close relationships. Some objects were purchased by the museum using donated funds, while others were already part of Fairfield University at the time the museum opened in 2010. The Credit Line field on each object entry provides information on how that object entered the museum’s collection.

Provenance describes the entire chain of ownership of an object from its creation until the present day. Where possible, we include this information in the Provenance field on each object’s collections entry page. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the individual “links” in this chain is often limited. If you don’t see any provenance information listed on an object’s entry page, we likely do not know who owned the object prior to the individual identified in the Credit Line (the person who donated or sold the object to the museum). If a donor has requested their name not be used publicly, they will appear as “Anonymous” in the Provenance field.

We are always looking for new information on the provenance of the objects in our collection! Please contact Museum Registrar Megan Paqua ( if you have any additional information about one of our objects.

In many cases, we don’t have enough space to display many of the pieces in our collection. Other types of objects are too fragile to be on constant display. Works on paper, like prints and drawings, are extremely susceptible to light exposure, so it’s difficult to keep them hanging on the wall for long periods. Visitors to the Bellarmine Hall Galleries will find a rotating selection of our works on paper collection in the prints cabinet.

We also welcome researchers to use the collection! If you would like to schedule a research appointment , please contact Museum Registrar Megan Paqua (

Every object in the museum’s collection has a unique identifier called an Accession Number, which helps us keep track of the objects in our care. Our accession numbers have three parts: a four-digit year, a two-digit sequential number that follows that year’s acquisitions, and another two-digit number that identifies objects that were part of the same acquisition. For example, 2017.02.01, 2017.02.02, and 2017.02.03 all entered the museum’s collection in 2017 as part of the museum’s second acquisition that year.

Our collections database is always a work in progress! Please let us know if you see incorrect information or other errors by contacting Museum Registrar Megan Paqua (

Please contact Executive Director Carey Weber (

Unfortunately, the museum cannot provide appraisals or conservation advice. Please use the resources below to locate a professional in your area.

Appraisers Association of America
386 Park Avenue South, Suite 2000
New York NY 10016

The American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
1717 K Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036-5346
202-452-9328 (fax)

Many of images of works in FUAM’s collection are believed to be in the public domain and can be downloaded and used for free.

If an image of a work is not currently available under open access, it is due to one of the following reasons:

  • The work is still under copyright or the copyright status is currently unknown
  • The work is not owned by FUAM
  • Additional restrictions have been placed on the image by the artist or donor

For questions or concerns regarding image copyright, please contact the museum registrar with the accession number of the work in question in your email.

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