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A view into BIMA@5, selections from the Permanent Art Collection.

BIMA’s (slowly) Growing Permanent Art Collection

By Greg Robinson, Chief Curator

At the heart of BIMA is the Permanent Art Collection (PAC). The PAC is a critical part of our mission as a collecting art museum. BIMA’s art collection includes both promised and realized gifts of contemporary art and craft—featuring artists from the Puget Sound Region. We include our art collection in our exhibition rotations, and also offer loans from the PAC to museums, libraries, and other qualified institutions nationally.

The PAC includes various media such as painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, wood, artist’s books, fiber, and jewelry art. We collect works by artists at all stages of their careers. We do not have an acquisitions fund to purchase art. Instead, we rely on compelling donations from private collections, estates, galleries, and artists.

BIMA is collecting slowly and deliberately. There is a formal process, which begins with inquiries to the Chief Curator (see below). All inquiries are logged, and we strive to respond in a timely manner. However, the review and decision-making process can often take several months or longer. We will try to expedite the process as feasible.

The review process includes initial screening based on BIMA’s collections criteria. It may involve review by the Art Acquisitions and Exhibitions (A&E) Committee, comprised of board, staff, and community members. BIMA’s Board of Directors provides final approval for all art acquisitions.

The main exception to our PAC is the Artist’s Books Collection—these are promised gifts from BIMA’s Founder, Cynthia Sears. This extensive, special collection of artist’s books extends beyond the Puget Sound region, also including work from national and international artists.

In addition to the art collection, we also accept unrestricted gifts of art and other physical assets—to be sold in the secondary market—to benefit BIMA’s museum programs. This, the Museum Assets Program, is a separate effort and is not related to BIMA’s process of collecting art.

For more information about the Permanent Art Collection or the Museum Assets Program, please contact Greg Robinson, Chief Curator, at greg@biartmuseum.org or (206) 451-4001.