Collecting works of art is one of the most basic undertakings of an art museum. Moreover, what the museum collects strongly determines its overall character and influence in the art community at large. As a consequence, the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art is founded upon the principles of ethical art collecting and stewardship. The Museum recognizes that it holds for posterity a significant portion of our cultural wealth.
The Morris Graves Museum of Art is dedicated to the arts and artists of the Pacific Northwest with the highest priority given to the works of our patron artist, Morris Graves. Emphasis is placed on collecting art which builds on the evolving strengths of the collection and which also have a significant potential for long-term usefulness. It is understood that every acquisition—even donated art—represents a very real financial obligation to the museum. The Humboldt Arts Council Board of Directors and Staff have begun the large undertaking of upgrading the technology and tools for documenting and preserving the works in our permanent collection. The process includes thorough researching and cataloging in a digital database along with professionally photographing each work of art for publicity, identification and educational purposes. Works are evaluated and treated for preventative conservation and restoration as needed.
The Humboldt Arts Council’s Permanent Art Collection was created in 1996 by the Council’s first President, Dr. Richard Anderson, with the purpose of publicly displaying original works of art in Humboldt County schools to give children the opportunity to “live with art”.
The Permanent Collection continued to grow during the residency of the Council in the Humboldt Cultural Center at 422 First Street in Old Town Eureka, and in 1991, the Permanent Collection doubled in number with the donation of over one hundred works of art from the personal collection of well known artist and patron Morris Graves.
Today the Humboldt Arts Council’s Permanent Collection is housed in the Morris Graves Museum of Art and is being conserved under the direction of Jemima Harr, Museum Director/Curator.