Definition of deaccession in English:



  • Officially remove (an item) from the listed holdings of a library, museum, or art gallery, typically in order to sell it to raise funds.

    • ‘These drawings, which Sargent's sisters had given to the Gorcoran Gallery of Art in 1928, were among ninety drawings that the Gorcoran deaccessioned in 1960.’
    • ‘The deaccessioned works, they explained, were sold privately to collectors, not at public auction.’
    • ‘The National Gallery in London retains the largest holding of his works, including the famous Annunciation, deaccessioned from the Brera in 1820.’
    • ‘The USAF Museum prepared a list that shows thousands of items were deaccessioned during his tenure.’
    • ‘Among her purchases were two royal door panels of Saint Basil and Saint John Chrysostom that had been deaccessioned from the Tretiakov Gallery.’
    • ‘Even museums were obliged to contribute to this effort by deaccessioning part of their icon collections.’
    • ‘One recently discovered gateleg table has the accession number ‘15651LLLJJJ’; however, the researchers are uncertain what museum deaccessioned it.’
    • ‘In the run-up to the mixed-lot sale, Sotheby's held two ‘single owner’ auctions in which 296 works consigned by these two institutions were deaccessioned.’
    • ‘The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has deaccessioned this Portrait of a Courtier by Jan Mostaert after concluding that it was looted by the Nazis.’
    • ‘Considerable excitement, however, was generated by six works being deaccessioned by the Museum of Modern Art to support its acquisitions fund.’
    • ‘Then, in a mini-scandal that same year, the Guggenheim deaccessioned 24 paintings, including a number by Scarlett, Bauer and Rebay, prompting charges that the museum was selling off its history.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, New York's Museum of Modern Art decided to deaccession 1,000 photographs by Eugene Atget, with an estimated value of $20 million.’
    • ‘The cabinet was deaccessioned in 1929, a victim of twentieth-century disdain for the later nineteenth century.’
    • ‘It was acquired by the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, which decided to deaccession it last year.’
    • ‘To help purchase the work, the MFA deaccessioned three related works - two Degas pastels and a Renoir painting - which sold at Sotheby's May auction of Impressionist and Modern Art for a total of $16.2 million.’


  • The disposal of books, works of art, or other items in this way.

    • ‘He denied any link between the auction house's support of ‘Sensation’ and any role it might play in auctioning future Brooklyn deaccessions.’
    • ‘At a time when libraries are more and more strapped for funds, I suppose more deaccessions are inevitable.’
    • ‘This collection numbers approximately 10,000 objects, and is continually expanding by donation, purchase, and deaccession from other institutions.’
    • ‘The Office of the Curator will notify the President of all deaccessions.’
    • ‘‘We're not at this stage, but clearly if we are going to conserve any works then maybe it will be something this council funds through deaccession,’ Mr Laws said.’
    • ‘Professional guidelines set forth by the Association of Art Museum Directors state that museums should use deaccession proceeds solely for acquisitions, not operations.’
    • ‘In the last decade numerous deaccessions have quietly been made in order to raise money for institutional support or facilities maintenance.’
    • ‘The deaccession of photographs provides funds for the museum that allow it to maintain a policy of acquisition through tough financial periods.’
    • ‘The pending deaccession will leave only a handful of minor artworks and decorative objects.’
    • ‘A decision to return has been made in another case (the Benevento Missal), although there will have to be a change in the law to allow deaccession.’
    • ‘A deaccession of over 1,000 paintings, statues and other objects from the Dutch national art collection is getting a good deal of attention.’
    • ‘The secret sale of ‘The Cello Player’ for an undisclosed amount to an undisclosed purchaser is surely a deaccession that was governed by ‘exigencies of the moment’.’
    • ‘The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces the deaccession of 42 artworks from its permanent collection, which will be sold in a public auction at Sotheby's New York this month.’