Frequently Asked Questions: F.A.Q.
NOTE: The staff of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is prohibited by museum policy from providing appraisals of any object. The listings here do not constitute an endorsement of these businesses, agencies, or individuals on the part of any person, department, or museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Persons seeking appraisals or conservation should do additional research. The list is not intended to be comprehensive or exclusive.
The Whitney Western Art Museum staff answers these frequently asked questions about researching works of art, donating art, and other art-related topics.
Q: What can you tell me about my work of art?
A: The Whitney Western Art Museum receives many questions from private collectors asking for information about works of art that they own, or about the works of a particular artist. Although it is not within the scope of our public mission to do extensive research for private individuals, we encourage the understanding and appreciation of western art by serving as a research resource, responding to specific inquiries and pointing individuals to other sources for information, as our resources and time permit. We have prepared bibliographies on some artists. Often, individuals ask about a specific work of art, but provide very limited information about the work, which makes it difficult for our museum or other sources to respond. We have prepared Guidelines for Documenting Works of Art. Private collectors will increase their own knowledge and be in a stronger position to obtain advice by documenting their works of art as suggested.
AskART is a web-based resource that provides auction records and information on many artists. Click here to visit AskART.
Q: What is my work of art worth?
A: Staff members of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West are prohibited by museum policy from providing appraisals. We do not offer opinions on financial value. Researching financial value or obtaining an official appraisal is the private collector’s responsibility. Sometimes, Whitney Museum staff members might be able to point private collectors to methods of researching financial value. Organizations of appraisers can be consulted. Here is a list of suggested appraisers of fine art. Here is a list of suggested appraisers of Native American objects.
Q: I want to sell my work of art. Will you buy it or tell me how to sell it?
A: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is always interested in improving its collections, but realistically, we are not often in a position to purchase works of art. We have extremely limited funds for acquisitions, and we have institutionally-defined priorities. If you would like to provide information and imagery on a work of art that you wish to sell, we will review your material in reference to our collections priorities and as part of our efforts to be informed about western American art. We can sometimes offer guidance in methods of researching the western art scene, but we are not able to advise individuals on the sale of their private property.
Q: I would like to donate my work of art to your museum. What would I need to do?
A: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is very grateful to the many people who have helped to build our collections through donations. We continue to develop our holdings through generous gifts. Donating a work of art is a noble action. Our process involves a review to make certain that a possible acquisition would be appropriate for our collections, that we would be able to use and care for it, and that we address any donor concerns. We would ask collectors to contact us; curatorial staff will respond so that we can discuss any concerns that the potential donor might have and how the work might fit in the museum’s collections.
Q: My work of art is in need of repair or stabilization. How do I find a conservator?
A: Finding the right Conservator can be a daunting task. The Conservation staff at the Center of the West are happy to help with the search. Here is a document to help you find a conservator.
A note about the Frederic Remington Examination Process…
The Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Center of the West) will no longer host the annual Frederic Remington Examinations, effective December 2019. The process was coordinated to advance scholarship, offer connoisseurship services, and assess candidates for inclusion in the Frederic Remington catalogue raisonné, and was administered by a four-member committee of Remington scholars including Peter H. Hassrick, former Director Emeritus & Senior Scholar, Buffalo Bill Center of the West. With Dr. Hassrick’s passing in October 2019, and after thoughtful consideration, the Center of the West has elected to discontinue the examination process, though it will continue to maintain the online Frederic Remington catalogue raisonné.
The contacts listed below comprise of Remington appraisers and gallerists who deal with Remington art. The list is not comprehensive or exclusive. The list does not constitute an endorsement by the Center of the West or any staff member.
Gerald Peters Gallery
24 E. 78th St.
New York, NY 10075
Cameron Shay, James Graham & Sons
34 East 67th Street
New York, NY 10065
Michael Frost, J.N. Bartfield Galleries
60 West 55th Street, 5th floor
New York, NY 10019
Tyler Mongerson, Mongerson Gallery
2251 W Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612