Borrowing Objects

Policy on Lending Objects for Temporary Exhibitions

The Yale Center for British Art regularly lends objects from its collection for public educational purposes and to institutions practiced in mounting public exhibitions. All queries relating to loans should be addressed to the Registrar ( | +1 203 432 2833).

Agreement to lend will be confirmed in writing by the Director. The administration of the loan is thereafter governed by the Center’s “Agreement for Museum Loan” through the Registrar.

The conditions of loan in most instances are along the following lines.


The Center will consider insurance coverage through the borrower’s fine arts policy and may require a written copy of the policy or summary of provisions and exclusions contained in the policy in advance of acceptance. Government indemnities are usually accepted provided coverage is similar to key provisions as in standard commercial fine art policies. A certificate of insurance and/or confirmation of government indemnity must be received prior to the release of loan(s). Any lapses in coverage, failure to secure insurance or inaction by the borrower shall not relieve the borrower from liability for loss of damage.


The Center’s Registrar must approve all logistical arrangements for loans in advance. Borrowers’ proposals must be in writing. All directly related loan costs are the responsibility of the borrower. The Center’s transport agent is Brian Waldron, Masterpiece International Ltd. ( | fax +1 617 568 3860). All matters pertaining to crating, transport, and (if assigned) Center couriers’ travel must be referred to our agent.

Conservation Requirements

Due care shall be given to the Center’s loans at all times to prevent loss, theft, damage, or deterioration. Unauthorized or inexperienced persons must not handle loans. There must be adequate protection against the risks of fire and water damage. All works must be secured to the wall or placed in locked museum display cases, invigilated by trained guards, with a comprehensive premises alarm system amounting to continuous security. The borrower must take all reasonable precautions to ensure that loaned works of art are not subject to excessive changes in humidity or temperature, or excessive levels of light. Constant relative humidity of 50% (±5) and temperature of 65°–75°F (18°–22°C) are required. Light levels for prints, drawings, pastels, miniatures, watercolors, and books must never exceed 50 lux (350 lux for oil paintings) nor must they ever be exposed to unfiltered fluorescent illumination or daylight.

Loans must not be unframed or otherwise handled beyond (un)packing, condition checks and installation. All damage or any noted condition problem is to be reported immediately to the Registrar ( | fax +1 203 432 6780). No action by the borrower is to be undertaken without written consent of the Center (except in emergencies).


For international loans, the Yale Center for British Art requires immunity against judicial seizure where a program for such immunity is in place.


The Center reserves the right (for appropriate reasons) to cancel an agreed loan at any time, with written notification by the Center to the borrower.

General Guidelines

The Center assumes that most exhibitions will run for a period of approximately twelve weeks.

Conservation considerations permitting, the Center may lend for just under a year to one venue or to a multi-venue exhibition tour.

Under normal circumstances, the Center requires at least a six-month lead time from the receipt of a loan request to the exhibition’s opening date. Please note, a longer lead time may be necessary if the loan request list is extensive, or if the Center is already heavily committed to other projects.

Loan requests are accepted only in writing and should be directed to the Director, Courtney J. Martin, with a detailed explanation of the theme or purpose of the exhibition, the role of the object(s) being requested within the exhibition, information regarding the academic contributors to the project, and any plans for related exhibition publications.

There are limits to the number of loans from the Paul Mellon Collection, within each classification of object (paintings, sculpture, works on paper), that can be out on loan simultaneously, but these limits are generous.

Agreement to lend is at the discretion of the Center’s loans committee which may require an up-to-date facilities report from the host institutions(s) before a decision is made.