Unfortunately, the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum is unable to provide appraisals for identification purposes, donations to the Museum’s collection, general inquiries, or any other purpose.   There are several reasons for this. 

Museums are listed as “interested parties” by the Internal Revenue Service and an appraisal prepared by them is subject to question.  A Museum could be accused of inflating an appraisal to secure a donation, thus compromising its ethics. 

In addition, the MacNider Museum, as a public entity, has a very limited budget and staff.  Using public resources (staff) for personal gain, such as appraisals for tax deductions or research purposes is not allowed.

Lastly, art is a very vast subject and the staff of the MacNider Museum, while very knowledgeable, do not have expertise in every area of art.  Staff may not have important knowledge or resources to properly appraise the item.

It is for these reasons that the Museum profession and our accrediting body has determined that Museums cannot ethically appraise artwork. 

Reputable appraisers can be found by searching online.  Check out the website member listings of the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, or the Appraisers Association of America.

Consumer Reports has a good article listing many resources for appraisals, along with other tips at:

Also see for more information of tax deductions:
IRS Publications dealing with donations