SHATTERED PROMISES: THE ETHICS OF BREAKING DONOR RESTRICTIONS
This paper explores the existing issues surrounding acceptance of restricted gifts and discusses the ethics and ramifications for breaking donor stipulations. Starting with the historical context of why museums need donors, it follows the history of gifts to art museums in America. It then studies the implications that breaking agreements can have on the organizations. Using case studies and examples from twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the ethics are approached from situations such as the safety and accessibility of the art, the mission of the organization and the survival of the museum.