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      Donating to PEM’s Collection

      Thank you for your interest in donating to PEM. Through the generosity of individuals and corporations, donations help to fill gaps in the collection and fulfill the museum’s mission to engage all those who visit.

      Kendi (pouring vessel), 1675–1700 Artists in Arita, Japan. Porcelain, h. 7 1 ⁄2 in. (19.1 cm). Museum purchase, made possible by an anonymous donor, 1997 (AE85435).

      Donating an object to PEM

      If you would like to offer an item for donation, please email for consideration. If the offer is recommended for donation, you will be contacted by museum staff.

      If you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss, please contact us at

      Collection Donation FAQs

      The Peabody Essex Museum does not provide appraisals for donations. Professional licensed appraisers can be found through the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America. Learn more here.

      It is a conflict of interest for PEM to provide values for objects the museum might acquire, and as a qualified charitable organization we are prohibited by the IRS from making determinations of fair market value. As the owner of the object, you must obtain a statement of value from a qualified appraiser.

      The Peabody Essex Museum is a qualified charitable organization and your donation is generally tax-deductible. Please note that in many cases you may only claim the donation for tax purposes if you have obtained a registered appraisal. The donor must file Form 1040 and may also be required to submit Form 8283. To ensure that you receive the maximum tax benefit, it is recommended that you consult with your own accountant, attorney and/or the IRS. You may also consult IRS Publication No. 526, “Charitable Contributions,” and Publication No. 561, “Determining the Value of Donated Property.”

      The museum cannot return accessioned donations. Once the donation is offered, approved and physically in the possession of the museum, the title of the object is considered to have transferred to PEM, regardless of whether the donor has signed a deed of gift.

      Taking an object into our collection is a multi-step process involving several departments. As a nonprofit organization, it is important that we follow certain procedures to comply with applicable laws.

      In most cases, our curators can tell from your photographs and description whether an object is appropriate for our collection. To ensure we are adequately prepared to accept and handle your object, we ask that it be brought in only after a determination has been made. In certain, rare cases, we might ask to see the object physically prior to making a determination, and in this case the object(s) would be treated as a loan until the determination has been made.

      The museum does not accept donations with restrictions. We are committed to changing the objects in our galleries frequently, and we cannot promise when, or for how long, your object will be on display.

      Yes! To make a financial contribution to support the collection, please contact

      We will try to recommend other institutions and provide contact information.