MUSEUM, HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES
Cowan’s regularly partners with museums, historical societies, libraries, colleges, performing arts, foundations, and other institutions to identify, appraise, acquire, and de-accession fine art, antiques, and historically significant objects.
Cowan’s is a proud member of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries’s (AAMG).
The Cowan’s Advantage
Cowan’s team of specialists have decades worth of experience in the museum, historical society, and institutional world highlighted by Founder and Principal Auctioneer Wes Cowan’s 11 years as a curator. Even today, many of our specialists sit on the boards of historical societies and museums, helping them fulfill their missions to educate the public.
This experience means that Cowan’s understands the opportunities and demands facing these institutions on a daily basis and are uniquely positioned in the market to help them achieve their collecting and organizational goals.
With experts in the fields of American Indian art, American History, books and manuscripts, decorative art, fine art, fine jewelry and timepieces, historic firearms and militaria, modern art, and modern ceramics there are very few objects Cowan’s can’t assist with.
A Full-Service Consultant
While Cowan’s is well known for its success auctioning off de-accessioned property for record-breaking prices, it provides numerous other services for museums, historical societies, and institutions. We frequently assist institutions with:
- Adding to collections
- Identifying, cataloging, and researching items
- Private Treaty Sales
- Donation Appraisals
- Appraisals for insurance and market-level valuation
- Facilitating loans of Private Collections
- Lectures and member events
Thoroughness with Discretion
We know how sensitive decisions around adding to or de-accessioning a collection can be. Above all else, Cowan’s values your anonymity and no matter what service we’re providing for you, we operate with the utmost discretion.
A History of Success
Throughout our history, Cowan’s has handled some of the rarest, most valuable pieces in the world. Whether it’s a painting by French master William Adolphe Bouguereau feared lost for over a century (sold for $1,102,500 in 2016), or the tomahawk carried by Meriwether Lewis during his famed expedition to find the Northwest Passage (sold for $1,000,000 in 2015), Cowan’s has a history of finding the right buyer to maximize the value realized by our consignors.
Cowan’s has had the privilege of working with many fine museums and institutions, including: