"The careful, sound and responsible management of that which is entrusted to a museum's care. Possession of collections incurs legal, social and ethical obligations to provide proper physical storage, management and care for the collections and associated documentation, as well as proper intellectual control. Collections are held in trust of the public and made accessible for the public's benefit. Effective collections stewardship ensures that the objects the museum owns, borrows, holds in its custody and/or uses are available and accessible to present and future generations. A museum's collections are an important means of advancing its mission and serving the public." –American Alliance of Museums
South Dakota Art Museum is a Founding Institutional Member of the Midwest Art Conservation Center. The museum consults with Midwest Art Conservation Center to utilize their expertise and service for various needs, including conservation of artwork. Learn more about Midwest Art Conservation Center.
The South Dakota Art Museum continues to care for the collections in various ways. Past examples include a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant (PAG), which provided funding to preserve and improve access to the museum's archives; the Institute for Museum and Library Services awarded the museum an American Heritage Preservation grant, providing funding to preserve and improve access to the museums' archives; renovated the HVAC system to provide greater efficiency, control and reliability for the building; initiated a program to create high-resolution digital files of all the works on paper collections; conducted an evaluation of Nazi-era works in the collections; Heritage Preservation and Institute for Museum and Library Services awarded the museum a Re-CAP Assessment to identify and prioritize collection needs, develop a revised long-range preservation plan and disaster response plan.