Shared Stewardship and Ethical Returns Statement of Purpose

The Archives of American Art recognizes the benefit of preserving and making available to the public, with honor and respect, a diverse range of collections, stories, and histories, and the role of archives as collaborative custodians of cultural and historical legacies. AAA is committed to working transparently and in consultation with donors and other stakeholders to consider matters of shared stewardship and the potential return of collections, based on ethical considerations. For more information, please consult the Smithsonian Institution’s Shared Stewardship and Ethical Returns Policy. To submit an inquiry or request regarding ethical returns please email the Office of the Director at