Date of Award

Summer 8-17-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Petra Chu, Ph.D.


Fisk University, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, university museum, donor intent


This study of the travails of the Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Modern Art at Fisk University reveals the unique issues facing college and university museums and galleries, as they balance their responsibility to their donors, the public and their parent institution. In this thesis, I will argue that Fisk University made choices that directly violated generally accepted museum ethics, while simultaneously finding creative solutions to its parent institution’s financial stability and honor charitable intentions. I will examine the legal process of breaching donor restrictions, dissect the role and position of the university museum, and analyze the precedent the Fisk case has set for the museum community.