In 1999, The Oshkosh Public Museum established a Collection Fund from the sale of deaccessioned objects that were deemed out of the scope of the museum’s mission. The fund is now supported by private donations and is earmarked for conservation or acquisition only (less than $1,000 has been spent on acquisition to date).
The fund has enabled the museum to undertake several projects that otherwise would have been too burdensome on the budget. For example, in 2001, Foot of Ceape Street, an 1856 oil on canvas by Oshkosh artist Sophia Russell and the earliest known depiction of an Oshkosh scene, was repaired and cleaned with earnings from the Collection Fund. Campaigning for the fund has helped the Oshkosh Public Museum bring awareness to its community of the museum’s responsibility for and commitment to collections care.