University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Donate to the Collection

The GMD collection was largely developed through the generosity of individual and corporate donors. These items are now preserved to museum professional standards and form the foundation for students’ object-based learning. If you have personal and family objects that may be appropriate for the collection, please contact Jean McElvain at 612.625.2737 or

The Goldstein Museum of Design is happy to review objects for donation in all collection areas.

GMD prefers:

  • objects in good condition. We do not have an onsite conservator
  • objects with supplemental information such as photographs, place and year of purchase.
    Historical information is especially desired for objects made by hand and/or made with techniques and designs from a specific region of the world
  • objects with unusual or especially innovative construction techniques or material properties
  • objects that are representative of a stylistic era
  • complete ensembles or entire objects versus parts of a whole
  • iconic objects that reflect shifts in thinking or ways of doing things
  • attached designer or manufacturing labels on costume-related objects from after WWII
  • objects that represent designs that are not already in GMD’s current holdings
  • objects that have ‘good design’ quality with careful consideration of cultural and idiosyncratic perceptions of ‘good’

Donation Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do you have a lot of and need less of?

A: GMD has a lot of white 20th century wedding dresses, stockings and hosiery, petticoats, drawers or bloomers, black evening dresses, men’s suits, baptismal gowns, white infant dresses from the late 19th and early 20th century, mid-20th century hats, gloves, baby bonnets, lace samples, and early 20th century white and/or lacy blouses and dresses.


Q: Is there anything specific that you’re looking for?

A: GMD has many collection areas that would benefit from additional depth. The following list represents a sampling of specific objects that GMD is interested in considering.

  • Arts and Crafts era printed textiles and pottery
  • toile de jouy printed textiles
  • textiles attributable to a designer
  • shoes by Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Frye’s, Dansko, Cole Haan, TOMS, Tod’s, Uggs Australia, or other well-known designers or companies
  • mid-century modern flatware
  • iPod with original packaging; Sony Walkman; Sony Discman
  • high-end denim jeans
  • French haute couture and designer apparel

Q: Would you like my wedding dress?

A: GMD is offered many wedding dresses and usually takes only one or two each year. Limited storage space and strong representation from many eras make collecting in this area increasingly selective.


Q: Do you collect fur?

A: No, GMD does not have the cold storage recommended for proper storage of furs. We do take objects with fur trim.


Q: Do you want any design related books?

A: All books donated to GMD are considered non-accessioned gifts. While we do take resource materials, our library is non-circulating and used infrequently by students. It is primarily a staff reference resource for object research.


Q: Do you take examples of dishware?

A: Yes, but not all. We are looking for china and dinnerware that is notable for design or popularity. For example, we would be interested in collecting early melamine dishware, but less likely to collect melamine dishware produced in the last 20 years. Due to space limitations, we are unable to take multiple place settings, but are interested in serving pieces.


Q: Are you interested in home-related items such as toasters, irons, scrub brushes, mixers, Pyrex, CorningWare, or Tupperware?

A: Possibly. Both historic and contemporary versions of objects like this may be of interest, but would be assessed for design quality, condition, and historic value.  









Schlappi Mannequin
Schlappi Mannequin

Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

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