The vast majority of works in the Gottfried Keller Foundation's collection are deposited with Swiss museums of art and history. A few are kept at the locations for which they were originally created. Currently, some 110 museums and institutions in 23 cantons hold works on loan from the Gottfried Keller Foundation.
The Gottfried Keller Foundation Commission decides where each loaned work is to be placed. The institutions that are to house them must meet the following preconditions:
- The institution must be by and large publicly funded;
- it must house an important collection that is open to the public and maintained in line with high conservational standards;
- the work loaned must constitute an important addition to the existing collection or an existing context;
- the institution must comply fully with the International Council of Museums' Ethical Guidelines for Museums as well as the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art of 1998.
In exceptional cases, the Commission can consider institutions with lower conservational standards if the loan is justified by the special function or history of the institution, as in the case of monasteries or churches, for example. The professional conservation of the work or works by a third party must nevertheless be assured in such instances. The terms of the loan shall be governed by loan agreements between the Federal Art Collections and the institutions receiving them.