An artist recently told me his goal had been to have a work in the Whitney before he was 40. Two decades later, he's dealing with that disappointment. Another expressed that and a little rage. At a recent show, an artist complained that no museum would take her entire oeuvre! She said she needed someone to write a ten million dollar check so she could open her own museum. That the Smithsonian has 200 of her prints is not enough.
These are just examples from the last month of the need for self-historicization. Ego plays a part in being included in a major collection. It serves as a kind of immortality, though in reality, Your work is unlikely to ever be seen and will languish in an off-site warehouse.
The Smithsonian has one of my prints, from a project I participated in decades ago involving a camera that went around the world. It sits in a warehouse in VA. Big deal.
Things have changed in the last 30 years. If one is concerned about these issues, the web's archives are probably the surest way to be remembered - and found.
For me, being remembered in people's minds and hearts is what matters.