Provenance Research

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Provenance Research

The history of ownership, or provenance, of a work of art represents one aspect of a complete catalogue record for any object entering a museum's permanent collection. In general, provenance research assists in the evaluation of the history of taste and the study of collecting practices throughout the centuries. Ideally the provenance would document an object's whereabouts from its maker to its present day owner, including all former owners, locations, and sale transactions. However, it is quite common for an object's provenance to have gaps, or periods of time where the provenance information is not known. Lack of information can result from any number of reasons; for example, a previous owner may have desired to be anonymous, or records were never kept.

 

Please feel free to contact us at [email protected], should you have any questions or comments. We hope that the public and other scholars will assist us with this research by providing other documentation pertaining to the history of these works of art.

 

Visit the Mary R. Schiff Library & Archives page for hours and additional information.