Provenance is an artwork’s history of ownership. Information about the provenance of an individual work of art sheds light on its historical, social, and economic context as well as its critical fortunes through time. Knowledge about individual collectors and their collections can provide insights into the history of taste and the habits of collectors, dealers, and the relationships between them.
How to Read a Work’s Provenance Information
Provenance information for a work of art in the museum is listed in chronological order, beginning with the earliest known owner. Life dates of an owner, collector, or dealer, if known, are enclosed in parentheses. A known association of a work of art with a specific dealer, auction house, or agent is indicated. Relationships between owners and methods of transactions are indicated by punctuation. A semicolon is used to indicate that the work passed directly between two owners (including dealers, auction houses, or agents), and a period is used to separate two owners (including dealers, auction houses, or agents) if a direct transfer did not occur or is not known to have occurred. Footnotes are used to document or clarify information.
The term “with” (for example, “with Ambroise Vollard”) is a blanket term that includes the possibility that a work was not owned outright by the dealer, but was simply consigned to them by the owner, in which case the dealer was authorized to transfer ownership.
If you have inquiries or information regarding the provenance of works in the museum’s collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Works
In accordance with the American Alliance of Museums’ Standards Regarding the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era (formerly called Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era) of April 2001, the museum is committed to publishing images and provenance information on this website regarding works of art that were created before 1946 and acquired after 1932, that underwent or could have undergone a change of ownership between 1932 and 1946, and that were, or could have been, in continental Europe between these dates. Inclusion on this list does not imply a history of Nazi misappropriation; rather, it indicates that the object was in Europe during the years 1933–1945 and could have changed hands during this time. As research progresses, new information will be added to the museum’s website until all European works of art meeting the criteria noted above have been identified. The museum welcomes any information that would augment or clarify the provenance of these works, at email@example.com.
View objects available online that fall under these guidelines, arranged alphabetically by artist.