WWII - Era Provenance Research


The urgency with which museums pursue provenance research – meaning research on the chain of ownership of works of art – has increased in recent years. Since 1997, both the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) have urged American museums to reaffirm their commitment to a series of standards governing provenance research in order to guarantee that they have clear title to the works of art in their care. According to these guidelines museums have been charged with identifying European paintings with incomplete or questionable provenance during the Nazi era, and making this information publicly available. At the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, systematic provenance research was started in 2003, and research results and new findings are posted regularly to the World War II-era Provenance Research Project Database.