IFAR Expanded Provenance Research Guide

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) officially announced in May 2017 via the IFAR webpage that they have updated and expanded their online Provenance Research Guide and database. The official announcement can be found at http://www.ifar.org/news_article.php?docid=1494977164.

This resource has proven to be, and will continue to be, an invaluable guide to scholars, curators, collectors, and heirs wishing to pursue provenance and art historical research in any number of categories. The updates include links to newly available digital material, particularly relating to WWII-era provenance, and an expansion of it’s Catalogue RaisonnĂ©s Database to incorporate new features.


The Provenance Research Guide even includes a “how-to” for completing this very specific type of research! This is an outstanding tool for those who are new to the field or are potential claimants who don’t know where to begin. You can get a PDF of the 22 page guide at http://www.ifar.org/provenance_guide.php.

The IFAR has started compiling a multi-database resource for records pertaining to provenance research in all capacities. It is collaborative projects such as this that put a significant dent in provenance research, whether pertaining to WWII-era gaps, dubious pieces, or recent acquisitions of potentially looted cultural material. I hope one day to see more multi-institutional collaborative projects such as a master collections database to ease the process in which claimants and researchers may find works in question (although this is just one of the many benefits of a large, multi-institution, searchable database).

If you haven’t already, check out the IFAR’s webpage and resources! I highly recommended it for anyone wanting to learn more about provenance research. It is full of links to different archives, databases, and publications.

From the website: “IFAR acknowledges the contributions of: Sharon Flescher, Ph.D. and Lisa Duffy-Zeballos, Ph.D. (Project Co-Directors); Victoria Sears Goldman, Ph.D. and Julia May Boddewyn.”

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