Saturday, 4 September 2021

Provenance Research Today: Principles, Practice, Problems


A book worth noting, lazy dealers and collectors take note, this means you: Provenance Research Today: Principles, Practice, Problems (edited by Arthur Tompkins)* Paperback :

Covering key aspects of provenance research for the international art market, this accessible publication, co-published with the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), explores a range of themes including challenges and best practice to considerations specific to Nazi looted art and the trade in illicit antiquities.

Provenance research is a crucial component of any art-market transaction. Without a provenance it is often difficult to establish a work’s authenticity, its true value or who has legal title. Whether buying, selling or simply maintaining an artwork in either a private or a public collection, the days when a blind eye could be turned to the history (or the lack of a known history) of a work have long gone. Proper, thorough and effective provenance research is the minimum required and demanded in today’s art world – a world that is increasingly recognizing the need for greater and more effective self-regulation in the face of fakes, forgeries and challenges to ownership or authenticity that are now commonplace.
Table of contents:
Foreword, Sharon Flescher;
Introduction, Arthur Tompkins;
Part I: Provenance Research: History, ethics and complexities;
1: The history and purposes of provenance research, Arthur Tompkins;
2: The ethics of provenance research and the art market, Gareth Fletcher;
3: The challenges of provenance research, Sharon Flescher;
Part II: Methods and resources;
4: Best-practice guidelines, research methods, tools and resources, Marie Stolberg and Andrea Lehmann;
5: Databases in provenance research, Jason Sousa and Ariane Moser;
6: Forensic science and provenance research: Using forensic science to resolve questions of provenance, identity and false attribution, Jennifer Mass;
Part III: Nazi-era looted art;
7: The current state of Nazi-era provenance research, and access to Nazi-era research resources and archives, Marc Masurovsky;
8: The journey home: provenance research under the spotlight, James Radcliffe and Amelie Ebbinghaus;
Part IV: Antiquities;
9: Researching the structure of the illicit antiquities trade, Simon Mackenzie and Donna Yates;
10: From soil to showroom: tracing illicit antiquities across the world, author to be confirmed;
11: The return of the plundered: case studies in the provenance of illicit antiquities, Tess Davis; V: The Provenance Report; 12: The Provenance Report: using it to resolve disputes, Leila Amineddoleh;
Notes; Bibliography; Index

* "Arthur Tompkins is a District Court Judge based in Wellington, New Zealand. He is author of Plundering Beauty (Lund Humphries, 2018) and editor of Art Crime and Its Prevention: A Handbook for Collectors (Lund Humphries, 2016)".

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