World War II–Era Provenance Research
Research on provenance (the history of ownership of an object) is an ongoing function of curatorial research at The Frick Collection. It is our objective to trace the history of an object's ownership from the time it was made until it came into the Collection.
Guidelines set forth by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States established the key dates for research as those works that changed hands in continental Europe between 1933 and 1945.
The majority of The Frick Collection's holdings were acquired before 1933. After the guidelines were issued, The Frick Collection intensified its efforts to determine the provenance for the period 1933–45 for paintings and sculpture in its collection that could have been in continental Europe between those dates (Piero della Francesca, St. John the Evangelist, François Boucher, A Lady on Her Day Bed, Jacob van Ruisdael, Landscape with a Footbridge, François-Hubert Drouais, The Comte and Chevalier de Choiseul as Savoyards, and Gentile da Fabriano, Madonna and Child, with Saints Lawrence and Julian). Provenance for the majority of the works of art in The Frick Collection were thoroughly researched at the time of their publication in our comprehensive catalogue (volumes I through IX published between 1968 and 2003). This information is being entered on our Web site as time allows (collections.frick.org). In certain instances this history has changed since the time of publication. Research on the history of ownership is a continuing process and curatorial files are updated and changed as new information becomes available. As information related to provenance is updated we will provide it to the public through this Web site and on our collections management database at collections.frick.org.
If you have information or questions, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Office of the Chief Curator
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
In the next phase, the provenance of works of art in other media (decorative arts, works on paper) will be reviewed.