The history of ownership, or provenance, of works of art has always been an integral part of scholarship at the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Museum scrutinizes the provenance of every work that enters the collection. The Museum also continually researches the works already in its collection. Provenance research can be lengthy, complex, and difficult to confirm in every detail. Research involves reviewing Museum object files and archives and examining the works for inscriptions, labels, and marks. In addition, archival materials such as collector and dealer records often need to be located and consulted.
Following the guidelines set forth by the American Association of Museums (AAM) in April 2001, the European Provenance Disclosure Project identifies and provides up-to-date information on all European paintings in the Museum’s collection that may have been purchased, sold, or created during the Nazi era. From the time they came into power in 1933 through the end of World War II in 1945, the Nazis conducted a massive confiscation of art and cultural property throughout Europe. In the post-war years, many works were returned to their rightful owners or heirs, but others had already entered new collections by way of the international art market. In recent years, along with museums around the world, the Saint Louis Art Museum has strengthened its efforts to confirm, expand, and clarify the history of ownership for these works.
The Saint Louis Art Museum thanks the galleries, museums, auction houses, dealers, archives, and individuals who have assisted with this research. Every piece of information is a valuable contribution to the history of a work of art.
The Museum welcomes additional information and invites inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.