Provenance: A Forensic History of Art

s2017_provenance_p4.jpg

Provenance: A Forensic History of Art, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.
Provenance: A Forensic History of Art, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2017.

1960-4-1_p1_2008.jpg

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Christ after the Flagellation, ca. 1670. Oil on canvas. Gift of Ellnora D. Krannert 1960-4-1
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Christ after the Flagellation, ca. 1670. Oil on canvas. Gift of Ellnora D. Krannert 1960-4-1

Exhibition

On view
May 13, 2017 to Dec 8, 2018
Main Level, Kinkead Gallery

This exhibition presents recent research into the World War II-era provenance of the Trees collection at Krannert Art Museum to examine the history of ownership through six of the museum's longest-held paintings.

Exploring themes such as genealogy, documentation, attribution, and the perplexing problem of identifying unfamiliar collectors’ marks, Provenance: A Forensic History of Art displaces the prevalent conception of forensic inquiry as a tool for crime scene investigation and relocates it from the laboratory to the art collection. Etymologically, forensics relate to courts of law: a “forensic” investigation denotes the methodical examination and compilation of evidence for a court or other public forum. Likewise, provenance research is a forensic method employed to reconstruct legal chains of ownership that establish an artwork’s whereabouts from the moment of creation to its present circumstances.

Once customary, this now unsung approach to art history yields rich and nuanced information about the lives of objects—information whose value lies not only in its legal significance, but also its ability to reveal the very personal journeys of artworks through the lives of collectors.

Works included in the exhibition are 15th–19th century paintings by Moretta da Brescia (attributed), Ambrosius Holbein (attributed), Master of the St. Ursula Legend, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Theodule Ribot, and George Romney (after).

Curated by Nancy Karrels, doctoral candidate in Art History
Exhibition based on research supervised by Maureen Warren, curator of European and American Art

Sponsored in part by Francis P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/Art + Design Visitors Series, the Program in Jewish Culture and Society, and Krannert Art Museum

[[1580364000,1621141200]]
Kinkead Pavilion entrance photographed at sunset. Hive, two lighted sculptures, fill the space symmetrically. Each is pink with a conical structure built of stacked inflated orbs with a long braid that reaches ceiling to floor.
  1. Jan 30, 2020 to May 16, 2021
[[1598504400,1625288400]]
Image of a gallery with home furnishings, colored lights, and a painted "Art Studio" sign. Two Black women sit a table beneath the sign to welcome young people to the gallery for studio art days.
  1. Aug 27, 2020 to Jul 3, 2021
[[1601701200,1608703200]]
[[1601701200,1629954000]]
gallery view of entry wall of Art Since 1948 with the exhibition title text and art from the museum's modern and contemporary collection.
  1. Oct 3, 2020 to Aug 26, 2021
[[1601701200,1625288400]]