Nancy Karrels Speaks on Provenance in Berlin


Nancy Karrels speaks in the old masters gallery at the Gemäldegalerie at the Provenance Research Exchange Program conference in Berlin, September 27, 2017.
Nancy Karrels speaks about provenance research into the Krannert Art Museum portrait by Frans Hals at the Provenance Research Exchange Program conference in Berlin, September 27, 2017.
Julia Nucci Kelly

Nancy Karrels, curator of Provenance: A Forensic History of Art, gave two talks at the Central Archives in the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin on September 27, 2017.

The first presentation focused on the provenance exhibition at Krannert Art Museum, specifically the reasoning behind presesenting this type of research in exhibition form, the value of educating the public, and various ways in which the Krannert Art Museum team has collaborated to develop public engagement programming on provenance.

The second presentation focused on a specific artwork whose history of ownership Karrels had researched: the 17th century Portrait of Cornelius Guldewagen, Mayor of Haarlem by Frans Hals. For her presentation, Karrels presented with with Dr. Meike Hopp, a provenance researcher at the Central Institute for Art History in Munich and an expert in German Nazi-era art dealers. They discussed the thorny problem of multiples and copies in provenance research—Meike about the difficulty of tracing the provenance of works on paper produced in multiples with slight variations, and Karrels about original paintings, such as the Hals portrait whose documented provenance has been confused with their copies.

According to Karrels, the response to her presentation on Provenance: A Forensic History of Art was enthusiastic. American and German provenance research colleagues were impressed with the content of the exhibition and its associated publication, and there was strong interest in the variety of speakers who would be presenting lectures at the museum.