13 February 2015

Provenance research workshop in New York City, April 16-17, April 23-24, April 30-May 1, 2015

by Marc Masurovsky

Should it be viewed as a "miracle"? Not really.

How hard is it to organize an event such as a provenance research workshop?

Make the decision to do so.

Find a venue.

Find a host.

Design the program.

Finalize it.  And you're on your way.

The key to all this is to have the will to do so. Not that many people do not have the will to do so.

But the discussion around provenance research has been so contaminated and is so fraught with political and ideological, read partisan, undertones, that even the overtones are tainted and do not sound right.

In an effort to take the politics out of the discussion on provenance research, the purpose of this workshop is to provenance where it belongs---in history, law and ethics.

Researching a provenance is not God's work, nor is it a recipe for cracking time travel. It is simply geared to help us understand the history of ownership of objects.

The key to research, ssshhhh!, is to keep on asking questions until you are completely and entirely satisfied with the answers to your questions.

You are not going to get all the answers that you want and need, especially with works on paper, decorative objects and other assorted objects which have not attracted the attention of art historians and other experts. But if you come to the workshop, you will be able to clarify how best to handle these incomplete "provenances."

Ok. Enough said.

Here is the official announcement. We hope to see you in New York City at some point in the second half of April 2015.

The application link is here