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Art Curatorial

Questions of Provenance–An Introduction

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect, ca. 1900 (dated 1903). Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Albert T. Friedmann M1950.3. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect, ca. 1900 (dated 1903). Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Albert T. Friedmann M1950.3. Photo credit: John R. Glembin.

One of the important areas of museum research is that of provenance, or the history of ownership.

Why is it important to know who owned an artwork? Well, for a number of reasons.