Putting provenance in perspective:
• Establish sales and exhibition history.
• Confirm previous ownership and current rightful title.
• Document art historical context and importance.
• Address issues of attribution.
Provenance research is an essential component of art ownership. It offers greater clarity and certainty to both buyers and sellers, and serves as an insurance policy against any unexpected surprises waiting to be discovered at an inopportune moment. Research can be used to corroborate or question an artist attribution, clarify ownership title claims, and document art historical context and importance. The downside to provenance research is that the process can be extremely time consuming and unpredictable. Results are not always positive, and oftentimes research arrives at an impasse due to historical lacunae. However if you don’t look, you don’t know, which leaves you open to unforeseen disputes.
It is recommended, particularly for high value, and potentially high value works, to have thorough provenance research executed by an experienced researcher. ArtGenomics offers a combined 40 years of professional research experience, with direct access to world class legal advisory if needed. An initial assessment can be undertaken at a flat fee to determine the total cost of completing the research, the particular aims, along with an estimate of the outcome. This approach helps to avoid unnecessary and unanticipated costs for the client.
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