Jan 16, 2024

Tracking Looted Art with Knowledge Graphs: A Wikidata Case Study

Art looting networks operate on many levels, many of them hidden, over long periods of time. The native graph function of Wikidata enhanced by federated queries can help track them.

April 9, 2022, Laurel Zuckerman

Graphs and Networks in the Humanities 2022 Technologies, Models, Analyses, and Visualizations

6th International Conference, 3. – 4. February 2022, Online

The 6th international conference on Graphs and Networks in the Humanities took place from Thursday 3. February to Friday 4. February 2022 online, co-organized by scholars from the Huygens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), the Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz, Vienna University, University of Leipzig, and the University Ca’ Foscari Venice

Paper: Tracking Looted Art with Graphs: A Case Study 

See also:

The Error is the Message: Extracting Insights from Deceptive Data for Nazi looted art


The Knowledge Graph Conference, 2023



Oct 23, 2023

Contextual Information for Nazi-era Provenance Research - Wikidata Sparql Query

Holocaust victim, art looting Red Flag name, Nazi party member, or persecuted person?

Art historians, provenance researchers, museum curators, scholars of the Holocaust and the art market,

If you would like to know whether a person in a provenance is a Holocaust victim, a looting Red Flag name, a Nazi party member, or a persecuted person, here is a Sparql query in Wikidata that can help:

                                                       (collectors, dealers)

Clicking on the link above runs a Wikidata Sparql query.

The link below is more complete but runs slower...


(collectors, dealers, curators, art historians)

Oct 4, 2023

Comparing 1961 and May 30 2019 provenances for Manet's La Sultane in the Bührle collection

How many times did the provenance change?
Word/Phrase 1961 Catalogue Count 2019 Bürhle website Count
dealer 1 0
silberberg 1 9
? 0 2
art market 0 1
by 0 7
rosenberg 0 5
might 0 1
until 0 1
no documents 0 1
was never really and completely owned by Silberberg 0 1

Edouard Manet

Young Woman in Oriental Garb

ca. 1871

Sep 28, 2023

Lady with a Fan, Lady with a False Provenance


Why did the National Gallery of Victoria originally list a "Dr. Grunden of Hamburg" in the provenance of this 17th century painting by Gerard ter Borch, Lady with a Fan

When Max Emden's grandson, Juan Carlos Emden, found, in Australia, the painting that had belonged to his family before Hitler came to power, he knew the provenance was wrong.

Sep 12, 2023

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: no provenances for Picasso?

How can a major American museum fail to publish provenance information for European artworks created before 1933?
PhotoShort TitleDateAccNumCredit LineProvenance
Pedestal Table (Translation)192247.10.80T. Catesby Jones CollectionNO PROVENANCE
The Banjo Player (Primary Title)192147.10.81T. Catesby Jones CollectionNO PROVENANCE
The Horse (Primary Title)190185.795Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul MellonNO PROVENANCE
Head of a Peasant Woman (Former Title)190647.10.78T. Catesby Jones CollectionNO PROVENANCE
Still Life (Wineglass and Newspaper) (Primary Title)ca. 1913–447.10.83T. Catesby Jones CollectionNO PROVENANCE
Fool on Horseback (Former Title)190584.2Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul MellonNO PROVENANCE
Landscape (Translation)190747.10.79T. Catesby Jones CollectionNO PROVENANCE