Dec 12, 2022

Provenance at American university art museums

 Morning on the Seine, Giverny (Matinée sur la Seine)
MONET AC 1966.48
(no provenance)

 Part of the series on museum websites, provenance and transparency:

this post looks at the availability of provenance information on artworks at:

  • University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst

  • Historic Deerfield and the Hampshire College Art Gallery


Explore the museum's full collection through the Five College Collections Database, which combines SCMA’s holdings with the collections of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst, Historic Deerfield and the Hampshire College Art Gallery.

Provenance Evaluation: POOR

This evaluation was conducted by live tests on December 5, 2022. Please address corrections or any new information to OAD.

The museums appear to publish Credit Line but not provenance

Test 1: André Derain

Result: 22 records, NO PROVENANCE

Test 2: Cranach the Elder

Result: 5 records, NO PROVENANCE

Test 3: Jean François Millet

Result: 35 records, NO PROVENANCE

Test : Claude Monet

Result: 4 records, NO PROVENANCE


Even though the museums list about 270 artworks on the Nazi-era Provenance internet portal, they do not appear to publish provenance for these artworks identified as having gaps 1933-1945

There is an advanced search option but it does not include provenance

Advanced Search

Use the Advanced Search feature to refine search results. Select the collection you would like to search, enter text in one or more fields, and press the "Search" button at the bottom of the page to submit your request.

Search fields are automatically inclusive, so when you search for a term the results will include all of the variations that exist within the collection you have selected. 
Example: Robert returns results for Motherwell, RobertMatta Echaurren, Roberto; and Robertson, William.

Object Number:1875 | 1970.19b | 1954:68-45
Maker:Adams, Ansel | Renoir | Fran%
Maker Culture:Chinese | French | Yoruba
Object Title:Yosemite Valley | teapot | nude
Object Type:print | coin | clothing | sculpture
Place Made:England | Milan | Ohio | Africa
Materials:silver | acrylic | etching | wool
Tags:carriages | environmentalism | interiors
Description:landscape | woman | geometric
Credit Line:purchase | loan | Smith | bequest
Narrative Inscription:initials | numbered | signed
Date Made:17th century | ca. 1820 | 1974
Date Range: to 1900 to 1950 | -400 to -100

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