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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books

Journey to Marquette

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A curator’s visit to see the French town that one of our precious manuscripts was made in. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Photographs, Film, and Video

“We Are All the Same”: A Conversation with Josef Koudelka

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What makes an artist? Questions for the great Czech photographer. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

The Cyrus Cylinder as Design Object

The Cyrus Cylinder / Achaemenid
The British Museum

Why explains the Cyrus Cylinder’s shape? More»

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Posted in Art, Photographs, Film, and Video

Windows Around Us

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A closer look at the windows that frame our world, on social media and IRL. More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

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