Asian Art Provenance:
Asian Art Provenance:

Asian Art Provenance: - PowerPoint Presentation

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Research and data at the FreerSackler Jeffrey Smith Assistant Registrar for Collections Information FreerSackler smithjesiedu 2026330348 21 st Century Digital Provenance Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh Pennsylvania ID: 541427 Download Presentation

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Presentation on theme: "Asian Art Provenance:"— Presentation transcript


Asian Art Provenance:

Research and data at the


Jeffrey Smith

Assistant Registrar for Collections InformationFreer|Sacklersmithje@si.edu | 202-633-0348



–Century Digital ProvenanceCarnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaOctober 14, 2016Slide3




41,313 objects

American artAncient Egyptian artAncient Near Eastern ArtArts of the Islamic WorldBiblical Manuscripts

Chinese artContemporary artEuropean art

Greek and Roman artJapanese art

Korean artSouth Asian and Himalayan artSoutheast Asian artArthur M. Sackler Galleryopened in 1987

Freer Gallery of Art

opened in 1921Slide4


collection highlights

American art of the Aesthetic Movement

James McNeill Whistler

Chinese bronzes, jades, paintings, sculptureIslamic manuscripts

Ancient Near Eastern ArtAsian ceramics

Japanese painting,graphic artsSlide5




Over 160 collections, including:

Charles Lang Freer Paperscorrespondence, diaries, art inventories, voucherscollection level recordsfinding aids

Personal, professional papersarchaeologists, collectors, dealers, and artists


VeverAbel William BahrYatsuhashi Haramuchi FamilyJohn Calvin Ferguson FamilyPhotography and Graphics

Empress Dowager photographs





First coordination with Smithsonian initiatives


Claim received against Chinese Zhou dynasty vessel

2004-2006 First WWII-era research on 204 objects from dealers von der Heydt, C.T. Loo, & Tonying

2007 L. Stein Art Research hired to provide guidance for continuing research

2008 Two researchers hired for further research

on Chinese collectionsAdoption of a standardized format for provenance textGuidelines for expressing variables of custody and ownershipFreer|Sackler provenance research


era research onlySlide7

2008 – present

At the end of the first phase of WWII-era research:

11,934 records identified as WWII-provenance concerns

164 – gap, 95 – no gap, 11,675 – review

pendingSmithsonian funding helps to continue minor research and complete records with unformatted provenance text

David Berg Foundation

funding supports research on key dealers and collectorsand the creation of biographies

Provenance data goes online, resource pages createdOngoing review of new acquisitions, “on hold” recordsFreer|Sackler provenance research


& general collections provenanceSlide8


Partnership with the Carnegie Museum of Art and Yale Center for British Art to establish an ontology for provenance using the CRM

Immersion in the CRM and

the world of linked

dataRefining and standardizing provenance data in light of what has been learnedMapping Freer|Sackler data to the CRM

Creating linked data for Freer|Sackler provenance

Understanding linked data for search

Freer|Sackler provenance researchUnderstanding the implications of new technology and new toolsSlide9


provenance data



individual records for acquisition-related constituents1,703 individual records for previous owners

Life dates

Alternate names

GeographyBiographical textRelated Constituents (family, business partners, businesses)ImagesHyperlinks to digitized archival material and related web resources (Wikipedia)

ULAN URLsSlide10

Provenance text

Related research notes

Curatorial Remarks (not yet online)

Database links to

acquisition source & previous owner Constituent recordsSeals, marks, and inscriptionsLinks to digitized archival material, comparanda, and related web resources

Identifying distinct provenance projects – the Pulverer


Freer|Sackler provenance dataObjects19,368 objects with “complete” provenance onlineSlide11


provenance online

Open F|S



SI Search Center


Provenance textFuture links to previous owner recordsSI Libraries, Archives, and MuseumsFuture “Authority” records

Provenance data also included in F|S online scholarly cataloguesSlide12

Linking to digitized


Archival records

Provides URLs

for both finding aids and item-level recordsArchival records include related accession numbers in metadataSlide13



and SPRI – the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative


Kurin, Undersecretary for History, Art and CultureJulian Raby, Director, Freer|Sackler

Beth Duley

, Head of Collections,

Freer|SacklerThe goal to realize provenance search across multiple institutionsSupport for the research process & the needs of researchers

The mandate to share

Support and direction from leadership makes a differenceSlide14

Using linked data as a common platform

Using the newly developed CRM Ontology

With the use of


Scalableto search multiple sets of museum datato accommodate all of each museum’s dataand allow grouping by “keyword” sets – (WWII-era

Useful, and Innovative

Combine the advantages of linked data visualization

with indexing & access to deeper materialWith the ability to save summaries of sets of data A search portal for Asian provenanceSlide15

Resume WWII provenance research

Using the Carnegie


tool to structure text and generate linked data

Incorporate new practices of linking & developing relational dataCreate TMS Event records for significant auctions, exhibitionsWith an eye towards the evolution of the provenance text formatHost a two-day workshop to explore the path from research to search

For American museums with Asian collections, European partners

To explore and understand elements for a successful search interface

Establish wire-frame models for the interfaceSecure funding to create a search portal for Asian provenanceTowards a search portal for Asian provenance

research – provenance text – relational data – linked

data – searchSlide16