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Webinar: Provenance II: New 3-Part Series
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Provenance II: New 3-Part Series

Live Webinar
June 10, 17 and 24, 2020
12:00pm - 1:15pm ET


This webinar series will cover the research, funding, and current events surrounding the topic of provenance. The series is designed to serve as a part two to the series offered by AAMC in June 2018, which gave an overview and resources on the topic.  Those three conversations can be viewed here.

With increasing public conversations and scrutiny surrounding cultural heritage and its provenance, there is more pressure on organizations around the globe to ethically reevaluate their collections, acknowledge the legacy of colonial histories, and reconcile historic asymmetries of power. This webinar series focuses on this timely topic to examine the current approaches, resources, and controversies, paying particular attention to historically marginalized or colonial-era objects and collections.

The first webinar in the series, Approaches to Provenance, will demystify how someone might approach beginning to research an object at hand through live demonstrations. The next installment, Accessing Provenance Resources, will discuss ways to resource and make a case for provenance research, taking into specific consideration organizations who lack dedicated specialists or funding. The final webinar, Provenance in Current Events, will approach the topic through a discussion on current events, analyzing how organizations are handling scrutiny and leading with ethics at the forefront.

The program has been organized by David Saunders, Associate Curator, Department of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum and Monica Valenzuela, Program Manager, AAMC & AAMC Foundation.

Additional information on the speakers for each webinar are below.


Webinar #1: Approaches to Provenance

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
12:00pm - 1:15pm ET


What are the steps of research for a given work of art? How might experts approach an object at hand? This session will breathe life into provenance research by featuring speakers specifically describing how they traced ownership of a specific object. Skills covered will include visual literacy, travel, language/translation, use of database/archives, tracing sales, consultation and involvement of native communities, working in non-traditional resources/documentation, and the importance of transparency, especially in difficult situations. It will also include a conversation as to the goal of research: is it to claim ownership or to tell the story of the object, with supportive conversations to the latter.

Meet the Speakers:

Najiba H. Choudhury, Assistant Collections Information Specialist & Provenance Researcher, Collections Management, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Lynn Rother, Lichtenberg-Professor for Provenance Studies, Leuphana University Lüneburg

David Saunders, Associate Curator, Department of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum; Moderator

Vanessa von Gliszczynski, Curator, South East Asia, Weltkulturen Museum


Webinar #2: Accessing Provenance Resources
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
12:00pm - 1:15pm ET


This discussion will discuss resources available to support and make the case for provenance research. This session will cover training and professional development programs, funding methodologies, and other recent strategies employed to garner advocacy and support. How do organizations without a provenance specialist or access to first-hand resources engage in research? Are there creative ways to include provenance projects in general budgets, such as considering one object at a time versus an entire collection? How can sharing information, even if not perfect or complete be beneficial? And, how do fields, previously underserved in the western museum model, approach and advocate for provenance research? How can we change the model and be inclusive of engaging and welcoming non-traditional resources?

Meet the Speakers

Larissa Förster, Head of Department for Cultural Goods from Colonial Contexts, The German Lost Art Foundation

Alison Gilchrest, Director of Applied Research and Outreach, Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage; Moderator

Erica P. Jones, Associate Curator of African Arts, Fowler Museum at UCLA

Lynley McAlpine, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, San Antonio Museum of Art


Webinar #3: Provenance in Current Events

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
12:00pm - 1:15pm ET


Most provenance records start when an object hits the shores of North America and Europe, therefore most records are incomplete and do not share the full history of an object. Standards and policies, such “free, prior and informed consent,” provide frameworks for organizations to work with communities in the research and evaluation of their collections and archives. How can organizations acknowledge incomplete or unknown acquisition records? How can the placement of objects in our collections be shift from a claim of ownership to an opportunity to form new relationships? How can repatriation be seen as healing? Join this webinar to learn from organizations addressing these current issues facing the field by using new methods in provenance research to reclaim ownership and retell history.

Meet the Speakers

Claudia Nissley, President, C. Nissley Environmental Consultants and program analyst, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Vinnie Nørskov, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology and Director of the Museum of Ancient Art and Archaeology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Nii O. Quarcoopome, Department Head for the Arts of Africa, Oceanian, and Indigenous Americas, Detroit Institute of Arts; Moderator 

Julian Siggers, Williams Director, Penn Museum 

Hilke Thode-Arora, Head of Department, Oceania, and Provenance Research Liaison Officer, Museum Fünf Kontinente (Five Continents Museum), Munich

Roslyn A. Walker, Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific and The Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art, Dallas Museum of Art

The program is organized and presented by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation. The information presented here is subject to change without notice. The organizers assume no responsibility for any errors that may appear here, and in no event shall the organizers be liable for incidental or consequential damages arising from use of this document or other program-related material. This document and parts thereof must not be reproduced or copied without the organizers providing written permission, and contents thereof must not be imparted to a third party nor be used for any unauthorized purpose.

All registrations are non-refundable. 


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