Modern Migrants: Paintings from Europe in US Museums

Project: Research

Project participants


The research project “Modern Migrants: Paintings from Europe in US Museums” will examine thousands of provenance records of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modern paintings between 1890 and 1945. By exploring object-based provenance information on a large scale, the project will address when, why and how paintings from Europe ended up in US museum collections, paying special attention to the role that political upheaval, dynamics of transatlantic art markets and collecting strategies played in this circulation of objects.

As such it is the first university research program producing linked open provenance data. Considering provenance beyond the individual biographies of objects, and instead reading it more broadly as a collection of empirical evidence of cultural phenomena, enables questions to be posed about social, temporal, spatial, and conceptual network dimensions. Taking an inherently transdisciplinary perspective, the project seeks to provide a new way of understanding art circulation through an analytic and qualitative approach to provenance.