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17 May 2017: IFAR Provenance Guide relaunched and greatly expanded

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IFAR Press release

New York
, NY… The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) – long-time leader in the increasingly important field of provenance research, both for determining the attribution and also the legality of ownership of a work of art – pleased to announce the relaunch and expansion of its Provenance Guide on the IFAR Website: Vastly enhanced and more than doubled in size, the resource has been updated to include information about and links to an enormous amount of newly available digital material, particularly in regard to World War II-era provenance research.

The Provenance Guide was initially launched in 2008, in conjunction with IFAR’s Website Initiative, an ambitious project that introduced several new online educational and research tools to the public, including IFAR’s Art Law & Cultural Property Database and its Catalogues Raisonnés Database.  The latter resource, comprising annotated bibliographic information on more than 3,800 published catalogues raisonnés (scholarly compilations of an artist’s body of work) and approximately 350 catalogues-in-preparation concerning more than 2,700 artists, was also recently expanded to add new features and functionality.

IFAR’s revised Provenance Research Guide, which is free of charge to all, includes sections on:

IFAR’s Executive Director, Dr. Sharon Flescher, said: “The ownership history of a work of art – its provenance – is of fundamental importance for all those involved in the collecting, exhibiting, and study of art. Recent ownership claims by heirs of Holocaust victims whose art works were looted or otherwise misappropriated during the Nazi-era, and also claims by foreign “source” countries for objects they believe were exported in violation of patrimony or export laws, underscore the importance of provenance research.  IFAR ‘s Provenance Guide is intended to serve as a primer on conducting such research.  Along with IFAR’s other resources, it can be viewed as one step – an important step – in the due diligence process for acquiring, owning, and exhibiting a work of art.  Provenance research is integral to IFAR’s educational and research mission and its dedication to integrity in the visual arts.  We are proud to make this resource available to the public on our Website free of charge.”

Dr. Lisa Duffy-Zeballos, co-director with Dr. Flescher of the Provenance Guide project, added: “IFAR hopes that the expanded Provenance Guide will further serve the art community and bring new users to this important resource, as well as to the other invaluable resources on IFAR’s Website. It is our intention to update the Guide periodically, as needed.” 

In addition, to Drs. Flescher and Duffy, IFAR acknowledges the contribution of Victoria Sears Goldman, Ph.D. to the Provenance Guide.

IFAR hopes that free online access to the Provenance Guide will serve academics, students, museum curators and administrators, art dealers, collectors, attorneys, provenance researchers, and other art professionals and enthusiasts who need an introduction to, and overview of, this important area of art historical research.

The Provenance Guide, along with IFAR’s other trusted online tools, award-winning quarterly IFAR Journal and popular public programs, further IFAR’s position as a vital resource in the arts community – at the intersection of art scholarship, art law, and the public interest – since its establishment in 1969.

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational and research organization headquartered in New York and dedicated to integrity in the visual arts. IFAR offers impartial and authoritative information on authenticity, ownership, theft, and other artistic, legal, and ethical issues concerning art objects. IFAR serves as a bridge between the public and the scholarly and commercial art communities. It publishes the award-winning quarterly IFAR Journal; organizes conferences, panels, and lectures, including the popular IFAR Evenings; offers a unique Art Authentication Research Service and provenance research services; provides comprehensive Web-based resources; and serves as an information resource. The IFAR Journal has published the Stolen Art Alert section since 1977.


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