Art provenance, authentication; a list of websites

Art provenance, authentication, art forgeries, catalogues; a list of websites


Authentication in Art
The Authentication in Art foundation is an independent non-profit organisation established in early 2012 and is based in The Hague (the Netherlands).

Authenticity in art, Wikipedia entry.

Catalogues, catalogues raisonnés *

Catalogues raisonnés
A searchable database of catalogues raisonnés, from The International Foundation for Art Research. Catalogues raisonnés — scholarly compilations of an artist’s body of work — are critical tools for researching the provenance and attribution of artwork. There are two new electronic resources: a database of published catalogues raisonnés and one of catalogues in preparation. They can be searched separately or together and will be updated regularly.

Degenerate art’ (Victoria and Albert Museum catalogue)
‘Entartete Kunst’ (or ‘Degenerate Art’) was a derogatory term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany for works deemed to be ‘an insult to German feeling’ . The V&A holds the only known copy of a complete inventory of ‘Entartete Kunst’ confiscated by the Nazis.The two volumes of the inventory have been re-photographed by the V&A and are available online.

Thieme Becker
The German encyclopaedia of artist biographies in 37 volumes with the full title Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. The joint work contains ca. 250 000 biographies that were compiled with the help of 400 specialists world-wide including all contemporary leading art historians.  The special relevance and strength of the Thieme-Becker-Vollmer lies in entries for less known and almost unknown artists not listed anywhere else; it lies also in the inclusion of architects, designers and other artisans working in applied art.

Exhibition catalogues, from the website of the Association of Art Editors
This style guide is intended for authors of texts on art—any kind of text—and for editors of these texts and their publishers. Its purpose is to provide guidelines for authors and editors in the writing and redaction of manuscripts. Uniformity of usage is not the purpose of this guide. Rather, it aims to ensure uniformity of comprehension about the issues that authors and editors deal with.

The Burlington Magazine Index
Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd has created an Online Index, which aims to include the entire content of The Burlington Magazine from March 1903 until the present. The Burlington Magazine Online Index is free to use.

Royal Academy exhibition catalogues.
Browse the Royal Academy Winter Exhibition catalogues from their inception in 1870 through to 1913. Click on a thumbnail image to display a large image of the title-page. Use the Next & Previous buttons to browse through the catalogue. You can also enter search terms in the Search within the catalogue box to search for artists, titles and lenders within the catalogue.

Christie’s art auction e-catalogues. Browse online.

Sotheby’s auction catalogues. Browse online.

A searchable database of art auction catalogues. JSTOR is collaborating with the Frick Collection and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a pilot project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to understand how auction catalogs can be best preserved for the long-term and made most easily accessible for scholarly use.


Fakes, art forgery *

Museum of Art Fakes, Vienna

Art forgery, Wikipedia eentry.

How to Spot a Fake
Advice from Louis McWhinnie

France. Musées National Récupération [MNR]

Getty Museum Collection Research on Provenance 


Harvard University Provenance Research

Holocaust Era Assets
National Archives and Records Administration Art Provenance and Claims Research Project

International Dunhuang Project
The International Dunhuang Project (IDP), based at the British Library – a collaboration carrying out research on over 100,000 manuscripts, artefacts, and paintings from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites.

International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)
a not-for-profit educational and research organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts.


Los Angeles Country Museum of Art Provenance

Lumiere Technology, Paris
Lumiere Technology presents the multispectral high definition digitization system for Fine Arts. Lumiere high-definition cameras can be used for museums, galleries and private collectors to present their master-works in astonishing detail.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, provenance research.

Museum of Modern Art, New York: Provenance, Archives
The Museum of Modern Art owns approximately 600 paintings created before 1946 and acquired after 1932, that were or could have been in Continental Europe during the Nazi era. Researchers at the Museum have closely examined, and are continuing to research, the ownership, or provenance, records for works that fall within this category.


Philadelphia Museum of Art World War II Provenance Research Project



Art Signature Dictionary
Art Signature Dictionary is the only dictionary in the world that specializes in showing artists signatures. Through a unique partnership with police authorities around the world Art Signature Dictionary also is the world’s only database of art forgery.
Here you can see thousands of forged paintings and signatures. Our database also includes biographies and auction results.


U.K. National Museums of the United Kingdom
A website intended primarily to assist with the worldwide search for works of art that may have been wrongly taken during the Holocaust and World War II. It includes reports on the research being undertaken by the UK’s national museums and 23 leading local authority and university museums, and a searchable database of works of art with uncertain provenance.