This article documents changes of the provenance rendering made as part of the release of June 23, 2023. Read below what has been changed.
We created the automatic provenance rendering to help apply a universal language to provenance descriptions. It’s a popular feature, and our users have sent us suggestions for how to make it even better. We listened and adjusted many of the transaction types to ensure the consistency of the wording. A new provenance type for restitutions now exists to clearly distinguish these cases from other types of returns. Below, you can see an overview of all the changes.
Please be aware that published catalogues are not affected by the wording changes. To adapt your public records to the changes, you can review and re-publish the artwork entries.
Overview of provenance changes
The wording consistency relates to the type of transaction. We distinguish two groups of transactions for provenance events:
Ownership events describe the change of legal owner. Statements for this type of transaction always begin with naming the owner first, then follows the description of the transaction details
Possession events describe a change in possession, while the previous owner remains unchanged. Since the event always relates to another ownership event, the wording of possession events focusses on the transaction first and then names the involved receiver afterwards.
|Provenance type||What has changed?||Example|
|Bequest||The transaction type "bequest" also works if only a receiver is given||Receiver, bequest|
|Commissioned||The type commissioned describes a transaction where an artwork is transferred from the artist. Therefore, a transaction source is not needed and will no longer be displayed. Instead, "from the artist" is automatically added to the rendering.||Receiver, commissioned from the artist|
This transaction was changed to an ownership event. Additionally the wording order was changed to highlight the confiscation first, then naming the receiver.
|Confiscated by Receiver|
|Consigned||Because a consignment describes a temporary change of possession, the wording of the rendering has been adjusted begin with the transaction statement.||
On consignment with Receiver
|Destroyed||If a date is added to this transaction it is included in the rendering.||Destroyed (Date)|
|Donation||The transaction type "donation" also works if only a receiver is given.||Receiver, donation|
|Forced Sale||The wording now explicitly names this transaction as a forced sale and highlights it at the beginning of the provenance line.||
Forced sale to Receiver
|Fractional Gift||If a source is given, the following line is shown indented.||
Fractional gift to Receiver
|Inherited||The transaction type "inherited" also works if only a receiver is given.||Receiver, inherited|
|Location unknown||The type of this transaction has been changed from possession to ownership.||Location unknown|
|Restitution||Restitution has been added as a new transaction type. Restitution refers to the return of unlawfully acquired artwork or cultural property to its rightful owners or place of origin.||
|Return||The wording was changed to begin with the transaction description and then naming the receiver.||
Returned to Receiver
|Stolen||A receiver can be added to this transaction type. The mention of "from above" has been removed.||
Stolen by Receiver
|Transfer||The transaction type "transfer" also works if only a receiver is given||Receiver, transfer|
Last updated: July 7, 2023