Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pre-Columbian "provenances"

Nord Wennerstrom has drawn my attention to the sale of pre-Columbian antiquities where 95% of the objects do not apparently have collecting histories that can be traced back to the period prior to 1970 ("Provenance Puffery at upcoming Pre-Columbian art auction", Nord on Art January 15, 2013). Once again it reminds us of the abuse of the (redundant) word "provenance". When will auction-houses and galleries differentiate between the archaeological information and the collecting history?

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