The study of provenance is a traditional part of art historical research, as an object’s chain of ownership can inform a scholarly understanding of the work of art itself: its function, condition, and its place in the history of taste and collecting.
The MFA’s procedures and policies relating to acquisitions and provenance
On Thursday, September 28, 2006, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) transferred 13 antiquities to Italy and signed an agreement with the Italian…
Conservation and Collections Management is an integral part of the Museum's stated purpose to hold its collections in trust for future generations.
Conservation Strategy A condition survey in 2004 showed that close to half of the ceramics in the Museum's Late Archaic and Early Classical Greek gallery were physically unstable. Many of the ceramics, assembled from fragments, were heavily restored before they came to the Museum in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After more than a century, they were in dire need of conservation. All of the vessels required cleaning and many were plagued with failed adhesives, soluble salts, and discolored restoration paints.
The Museum’s study collection of Japanese paper stencils consists of approximately 5,000 objects that were used in textile production during the Edo period. While the majority of such stencils were made for textile production during the 18th and 19th century, some were created to satisfy the demands of Western collectors.
The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Paintings Conservation Studio was established in 1902 in the form of a single Keeper of Paintings, who was responsible for cleaning and repairing artworks. Today, the lab oversees the conservation of all Western paintings in the Museum's collections, including medieval panel paintings, Renaissance frescos and easel paintings, and contemporary works.