Research into the provenance (history of ownership) of works of art in its collection has always been part of the Kimbell’s mission. In recent years, as interest in this aspect of art history has grown, the museum has redoubled its efforts in this area. Following guidelines issued by the American Association of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Kimbell’s curators have over recent years examined the provenances of all works in the collection and compiled as full and clear an account of each work’s provenance as possible from the available information, paying particular attention to changes of ownership during the Nazi era (1933–1945). The results are accessible on this website by clicking the provenance links on individual artworks. The provenances are in most cases incomplete (few works of art of considerable age have an unbroken record of ownership), but research is ongoing, and the website will be updated as new information is discovered.
The Kimbell Art Museum has adapted the format suggested by The AAM Guide to Provenance Research (Washington, D.C., 2001). The provenance for a work of art in the Kimbell Art Museum's collection is listed in chronological order, beginning with the earliest known owner. Life dates of private owners, if known, are enclosed in brackets. Dealers, auction houses, or agents are enclosed in parentheses to distinguish them from private owners. Relationships between owners and methods of transactions are indicated in the text and clarified by punctuation: a semicolon is used to indicate that the work passed directly between two owners (including dealers, auction houses, or agents), and a period is used to separate two owners (including dealers, auction houses, or agents) if a direct transfer did not occur or is not known to have occurred. Uncertain information is preceded by the terms “possibly” or “probably,” while methods of transfer are specified with terms such as “purchased,” “by inheritance,” and “given.”