Image credit: Carlos Nakazato, Unsplash

Provenance is the documentation that proves the authenticity of an artwork. Without provenance, you don't have proper proof of the collectible's legitimacy, and thus value. 

Don't make your artworks worthless by losing important information. 

Provenance is the history of the whereabouts of an object. It tells the story of the life of the work of art—who made it when, who then owned it, what collections it has been a part of etc. And, sometimes the history of the work can be just as interesting as the work itself and can even impact the value.

An ideal provenance captures the ownership history of an artwork all the way back to the creation of the artist. But, many times there are gaps in the object's ownership record which can affect the work's value. 

To preserve the authenticity of the artwork, it's critical to save records like creator, ownership history, exhibition history, publication history and appraisal value. It's also important to store digital copies of related documents. If information or documents were to be lost, it would make re-establishing provenance nearly impossible. 

It's best to document and save this information right when you acquire an artwork, but for many collectors, this may be a scavenger hunt. The good news is that there are platforms that help you easily upload, save and access provenance.

You can easily record provenance in Artwork Archive, an online art collection management system used by art collectors and art professionals around the world.

This way you have access to the information when it is time to sell the artworks, whether that be through an auction house, dealer or gallery, and when planning for the future of your estate. 

Let’s take a look at how to record this information in Artwork Archive.



Ready to start recording provenance? Sign up for a free trial of Artwork Archive.