This page will host short refereed articles that address objects and topics raised during the course of the project. Please check back for updates.
The Antiquities Provenance Project at the Getty
David Saunders, Judith Barr and Nicole Budrovich. Department of Antiquities. The J. Paul Getty Museum
The collecting of antiquities has transformed over the last fifteen years. A number of high-profile cases have led to major changes in museum practice, and close attention has justifiably been paid to the revision of acquisition policies. Less frequently discussed, however, is how museums should work with objects that are in their care, but were not acquired under today’s standards. Concurrently, the explosion of digital resources has transformed the ways in which museums present their collections and the information that users seek. Online databases are vital platforms for enabling access, and at the Getty, we are undertaking to present all aspects of our collections online. In the Antiquities department, provenance research is a key focus, and as our project has evolved, we have corresponded with colleagues at numerous institutions. In many cases, it is striking that the will and interest are there, but that progress has proven difficult without resources and personnel. As such, it has been tremendously exciting to see the CAC project develop, as it offers a model for tackling a topic that all museums need to address. In connection with the conference, here are some notes on our own methods, experiences, and hopes for the future.