Publication details

Provenienční výzkum jako cesta minulostí do budoucnosti

Title in English A Provenance Research as a Journey from the Past to the Future


Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Prostor Zlín
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords provenance research; Czech lands; art museums' collections; art collecting; art market; art museums' future strategies
Description The changing role of public art museums in today’s globalised virtual world has been gradually raising the question of their own essence. It indirectly calls for the return to their sources; the generation built on the funds of original and unique works of art. Where do they come from and what is their structure? What do the fragments of the artist’s private collections or lifetime references say about the era in which they were created? What are the traces of the other historical memories that are associated with them? Can we preserve them for the future? The property dynamically, yet not always entirely voluntarily, changed hands over the last century in the Czech Republic - the long, systematic socio-political pressure of “erasing” the links to the original owner of the valuable property, but in the interest of the contemporary art trade, they were put into the background. Although the quality core of most of today’s public collections, even after the wave of the restitution process was complete, create more or less the fractions of the originally private art collections; many well-known and repeatedly published and exhibited works remain paradoxically completely unknown even with their rich historical provenance of their origin, often hidden from their own managers, or perhaps they have been deliberately neglected. Today, the question of mapping the historical movements of artefacts is extremely important on the international art scene. At a time when the rest of the world is discussing the return of colonial “predatory” acquisitions, or the digital provenance of works, this issue still remains a highly ignored area in our professional circles. Its role as a mature, competent guardian of historical memory associated with the administration of collection, but also of the quotient of quality and ethical status quo towards the private sector, has not been adequately taken over by the public art museums.