Screenshot of Mapping Paintings, a website that tracks provenance of works by Titian, depicting the migration of Titian’s Europa.

New Website Compiles Provenance Data for Individual Artworks

Mapping Paintings, a new open-source website spearheaded by Boston University professor Jodi Cranston, tracks artworks and allows users to map out provenance information, Claire Voon of Hyperallergic reports. The initiative aims to make researching histories of individual works, including details of owners and past transactions, easier for art historians.

The website was inspired by one of Cranston’s past projects, Mapping Titian. “Provenance information is in printed catalogues and on some museum websites, but visualizing the movement of these artworks allows users to recognize their objecthood and also not to get bogged down in concerns about authenticity and pedigree that often come with provenance information,” Cranston said.” Sometimes seeing that an artwork went somewhere unexpected is more impactful than reading it in a long list of text.”

Users will be able to make individual entries on the website as well as publish their own projects. These submissions will be reviewed for accuracy purposes and then added to the site by an administrator. The Kress Collection, comprising more than three thousand works of European art amassed by Samuel H. Kress between 1929 and 1961, will be added to the platform this fall.