Art History: Resources for Research: 14-Sales/Auction Catalogs & Provenance Indexes

14-Sales/Auction Catalogs & Provenance Indexes

IconResources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

Guides & Registers

Art loss register. (Online)
The ALR is the world's largest private database of lost and stolen art, antiques and collectibles. Its range of services includes item registration, search and recovery services to collectors, the art trade, insurers and worldwide law enforcement agencies. Users may request a search of the Art Loss Register's database to discover whether an item has been registered as missing, fake or stolen. They mays also report the theft or loss of an artwork or valuable item to the Art Loss Register for registration on the database.

Provenance Guide. (IFAR: International Foundation for Art Research) (Online)
This overview of key resources will help guide those conducting provenance research for the critical years, 1933-45. Establishing a reliable provenance - the history of ownership - is an important step in documenting a work of art. It is not an easy process and for many works, gaps inevitably remain.  Includes: Guidelines of professional organizations re Nazi-era looted art,  selected resources in WWII provenance research.

Yelde, Nancy H. The AAM guide to provenance research (2001)

Avery-Fine Arts N7436 Y36


Graves, A. Art Sales. 3 vols. (1918)
Avery-Fine Arts Reference N8680 G78
English paintings, 18th to early 20th cent.

H. Lancour. American Art Auction Catalogues 1785-1942. (1944)
Avery-Fine Arts N3000 AL22

Icon Lugt, F. Les Marques de Collections de Dessins et d'Estampes. (1921) (Online)
Avery-Fine Arts N8380 L96
Classic dictionary of collectors' marks. Good for provenance studies.

Icon  Art Sales catalogues online incorporating Lugt's Répertoire online. (Online)
"The Art Sales Catalogues Online database presents the online edition of the Répetoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques by Frits Lugt combined with the possibility to view complete art sales catalogues. This database provides a multitude of search options. Many recently discovered catalogues have been added and corrections to the original Répertoire have been made."  Coverage: catalogs from 1600-1900.
We also have in paper: Répertoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques:1600-1925. 3 vols. (1938 to date). Avery-Fine Arts N3000 AL96

Provenance Research. (Online)
Website at the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Santa Monica includes: Getty Provenance Index Database, Provenance Research Resources, Guide to Holocaust-era Research Resources, Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance.  These databases contain indexed transcriptions of materials from auction catalogs and archival inventories of western European works of art, and contain nearly 1,000,000 records that cover the periods from late 16th century to the early 20th century.
Search in CLIO as a phrase keyword: Provenance Index Getty to retrieve a list of books we own produced by the Getty Provenence Index.  One example: Index of Paintings Sold in the During the 19th Century. (1989 to date) Avery-Fine Arts Reference N8680 In2


Art Sales Index
Back to the 1920s.
Online version held at the Frick Museum Art Reference Library

Back to the 1980s.
Available online in the libraries of the Frick Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Watson Library), and on CD-ROM at the New York Public Library

Available online in the libraries of the Frick Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Watson Library) and the New York Public Library.

Artsy.  (Online)
Artsy features the world's leading galleries, museum collections, foundations, artist estates, art fairs, and benefit auctions, all in one place. Our growing database of 200,000 images of art, architecture, and design by 25,000 artists spans historical, modern, and contemporary works, and includes the largest online database of contemporary art. Artsy is used by art lovers, museum-goers, patrons, collectors, students, and educators to discover, learn about, and collect art.

Icon AskArt academic. (Online)
A database of information about American artists, including names, birth and death dates, state or local affiliation, fields in which artist worked, book and periodical references to artist, dealers and museums where works may be viewed, auction prices of works, some biographical details, etc. Aims at being an unbiased source of information about the commercial value of each artist's work through a comprehensive system of comparables.

Gordon's Print Price Annual.
Prints back to 1985, photographs back to 1970.
Online version held at the Frick Museum Art Reference Library and the New York Public Library