Provenance Research

Documentation with regard to the provenance—or the history of ownership—of works of art in the Norton Simon Museum collection has been an important concern throughout the Museum’s history. In the past 25 years, there have been accelerated efforts on the part of most American museums to investigate the history of ownership of their collections, especially between the years 1933–1945. In the late 1990s the Norton Simon Museum took on an even more intensive research agenda to learn about the wartime provenance of its objects. Museum staff and skilled scholars have scoured American and European archives and libraries to fill gaps in ownership during the war years, and that work continues today.

Provenance information for the Simon collections has traditionally been disseminated by existing monographs and scholarly collection catalogues, and beginning in 1995 the Museum’s website was expanded to include images, and later provenance, for its large collection of European paintings and sculpture created before 1945. The Norton Simon Museum is committed to updating and expanding upon this information regularly. The Curatorial Department of the Norton Simon Museum encourages inquiries, and can be contacted at any of the addresses listed below.

For those interested in learning more about the lawsuit about the history of Lucas Cranach the Elder's Adam and Eve paintings, the Norton Simon Art Foundation, which owns the paintings, has issued this statement.  

E-mail: Contact Us
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3500
Postal address: Chief Curator
The Norton Simon Museum
411 W. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105