The Art Provenance Symposium is a new digital event bringing together for the first time experts across the world from academia, independent researchers, curators, art lawyers and art market professionals. The symposium aims to bridge a discourse between all participants by trying to align their visions and expectations for the field of provenance research while highlighting individual challenges.
The speakers and attendees will also benefit from a dedicated online members’ forum where they will be able to share their knowledge, insights and resources but also be able to continue the conversation on issues that will be addressed throughout the symposium.
The digital event will be chaired by Angelina Giovani-Agha, Co-Founder of Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research who will then publish the results of the symposium in an official report to be circulated to our global network of over 4,000 art professionals, which you can read here.
Welcome to our Members' Forum, an online portal for attendees and speakers to share their knowledge, insights and resources for a shared benefit to further learning & international exchange in relation to the topics the symposium will cover. If you are not yet registered to access the the forum, please visit here or email us on email@example.com
Meet your host
Angelina Giovani-Agha is an art historian and provenance researcher based in London. She has a BA in Art History from the American College of Greece and a MA in Art Appraisal from Kingston University, London. She is a graduate of ARCA, as well as of the Provenance Research Training Program (PRTP) workshops. In the past decade she has worked for the Jeu de Paume database documenting the Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), acted as Head of Provenance Research for a bespoke Family Office Art Advisory and advised with institutions on ethical collecting guidelines. She works with private collectors, museums and the art trade to address provenance issues, while simultaneously acting as an Art Business Mentor for Finito. In 2020, Angelina was appointed as a Provenance Research Specialist at CAfA - Court of Arbitration for Art, Hague and in 2022 she launched the Collections Provenance Rating, an innovative tool that assesses the state of documentation collections and offers recommendations based on the risk level identified. She is currently working on her first book on the life and work of British artist Christopher Bledowski. firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet our speakers
Ngaire Blankenberg has been the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art since July 2021. Under her leadership, she is transforming the museum into a 21st Century Global African Art Museum with a vision to contribute to more regenerative art ecosystems. She has been instrumental in issues of restitution; in her first year as director, she led the Smithsonian’s efforts to return the ‘Benin Bronzes’ in its collections back to Nigeria and is co-lead in the pan-Smithsonian Collections Stewardship Strategic Initiative.
Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a museum consultant, advising more than 55 cultural projects in 35 cities on 5 continents on all aspects of museological practice. In addition to museums, she has advised on integrating cultural spaces in cities and parks, developing art residencies, making archives accessible, engaging communities and decolonizing knowledge production.
She is co-editor, with Gail Lord, of Cities, Museums and Soft Power (AAM Press 2015) which urges museums to play a more vital role in creating equitable, inclusive and empowering cities; and co-editor, with Ali Hossaini, of the Manual of Digital Museum Planning, (Rowman and Littlefield 2017) which provides practical guidance for cultural institutes to transform to reflect new digital realities.
Bernadine Bröcker Wieder
Bernadine is the CEO of Arcual, the first blockchain ecosystem built by the art community for the art community. Arcual’s technology is purpose-built to streamline the sales process of works of art, support royalty sharing, prove provenance and automate revenue share. Coming from a career in diverse roles within the art world, Bernadine is a well-published and prominent thought leader in the art and tech community, having written for magazines including Apollo and Rolling Stone and regularly appearing on the BBC as an NFT and art expert. Bernadine has a track record of successful entrepreneurial ventures, including Vastari, a cloud-based platform to connect museums, producers and collectors for international exhibition collaborations, and Vastari Labs, a museum NFT consultancy. She has facilitated blockchain proof of concepts with Everledger since 2016 and co-organised the first Christie’s Art+Tech Summit in 2018. Bernadine is a member of PAIAM, AWITA and the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.
Irina Tarsis, Esq., is an art historian and an attorney who specializes in cultural property, copyright law, due diligence and artists’ rights. As the Founder and Managing Director of the US-based nonprofit, Center for Art Law, she publishes and consults on a range of issues including due diligence in the art trade, copyright infringement and fair use, artists’ rights, restitution, authenticity and provenance research. She works with creators and curators to assist with legal protections, encourage economic growth and positive social impact.
Konstantin Akinsha is an independent art historian, curator and journalist. He received the George Polk Award for cultural reporting in 1991. Akinsha’s curatorial projects include ‘Russian Modernism: Cross-Currents of German and Russian Art, 1907–1917’ (Neue Galerie, New York, 2015), ‘Permanent Revolution: Ukrainian Art Today’ (Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2018) and ‘Between Fire and Fire: Ukrainian Art Now’ (Semperdepot, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, 2019). He is the founding director of the Avant-Garde Art Research Project (UK) and the author of several books, including Beautiful Loot: The Soviet Plunder of Europe's Art Treasures (1995).
Lynn Rother is speaking in her role as a member of the Expert Witness Selection Committee of CAfA (Court of Arbitration for Art). She is also the Lichtenberg-Professor for Provenance Studies and the Director of the Provenance Lab at Leuphana University. Prior to this appointment, she held research positions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2015–19) and the Berlin State Museums (2008–14) working on 20th-century provenance and digital initiatives. A former Fellow of The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (2014–15) and of the German Historical Institute in Moscow (2011), she has a Master’s degree in art history, economics, and law from the University of Leipzig (2008) and a Ph.D. in art history from the Technical University of Berlin, advised by Bénédicte Savoy (2015).
Lynn Rother currently serves on the Getty Provenance Index Advisory Committee, the Editorial Board of linked.art, the Advisory Board of the JDCRP (Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project), and the Board of the ZADIK (Zentralarchiv für deutsche und internationale Kunstmarktforschung).
Raúl (Havana, 1971) is a Cuban conceptual artist based in Mexico City. Known for his large-format blurry paintings with dotted texts and his endless investigation into the structure and language of an artwork, Raúl Cordero has successfully merged figurative painting and text-based conceptual art throughout his career. It is in Raúl’s DNA to innovate, experiment with new mediums and technologies, and reflect on them. He is well acquainted with blockchain technology and the possibilities of a blockchain-based future for a more connected and transparent art world. On December 1st 2022, Cordero’s painting We Want Magic, Not Reality (2020) became the first artwork to be live transacted via Arcual by Mai 36 Galerie.
Alexander Herman is the Director of the Institute of Art and Law. His writing appears regularly in The Art Newspaper and he has been quoted widely in the press on art law topics (including in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Telegraph,ArtNET, The Globe & Mail and Bloomberg). His work has also been cited in the UK House of Lords and before the US Supreme Court. He is also Programme Co-Director of the Art, Business and Law LLM and is a frequent contributor to the IAL blog. His latest book is Restitution: The Return of Cultural Artefacts (Lund Humphries, 2021). Twitter @artlawalex
Jacques Schuhmacher is Senior Provenance Research Curator, supported by The Polonsky Foundation, at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He is responsible for leading research into the provenance of the Museum’s collections. From 2018-2022, he was the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Provenance and Spoliation Curator at the V&A, focused on the Nazi-era provenance of the Gilbert Collection of works of decorative art. He co-curated ‘Concealed Histories: Uncovering the Story of Nazi Looting’, the first special provenance display of its kind by a UK museum (2019-2021). He is a member of the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) Spoliation Working Group, which co-ordinates provenance research efforts at UK museum with respect to the Nazi period. He served as a member of the Arts Council England (ACE) restitution working group, which advised on the development of new restitution/repatriation guidance for museums in England, which was published in 2021. Before joining the V&A, Jacques worked as a researcher for the Commission for Looted Art in Europe. He holds a doctorate in History from the University of Oxford.
Rachel Elwes is a Director of Ben Elwes Fine Art in London, dealing in Old Master and Modern paintings, drawings and sculpture. Rachel moved to the UK in 1997 to join the curatorial team which installed and presented the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House. She has been a lecturer and tutor at Christie’s Education and a project curator at the British Museum. Prior to moving to the UK, she was a decorative arts curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and also worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the American Decorative Arts departments. She was a McNeil Fellow in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware and was an American Studies major at Mount Holyoke College. She has lectured widely on decorative arts, design and architecture. Her publications include contributions to the Elements of Design produced by Mitchell Beazley, and Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture and the Museum with Tim Barringer and Tom Flynn. She has been a trustee of the Adirondack Museum, a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of London Art Dealers and the Scholarship Committee for the Attingham Trust.
James Ratcliffe has been General Counsel at the Art Loss Register since 2013. He leads the ALR’s recoveries team and at any one time is representing claimants ranging from private individuals to nation states in numerous cases of stolen and looted art and cultural property. As well as his links to claimants, the role requires close liaison with the art market and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Prior to qualifying as a solicitor James trained as an archaeologist with a particular interest in the Sassanian landscapes of North Eastern Iran, prehistoric landscapes of South Wales, and the development of landscape parks and gardens in England.
Adenike Cosgrove is the Founder of ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA (www.imodara.com), a digital platform that connects collectors of classic and contemporary African art with the world’s leading dealers and scholars. The platform is based on a foundation of knowledge—knowledge about the origin, use and distinguishing features of listed pieces. ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA aims to give collectors unprecedented access to artworks, research, cultures and people that matter in African art. Born in Japan, raised in Hong Kong and Nigeria, and currently residing in London, Adenike holds a Masters of Research in Telecommunications from University College London and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Hull.
Dr Tom Flynn
Dr Tom Flynn is a UK-based art historian and a specialist in the professional practices of the international art market, historical and contemporary sculpture, museology, and issues in art crime and cultural heritage. Tom is a graduate of the University of Sussex and the Royal College of Art. He completed his doctorate at the University of Sussex in 1998. A former journalist at The Art Newspaper, his writing has appeared in numerous international art market publications. He has held board positions with art price data company Invaluable and the contemporary print retailer Eyestorm. Tom was Senior Lecturer at Kingston College of Art from 2010-2017, directing the RICS-Accredited MA in Art Appraisal (Professional Practice) and has taught at Sussex University; IESA (Paris and London); Richmond, the American University in London, and is currently a visiting lecturer at Christie’s Education.
He co-edited (with Dr Tim Barringer) Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture and the Museum (Routledge, 1997). His books included The Body in Sculpture (1997); The A to Z of the International Art Market (2016); as well as monographs on British sculptors Sean Henry (2008); Terence Coventry (2012); and Charlotte Mayer (2013). His chapter ‘Furcht: Fear of Cultural Objects' appeared in Constantine Sandis (Ed.) Cultural Heritage Ethics (2014).
He is co-founder with Angelina Giovani-Agha of Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research
Photo credit: Jan Birch
Sharon Hecker (BA Yale University cum laude, MA and PhD University of California at Berkeley) is an art historian and curator specializing in modern and contemporary Italian art. She is a leading authority on Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso and has published on twentieth-century Italian artists, including Lucio Fontana, Luciano Fabro, Marisa Merz and Giuseppe Penone. While working at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, she was Project Coordinator for Jenny Holzer, the first woman to represent the US at the Venice Biennale, winner of Golden Lion Award for Best Pavilion (1990).
Hecker’s books include A Moment’s Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture (2017, awarded the College Art Association's Millard Meiss Publication Fund and translated into Italian); with Marin R. Sullivan, Postwar Italian Art History: Untying the Knot (Bloomsbury, 2018); with Silvia Bottinelli, Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art (Bloomsbury, 2020); Finding Lost Wax: The Disappearance and Recovery of an Ancient Casting Technique and the Experiments of Medardo Rosso (Brill, 2020); with Peter J. Karol, Posthumous Art, Law and the Art Market: The Afterlife of Art (Routledge, 2022); with Raffaele Bedarida, Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today (Bloomsbury, 2022); with Catherine Ramsey-Portolano, Female Cultural Production in Modern Italy: Literature, Art and Intellectual History (Palgrave, 2023); and with Arianna Arisi Rota, Disguising Disease: Italian Political And Visual Culture From Post-Unification To Covid-19 (2023, Routledge, awarded the Columbia University Seminars in Modern Italy Prize). Hecker has received fellowships from the Getty, Fulbright, and Mellon Foundations. Her exhibitions include Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions (Harvard University Art Museums, catalogue Yale University Press, 2004); Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form (Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 2017–18); Medardo Rosso: Sight Unseen, with Julia Peyton-Jones (Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 2018). She is currently organizing an exhibition on Lucio Fontana’s ceramics at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2025). Hecker is Series Editor of Bloomsbury Visual Arts’ Visual Cultures and Italian Contexts Series; Deputy Chair and Founding Member of the International Catalogue Raisonné Association (ICRA); member of ICOM; TEFAF Vetting Committee for Sculpture (19th-century to the present), Maastricht/New York (Chair); and Coordinator of the Expert Witness Pool for the Court of Arbitration for Art. She has trademarked The Hecker Standard®, a best practices approach for conducting due diligence on artworks
Dr. Wesley A. Fisher is Director of Research for both the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO). He heads the Claims Conference-WJRO Looted Art and Cultural Property Initiative which works to encourage provenance research and claims processes worldwide. He is a Founder and Deputy Director of the Executive Board of the Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project Foundation, which strives to compile a comprehensive listing of Jewish-owned cultural objects plundered by the Nazis and their allies from the time of their spoliation to the present.
On behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he was Deputy Director of the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets in 1998, helped create what is now the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and subsequently assisted with the Vilnius International Forum on Holocaust-Era Looted Cultural Assets in 2000 and the Holocaust-Era Assets Conference held in Prague in 2009 along with the establishment of the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI) and the administration of its Provenance Research Training Program.
Motsane Gertrude Seabela
Motsane Getrude Seabela is currently Curator of Anthropology at Ditsong Museums of South Africa. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Limpopo, a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Anthropology from the University of South Africa a Postgraduate Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies and Master of Social Sciences in Heritage and Museums Studies (cum laude) from the University of Pretoria. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Heritage and Museums Studies from the same institution. Seabela has keen interest in oral histories and researches the muted voices and narratives in museums, the issues of representation, erasures, memory and decolonisation of museums.
Richard Aronowitz is the Global Head of Restitution at Christie's. He was appointed to his present position in March 2022, having previously been Head of Restitution, Europe at Sotheby's from 2006 to 2021. In his roles at Christie's and Sotheby's, Richard has been responsible for building relationships with restitution lawyers, researchers, families and heirs. With over 25 years' experience in the international art world, Richard has also worked for Bloomsbury Auctions and the Ben Uri Gallery, as well as being Head of Research in the Impressionist & Modern Art department at Sotheby's. Richard is also an alumnus of the University of Oxford, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, where his dissertation focussed on the work of the German painter, Joerg Immendorff. He is also the author of several novels, and his poetry has also been shortlisted for the Troubadour International Poetry Prize.
Jennifer L. Mass, Ph.D. is the President and Founder of Scientific Analysis of Fine Art, LLC, a scientific consulting firm that addresses questions about artworks’ attribution, state of preservation and mechanisms of degradation. SAFA assists art conservators, museums, art lawyers, appraisers, auction houses, and art insurers in their cultural heritage assessment and preservation missions. Jennifer is also Professor of Cultural Heritage Science at Bard Graduate Center. She has developed and taught scientific curricula to art conservators and art historians for twenty-four years and is the former Director of the Scientific Research Laboratory at The Winterthur Museum. Jennifer earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Cornell University and conducted her postdoctoral work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has published numerous articles and volumes in the art conservation and scientific literature and is on the international editorial board for Springer Verlag's Cultural Heritage Science series. Jennifer also leads the TEFAF NY Scientific Vetting Committee and is on the advisory boards of The Center for Art Law and the Appraisers Association of America.
Njabulo Chipangura has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the Curator of Living Culture at Manchester Museum. As a curator of Living Cultures, he is responsible for the care of more than 25,000 objects from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, as well as building new research and forming relationships and collaborations. A key curatorial responsibility on this role is giving these collections a biography through carrying out comprehensive provenance research. Njabu is currently involved in a joint collaborative research project with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) on the Return of Cultural Heritage Programme (RoCH) and have carried out ethnographic engagements with Anindilyakwa indigenous community in the Northern Territory on the possible unconditional return of 189 ceremonial objects from Manchester museum.
His research focus is on understanding empirical ways by which the museum practice can be decolonised through epistemic and aesthetic disobedience by undoing earlier ways of knowledge production in collections and exhibition practices. At the centre of his work is a concern with pragmatics of decolonising the museum through co-production , co-curatorship and collaborating with source and or diaspora communities in reconfiguring and re-writing stories of objects within their secular or ceremonial uses prior to their dispossession. Njabu has published several research papers that looks at ongoing debates around the coloniality of museums and associated knowledge production and representation practices, to imagine a decolonised museum. Some of his articles are included in journals such as Curator; The Museum Journal, Journal of Southern African Studies, Development Southern Africa, Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage, Museum International, Museum Management and Curatorship and International Journal of Intangible Heritage. He has also contributed articles in books such as Museums Activism, Robert Janes and Richard Sandell (eds), London: Routledge, pp. 164-173, and Research Handbook on Contemporary Intangible Cultural Heritage Law and Heritage, Charlotte Waelde et.al (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp.379-398. Njabu’s first book entitled Museums as Agents for Social Change: Collaborative Programmes at the Mutare Museum was published by Routledge in April 2021. He is a board member of the Collections Committee (COMCOL) – International Council of Museums and also sit on the board of Cogent: Arts and Humanities Journal (Taylor and Francis) where he is the editor of Museums and Heritage Studies.
Pierre Valentin is a partner and the founder of our Art and Cultural Property Law Group. He has spent more than 25 years advising leading museums in the UK and overseas on all aspects of art and cultural property management and is considered a “pioneer” of the field. (Chambers and Partners). He is internationally recognised as a leading advisor in the field of art and cultural heritage law. His network of clients and colleagues reaches across the world. Pierre’s commitments to the improvement and development of the worlds of art and cultural heritage extends well beyond his work as a legal advisor. He is the founder of PAIAM (the Association of Professional Advisors to the International Art Market) and ICRA (the International Catalogue Raisonné Association). Pierre was chairman and trustee of the World Monuments Fund Britain for 15 years and served aa Senior Director of Sotheby’s Europe. He speaks French, Spanish and Italian.
Colleen Boyle brings over 20 years of diverse experience in the art and financial world to The Fine Art Group. She has valued art and collectibles for international corporations, museums, and private collectors across the globe. In addition, Colleen has provided legal analysis for court cases involving art valuation and identification. She earned a diploma in French Fine and Decorative Arts at Christie’s in Paris, a Master of Arts degree in Art History from the University of St. Thomas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary. She is a member of the Appraisal Association of America and is USPAP compliant.Having earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation (CAP®), Colleen regularly assists clients with monetization strategies of tangible assets for charitable endeavors as well as identifying institutions for direct donations. She conducts lectures and Continuing Education classes on diverse topics pertinent to art and collectibles and is featured in a documentary titled “The Real Fake.”
Liza Weber holds a PhD in History at the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, University of Sussex, where she was awarded the Alfred Bader Scholarship in Modern Jewish History and Culture. Her thesis goes by the title ‘documenta and its Double: Germany’s Myth of Modernism in Memory and Provenance, from “Degenerate” to documenta (1937-1955)’. Liza also works as a Research Assistant to the Provenance Lab at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, where she is engaged in, among other things, a project that lies at the intersection of provenance research and data science by analysing thousands of provenance records using AI technologies: ‘Modern Migrants: Paintings from Europe in US Museums’.
Prior to her doctoral studies, she graduated with a master’s degree in Critical Writing in Art & Design from the Royal College of Art. Her thesis, ‘Pioneering Provenance’, was accompanied by a short film-documentary on the uncanny case of Emy Roeder’s ‘Die Schwangere’, which has since been screened in institutions throughout Europe, from the Rector’s Palace in Zadar to the Georg Kolb Museum in Berlin. Following her bachelor’s degree in English Literature at King’s College London, where she graduated with a first for her dissertation ‘A Silent Restitution’, she completed ARCA’s postgraduate programme in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, where she graduated with a distinction for her thesis ‘The Haptics of Holocaust Art Restitution (and Getting to Grips with Gurlitt’).
Isabel von Klitzing
Isabel von Klitzing established Provenance Research & Art Consulting in 2012. With her team she provides detailed research on the provenance of works of art in both private and public collections world-wide thereby helping to provide tailor-made solutions on provenance related issues to the art world. Before setting up her own business, she worked for 10 years as a Senior Restitution Specialist for Sotheby’s in London, Belgrade and Frankfurt. Isabel studied Law in Göttingen, Berlin, Brussels and Paris and is a member of the German Bar association. Since 2020 she is serving as a provenance expert for the Court of Arbitration for Art (Cafa). She was a member of the board of the German provenance group, Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V., until 2016 and is a fellow of the German Institute of Art and Law since 2001. Isabel published widely on different topics relating to World War II-Era provenance research and is a regular speaker and moderator at international conferences. Since 2011 she lectures on the topic Provenance Research in the Art Trade at Free University, Berlin and gives regular provenance research trainings to stakeholders of the art market. email@example.com
William Charron co-chairs Pryor Cashman’s Art Law practice and is a member of the firm’s Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Media + Entertainment Groups. The Preeminent Litigator for Authenticity, Title + Stolen Art Disputes Bill represents institutional and individual clients in a wide range of art authenticity, title, copyright, contract, and other matters. He frequently lectures and writes on issues impacting the art world, including World War II restitution cases, art authenticity, and procedural law issues. Clients and peers say that Bill is “outstanding,” and that “his knowledge and experience is second to none. He is always on top of developments, he is very detailed and a very practical and solution-driven lawyer” who is “extremely knowledgeable, very thorough, articulate – just terrific.”
Bill is ranked in “Band 1” of the Chambers High Net Worth Guide for Art and Cultural Property Law, and was named a New York Law Journal “Trailblazer” for his work in founding a specialized tribunal to handle art disputes (the Court of Arbitration for Art, based in The Hague, Netherlands).