A Guide to Provenance Research at the Archives of American Art

Methodologies and Resources: Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records, 1883–1962

Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records, 1883–1962

The Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records are another valuable archival collection at the Archives of American Art for establishing pre-Nazi era provenance for many European works of art and provide a remarkable overview of German avant-garde collectors in the 1930s. For example, the records contain a list of German collectors of modern art around 1930, penned by Carnegie International Berlin-based consultant, Charlotte Weidler, for an upcoming visit by the director of the Carnegie to Germany. Additionally, Weidler’s correspondence with Carnegie throughout the 1930s provides unique insight and detail about the situation of artists in Nazi Germany, and about matters of degenerate art[1]. Weidler’s correspondence with Carnegie president Homer St. Gaudens is an extraordinary source of information for provenance researchers about the location of artwork pre-war and the changing attitude towards modern art in Germany as the Nazis rose to power. A portion of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records have been digitized and are available online. The bulk of the records are available in the Archives’ reading room in Washington, D.C.