Provenance Research Project (Presentation and Field Notes) In the museum world, the term provenance refers to the ownership history of an object. It is an area of study that museums have increasingly directed attention to, given growing international and national policy and statutes protecting objects of cultural heritage and evolving ethical norms around collecting. Major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Research Institute, have established provenance research units or projects with designated provenance researchers; at many institutions, provenance research is part of the role of registrars.
You will not be graded on whether you were able to construct a complete provenance of your object, as this may not be possible. You will be graded on field notes and a presentation on your provenance research. The field notes should be both descriptive and reflective and capture (in real time, rather than recorded at the end of term):
Friday, June 5, 2015
Submit Provenance Research Proposal
Identify interested files from 1975 Inventory
Submit those files interests to Rose Chiango
Friday, June 12, 2015
Meet with Isabelle
Review Gallery Artist Files
Review New FFAL Files
Friday, June 19, 2015
Generate Object/Artist/Donor profile using known information
Assemble all known elements
Friday, June 26, 2015
Assemble secondary research materials
Identify possible points of research access using profile
Contact those points – Submit research requests to David Grinnell
Friday, July 10, 2015
Visit SC/ASC/Carnegie Museum Archives
Friday, July 17, 2015
Finalize Research points of access
Make last minute visit to SC/ASC/Carnegie Museum Archives if necessary
Prepare Class presentation materials, scans, photographs etc.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Present Provenance Project to class
Friday, July 24, 2015
Clean and Assemble Field Notes into proper documentation
Tuesday, July 29, 2015
Submit Final Field Notes and Project Documentation
NOTE/INFO FROM NORA/ISABELLE
Department Chairs Fine Arts Department
1927-1939 Frederick Mortimer Clapp
1939-1963 Walter Read Hovey
1963-1964 Virgil D. Cantini (Acting)
1964-1968 William C. Loerke, Ill
1968-1969 Aaron Sheon (Acting)
1969-1974 Donald E. Gordon
1973-1974 Millard F Hearn, Jr. (Acting)
1974-1978 Millard F. Hearn, Jr.
1978-1979 Aaron Sheon (Acting)
1979-1984 John W. Williams
1984-1988 Katheryn M. Linduff
1989-1992 David Wilkins
1992-Present Anne Weis
Subject Headings File
1787 Hugh Henry Brackenridge (Founder)
1789 George Welch
1796 Robert Andrews
1800 Robert Steele
1801 John Taylor
1803 James Mountain
1807 Robert Patterson
1810 Joseph Stockton
Western University of Pennsylvania
1819-1835 Robert Bruce
1835-1836 Gilbert Morgan
1836-1843 Robert Bruce
1843-1849 Heman Dyer
1849-1855 David H. Riddle (acting)
1855-1858 John F. McLaren
1858-1880 George Woods
1880-1881 Milton Goff (acting)
1881-1884 Henry McCracken
1884-1890 Milton Goff
1891-1901 William Jacob Holland
1901-1904 John A. Brashear (acting)
University of Pittsburgh
1904-1920 Samuel B. McCormick
1921-1945 John G. Bowman
1945-1955 Rufus H. Fitzgerald
1955-1956 Charles B. Nutting (acting)
1956-1965 Edward H. Litchfield
1965-1966 Stanton C. Crawford
1966-1967 David H. Kurtzman
1967-1991 Wesley W. Posvar
1991-1995 J. Dennis O’Connor
1995-2014 Mark A. Nordenberg
2014-present: Patrick D. Gallagher
Day 1 with Object: Sketchbook, Clapp Drawings
I was technically presented with the singular piece 41.4 Study- Young Boy and Woman but this sheet is only one of approximately 150-200 sheets that make up a sketchbook.
Home Location: Print Room-- Cabinet E-- Shelf 18
Medium: Graphite/Pencil, red/Paper
Culture: Europe before 1750
Gift of $1500 was donated by George Clapp specifically for the purchase of these 17th cen. Italian sketches from the collection of Mary B. Denny Burguin
Another name listed was G. S. Rupp
Records surrounding this transaction as well as letter of acknowledgement from Chancellor Bowman date July 1941.
Mary B. Denny
Cannot readily find information
George H. Clapp
George Clapp was born in 1859. He was extremely involved in the educational institutions that were located in Pittsburgh. He became a trustee of the Carnegie Institute in 1896 and continued to serve in this capacity for 53 years. This service ended only with his death. He also served as a trustee for the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie-Mellon University). The University of Pittsburgh honored him with a ScD in 1915 and named the biology department building, Clapp Hall, in his honor.
The first accession in Invertebrates at the museum was a collection of 546 specimens representing 60 species of shells from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This donation was one of some 190 donations made by Clapp to the museum. Clapp was appointed honorary curator of malacology in 1900. Overall, he donated more than 15,000 lots to the section. Though his collection did contain marine, freshwater, and terrestrial mollusks from around the world, most of the material he donated represented terrestrial shells of North America north of Mexico. Clapp's service to the people of Pittsburgh ended with his death in 1949 at the age of 90.
THERE IS ALSO A MUSEUM-WORKING ANTHROPOLOGIST GEORGE CLAPP VINCENT who lived in Pittsburgh
MET WITH ISABELLE TODAY
Isabelle brought out on of the boxes and confirmed that there were approximately 250-300 sketches in the collection
Collection is of all different artist, possibly from different times and locations within Italy
Drawings of all various size, mediums, subjects, state of preservation
BUT all seem to be “studies” from artist sketchbooks
All seem to have been displayed several times due to the multiple paper attachments
There are several number markings, but it is relatively simply to discern which matches Gallery
Some collector wrote whom they through the artist were on the front
Documentation found in Gallery File:
Major Questions we formed:
ALSO MEET WITH ROSE CHIANGO THIS MORNING AND SHE DOES NOT THINK THERE IS ANYTHING OF INTEREST FOR ME IN THE LIBRARY FILING CABINET
WENT TO CHECK THE FILING CABINET MYSELF AFTER MEETING WITH ISABELLE AND AGREE THAT ROSE IS PROBABLY RIGHT.
The cabinet is mostly newspaper clippings primarily dating to after the Department of FIne Arts moved to Frick Building in the 60s
***Follow Up in Local news to see if collection is listed in any Cathedral exhibition
*** June 13
Found a LibGuide for Pittsburgh historical newspapers to search for potential exhibitions.
Also ask David Grinnell for access to newly digitized PITT News articles
Identified a collection in the ASC where G. Clapp is listed as a Person (as in Person and Subject Headings). I sent an email to David Grinnel, ASC, asking to come in to see these files.
Title: Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, John Gabbert Bowman, Administrative Files
Collection Number: UA.2.10.1921-1945
Creator: University of Pittsburgh. Chancellor.
Collection Dates: 1921-1945
Date Published: April 1971
Extent: 11.8 linear feet (21 boxes)
This collection contains the office files of Chancellor Bowman, 1921-1947. In addition to the day to day files of the chancellor's office, there are the files of the financial campaign and construction for building the Cathedral of Learning, the controversy of the Liberal Club and Professor Ralph E. Turner, and Bowmans's correspondence with Helen Clay Frick.
Box 2, Folder 15: Correspondence: George Hubbard Clapp
Letters concerning becoming President of the Board of Trustees; Stanton Crawford’s letter to Mrs. Mildred Stegeman (who was the secretary to Chancellor Bowman until his death) about the coins which Mr. Clapp gave for display in the Early American Room; Letter from Mrs. Stegeman in which she says that she has cleared out Dr. Bowman’s file and “At Dr. Bowman’s instructions I am destroying all his personal papers, of course, including any writing he had in the files”; List of items added to the Seismograph Station in 1936; Death notice of George Hubbard Clapp, March 31, 1949; Mr. Clapp’s picture painted by Madame Elizabeth Shoumatoff in 1938; Biography of George H. Clapp; 4 pictures of Mr. Clapp; Booklet on coins
Box 2, Folder 16: Correspondence: Frederick Mortimer Clapp
Letters concerning the Fine Arts Department and Miss Frick (see also FF 145)
Box 8, Folder 71: Correspondence: G. Stanley Rupp
Nationality Rooms Book, donation by Mr. Leon Falk for publication of the book, January 8, 1947; 15 drawings were purchased from Dr. A. Avinoff, the money donated by Miss Helen C. Frick, March 2, 1944; Galen C. Hartman gave Crucible steel Co. of American stock to establish “Galen C. Hartman Library Fund” for books, November 8, 1945; List of land purchases for Medical Center, February 14, 1945; The University reimbursed for expenses of the Civil Affairs Specialists Training Program, by the U.S. Government, May 31, 1944; The University was paid for the use of its facilities by the Army Air Forces and A.S.T.P., February 18, 1944; List of contributors to the building fund for the Cathedral of Learning, 1934; List of items purchased, March 24, 1943 for the Darlington Library ; List of contributions from A.W. and R.B. Mellon; Condensed financial report of the Falk Elementary School from its opening in 1931/32 to 1941/42, also, 1941 Financial memorandum; List of buildings on Schenley Farms (Upper campus) Year completed and cost as of July 1, 1941; Treasurer’s report of assets of lands, buildings, etc, as of July 1, 1941; Copy of bill from R.C.A. Manufacturing Co., for the Electron microscope, November 1941 cost of $9500; University purchased a Collection of Italian drawings from Mary Burgwin Denny (Mrs. Harmar Denny) with funds donated by George H. Clapp, in 1941; Agreement with U.S. Department of Interior through Bureau of Mines for Anesthesia Research in 1941; List of subscribers to building fund for Cathedral of Learning, May 25, 1934
Box 19, Folder 145L Correspondence: Helen C. Frick, 1936-1946
Correspondence between Miss Frick and Chancellor re Frick art collection; bequest to Pittsburgh Free Dispensary; grant to University; correspondence re Frederick Mortimer Clapp as head, Fine Arts Department; support of Fine Arts Department and library; correspondence re bringing pianist Paderewski to Pitt, 1937. Mss. Of H.C. Frick article written by Marie McSwigan for Pitt, 1941; correspondence re George Washington letter given to Darlington Library by Helen Frick, 1942; letter re army trainees at Pitt. See also: Bowman restricted files and UA correspondence 1981
ART TRACKS SPEAKERS TODAY
Got ideas to check the following sources for leads
*** June 17
Email chain with David Grinnell about my ASC visit and request:
Hi Dominique—Sorry, I must not have been clear. I knew you wouldn’t need the bulk of Frick Fine Arts records because they were limited to the library. That is why I didn’t suggest having them pulled for you…there are no records here for the department as a whole other than the exhibit catalogs.
In regard to GHC, it’s not unusual for a member of the Board of Trustees or an alum to purchase gifts for the University. Don’t forget that in the 1940’s Pitt was a relatively small university. Very little resemblance to the large bureaucratic organization that it would become following the 2nd World War.
Hope this is helpful….sorry I will miss you on Friday.
From: Luster, Dominique S
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 10:39 AM
To: Grinnell, David R
Cc: Brodt, Zachary L; Taylor, Ashley Laine
Subject: Re: ASC Research
Good Morning All,
David, thank you very much for your insight. Unfortunately, we do not believe this collection has any association to the Frick Library as it was accessioned into the Gallery in 1941. We have reason to believe some of these pieces were exhibited in the Cathedral so yes, an exhibition catalog could be useful. Thank you.
I will also check Documenting PITT for other references.
I am actually looking for information regarding both Clapps. Dr. M. Clapp was Department Chair up until 1939 and may provide some insight as to Mary Denny’s relationship to the Fine Arts Department. I’m also interested in Dr. George H. Clapp as he was the one who actually paid for the collection in 1941. I understand his place on the Board of Trustees but I don’t understand why he specifically would offer to pay for art?
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Ashley, I will see you on Friday!
From: <Grinnell>, David R <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 10:01 AM
To: "Luster , Dominique S" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "Brodt, Zachary L" <email@example.com>, "Taylor, Ashley Laine" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: ASC Research
Good Morning Dominique,
Thanks for your message concerning your research on Frick Fine Arts collections. I will be away from the ASC on Friday, but Ashley will be on the ref desk that afternoon to assist you. I’m happy to have the Bowman boxes pulled and waiting for your arrival.
I have reviewed the records in the University Archives related to Frick Fine Arts and found that there are mostly boxes of records for the library. One exception is a single document case containing exhibit catalogs from the University Art Gallery. I’ll pull that just in case there is something interesting there for you.
In regard to the Pitt News, yes that material has been digitized but it isn’t not yet available—there is no way to search it without it being online. But, the good news is that the Alumni Publications section of Documenting Pitt is often a great place to locate information on donations to the university for the time period you are researching. So, we would highly recommend that you take a look there. We have often found information on room dedications and donations of paintings within the pages of the alumni publications, so there is a good chance something was recorded there.
I assume when you refer to Dr. Clapp you mean Dr. Frederick Mortimer Clapp, the head of the Fine Arts Program? I ask because the President of the Board of Trustees during the 1940’s was Dr. George Hubbard Clapp—GHC was a huge benefactor to the University and was a very well-known numismatic and collector of many things. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also an art or print collector. But, I want you to know this detail because when you search on Documenting Pitt, you might get hits for both of these men.
I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best of luck with your research. I’ve copied Zach and Ashley on this message, so if you have any further questions or if they have additional suggestions they can chime in….
All my best,
Visited ASC Today. Looked through files listed above. David Grinnell also pulled a box of FFAG exhibition catalogues. Found an exhibition catalog 1974 in which many (at least 20) of the drawings were used. Can tell from the UAG accession numbers
Antiquity Reborn: An Exhibition of Prints, Drawings and Books from the Collection of Frick Fine Arts Library Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, and University Art Gallery. November 8-December 8, 1974
*** June 23
Found Connection of Mary Denny to PITT. Both her husband and her Father were a trustee
Harmar Denny was born in Pittsburgh the son of Ebenezer Denny and Nancy Wilkins.His father had served as adjutant to General Harmar during wars on the western frontier. Graduating from Dickinson College in Carlisle in 1813, Harmar Denny was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania in 1816 and became a law partner with Henry Baldwin and practiced law in Pittsburgh . He married Elizabeth F. O'Hara on November 25, 1817 and they had 11 children. Elizabeth was the daughter of General James O'Hara and Mary Carson O'Hara. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from 1824 to 1829. In 1829 he became a ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh.
Denny was elected as an Anti-Masonic candidate to the Twenty-first Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Wilkins. He was reelected to the Twenty-second through Twenty-fourth Congresses and served from December 15, 1829, to March 3, 1837. After his term, he resumed the practice of law in Pittsburgh, and became a delegate to the Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention in 1837. He was a presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1840. As commissioner under act of incorporation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, April 13, 1846, he incorporated the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 1848. He was admitted to the American Philosophical Society in 1848. In 1849 he was elected president of the common council of Pittsburgh. He declined the nomination to be a candidate for Congress in 1850. He served as president of the Pittsburgh & Steubenville Railroad Company in 1851 and 1852. He was a trustee of the Western University of Pennsylvania, now the University of Pittsburgh, and director of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Mary Denny’s Husband: Harmar Denny
Harmar D. Denny, Jr., was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He was the great-grandson of Congressman Harmar Denny. He attended St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1904, graduated from Yale University in 1908, and from the law school of the University of Pittsburgh in 1911. During the First World War he served in the United States Army Air Corps as a first lieutenant and bombing pilot. Upon his return to Pennsylvania, he practiced law and was the director of public safety for the city of Pittsburgh in 1933 and 1934. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh in 1941. During the Second World War he served as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Air Corps as assistant air inspector, Eastern Flying Training Command, 1942 to 1945. At his retirement he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force.
Denny was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-second Congress, defeating incumbent Democratic Congressman Harry J. Davenport in the Pennsylvania 29th district. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1952 when redistricting forced him into an election against incumbent Democratic Congressman Herman P. Eberharter in the 28th District. After his term in Congress he served as a member of Civil Aeronautics Board from April 7, 1953, to November 15, 1959. He died in Buxton, Derbyshire, England and is buried at Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood.
Found a finding aid of the Denny-O’Hara Families - Heinz (Mary Burgwin Denny’s Father in Law)
The Denny and O'Hara families are two prominent families who migrated to the Pittsburgh region prior to the American Revolution. Ebenezer Denny and James O'Hara both served in the Revolutionary War and became civic and business leaders of the growing city. Two of their children, Harmar Denny and Elizabeth O'Hara, were married in 1817, uniting the families.
Hunting down Mary!
Mary Blair Burgwin Denny
Birth: Aug. 26, 1889
Death: Sep. 27, 1965
Plot: Section 11 Lot: 6
May have found contact information for Mary’s relatives:
1170 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15243-1344
Called, no answer.
Harmar Denny was listed as a relative on the public record at Cheswick, PA 15024, no number. Obviously he’s deceased but maybe this is a relative.
Sent a cold email to the contact listed on FindAGrave.com
Looked through available CLP databases for Mary’s Children. No luck
Joined Ancestry.com (free trial)
Found an Passport Application for Mary as well as two New York Passenger List manifestos
HOWEVER! I found tons of information about Harmar. I will try to track Mary’s Children through him.
Full name: Harmar Denny Denny
Birth: 2 Jul 1886 - Allegheny, United States
Marriage: 10 Apr 1915 - Pennsylvania, United States
Death: 6 Jan 1966 - Derbyshire, England
Parents: Harmar Denny, Elizabeth Bell Marshall
Spouse: Mary Blair Burgwin
Children: Elizabeth M Denny (1918), James O H Denny (1920), Anne B Denny (1923)
Full Name: Elizabeth M Denny
Birth: 01 Apr 1917 (1 Apr 1917) - USA
Marriage: 1938 - Pittsburgh, Allegheny County(Allegheny), Pennsylvania
Death: 31 Aug 2003 - Meridian, Idaho
Parents: Harmar Denny Denny, Mary Blair Burgwin
Spouse: John Brooke Saxman
Full Name: James O’Hara Denny
Birth: 02 Aug 1919 (2 Aug 1919) - Allegheny, USA
Death: 29 May 1993 - Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Parents: Harmar Denny Denny, Mary Blair Burgwin
Full Name: Anne B Denny
Birth: 06 Sep 1922 (6 Sep 1922) - USA
Marriage: 23 May 1958 - Chiswick, Middlesex, England
Death: 12 Jun 2009 - Pennsylvania, USA
Parents: Harmar Denny Denny, Mary Blair Burgwin
+well it looks like all Mary’s children are deceased. Not sure if the grandchildren would even know anything about her much less her art collection.
Since tracking the art through Mary is going to be close to impossible, I’m going to do some last looking through newspapers to check for any final clues.
“$67,600 left in Denny Will”
Pittsburgh Press - February 11, 1967
“Book Finds Its Way to Library After 56 Years”
The Day - November 2, 1970
Not relevant, but funny!
October 1939 Article on the opening of the new “modern” Fine Arts exhibition space in the Cathedral. As this article pre-dates this donation, Denny either already had an established relationship with the department or she has made other donations to the department.
November 54 Press Release specifically on this collection’s (probably first) exhibition.