Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Conventions: Provenance and exhibition history


Provenance: This entry comprises a list of known holders of the painting. A semicolon separates successive holders, while a period indicates an apparent gap in the provenance. The words "with", "sold by", or "offered by" indicate dealers or auction houses involved in ownership transfers. In cases in which acquisition or disposition dates are not known a date may appear preceded by the word "in" or "by", meaning that that the holder is known to have held the painting as of that year. Starting in 2016, the provenance of newly-added and updated paintings are more informative; they follow recommendations of best practices by the Kress Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Getty. The significant changes are to include more detailed information about ownership transfers. When transfer is by auction and the hammer price is known, that price is included, followed by the advertised buyer's premium, as in this example: $1200+15%. One should keep in mind that the actual cost to the buyer may be different because of behind-the-scenes negotiations, agent commissions, discounts for cash, credit card surcharges, and sales taxes.

Personal holdings are listed as "private collection" unless the owner's name has appeared in public or the owner has specifically authorized public disclosure. Dealers and auction houses are normally identified. The full name and address of the dealer or auction house, if known, appears in the citations.

Note that only a handful of Schafer paintings have complete provenance. There are two main reasons for incomplete provenance. First, in most cases records of the original purchasers have not been located. As a result, paintings can sometimes be traced back to the time that the artist was active, but cannot be connected to the artist's original sale. Second, during the middle part of the 20th century, and especially just after the second world war, the professional art world considered realistic paintings of western landscapes to be inconsequential decorations, and when houses were redecorated these paintings were often given or sold to salvage dealers who were primarily interested in their frames. Collectors of the 1960's report finding stacks of unframed paintings in the back of junk shops, with no information about their origins. For the same reason, paintings often come with no information other than "After Grandmother died we found it in the attic." Consequently the provenance of most of these paintings begins with a recent owner, an antique dealer, or an auction house.

Exhibited: If the painting has appeared in an exhibition, this entry gives the name, location, and date of that exhibition. A fuller citation of the exhibition and of any exhibition catalog can be found in the citations, which are in order by the name of the exhibition. This entry includes both museum exhibitions and those assembled and advertised by galleries and dealers, but it does not include the brief exhibitions that usually precede auction sales.



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Dec 10, 2020, 12:20 MST Accessibility