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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


Provenance Collectors Set

This set will familiarize students with the concept of provenance, its relevance to collecting organizations, and the legal and ethical issues that can ensue when an object's provenance is incomplete or unknown.  It is intended to introduce graduate and/or certificate level museum studies students to the relevant terminology and works that have changed the way that the museum industry researches, documents, and accessions their collections.

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

-Define provenance, the information it contains, and its relevance to the museum industry.

-Identify 2 artifacts with incomplete or unknown provenance.

-Discuss the legal, ethical and political ramifications of adopting contested pieces into one's collection.

Teachers: Use this collector's set as an introduction to the legal and ethical implications of museum registration and collections management. Give the set to your students for independent review at the opening of the unit.  Instruct them to view the set and record their thoughts and opinions for use in later classroom discussion.   Use the included content and questions as a springboard for class discussion.