CONFERENCE PAPER: “Where Did It Come From? Deep Learning for Event Extraction in Art Provenance”, 10/06/2022 – 10/07/2022.

From October 67th, 2022, Lab member Fabio participated in the 10th annual “New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data” conference (TADA), which is a leading forum for research on the study of politics, society, and culture through computational analysis of documents. At this year’s conference, Fabio presented a talk titled “Where Did It Come From? Deep Learning for Event Extraction in Art Provenance”. 

In the talk, he explored the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence in the structuring of provenance events, where events are composed of parties, locations, dates, and methods of transfer. In particular, Fabio focused on the possibilities of applying deep learning methods, i.e. tools using artificial intelligence, for event extraction from provenance. From a computer science perspective, the extraction of knowledge from a provenance text relates to an event extraction problem in Natural Language Processing (NLP), an area of research where computer science, linguistics, and, more recently, artificial intelligence intersect. Using a museum dataset of over 11,000 provenances, Fabio showed how it is possible to solve NLP tasks by training artificial intelligence. 

CONFERENCE PAPER: “The Expert in the Loop: Developing a Provenance Linked Open Data Management Platform”, 07/25/2022 – 07/29/2022.

Following a hiatus in 2021, the international Digital Humanities Conference (DH2022)  took place again this year. The event, which ran from July 25th to 29th, 2022, was an opportunity to share research results and exchange knowledge among international research teams.

On behalf of the Provenance Lab, Fabio participated with a presentation entitled: “The Expert in the Loop: Developing a Provenance Linked Open Data Management Platform”. In the talk, Fabio presented for the first time the development of a ‘human-in-the-loop’ platform to extract, structure, and enrich provenance data from texts compiled by institutions. The ‘human-in-the-loop’ approach consists of providing a digital interface that allows a human (in our case, a provenance expert) to easily interact with artificial intelligence without any technical prerequisites. In this way, we can combine the quantitative benefits of automatic knowledge extraction via machine learning with the intellectual work of domain experts.

The abstract to the talk can be found in The Book of Abstracts of DH2022.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATION: “Probably Sold to Paalen, Possibly by Exchange”, 06/09/2022.

On June 9th and 10th, 2022, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) hosted the second edition of the Workshop on Computational Methods in the Humanities (COMHUM 2022). Fabio participated in the event with a presentation entitled “Probably Sold to Paalen, Possibly by Exchange: Vagueness, Incompleteness, Subjectivity, and Uncertainty in Digital Art Provenance”. Taking the example of the provenance of Picasso’s  ‘Head of a Woman’ (1927) now preserved at the MET, the talk focused on the challenges of, as well as modeling solutions for, VISU information (Vagueness, Incompleteness, Subjectivity, and Uncertainty). 

VISU information—from the Latin ‘de visu’ meaning “with your own eyes”—represents the effort and difficulty in reconstructing the provenance of a work of art. In digitizing and publishing art provenance as linked open data, Fabio argues, it is important that we include and model the complexity of VISU information. In so doing, we can avoid making historical records clear, complete, objective and certain, when they are simply not.

PANEL DISCUSSION: “Frenemies? – Provenance and Art Market Studies”, 02/17/2022.

On February 17th, 2022, Max chaired a panel discussion called “Frenemies? – Provenance and Art Market Studies”, hosted by the The International Art Market Studies Association (TIAMSA). Against the backdrop of digitalization of research and knowledge production, as well the increasing availability of art market information, the panel brought together three experts in provenance and art market research to discuss shared challenges: Executive Director of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc., Elizabeth Gorayeb, head of The Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance at the Getty Research Institute, Sandra van Ginhoven, and the director of the Provenance Lab, Lynn.

CONFERENCE PANEL: “Digital Provenance and the Art Market”, 01/22/2022.

On January 22nd, 2022, on a panel called ‘Art Market, Art Trade, Cultural Property Smuggling’, Lynn talked to her colleague Meike Hopp about digital art market and provenance research at the annual conference ‘Collections – Provenance – Cultural Heritage 6.0’, hosted by the Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg. This year, the focus of the conference was expanded to include aspects of digital collection. Among other things, Lynn and Meike discussed historical art market realities, such as joint businesses, the role of agents versus owners on the auction market and the challenge of recording the complexities of provenance research in a structured way. This is especially difficult, they concluded, when you want to include all the nuances and uncertainties.

CONFERENCE PAPER: “Modern Migrants – Provenance Studies at Leuphana”, 11/19/2021.

From November 17-19th, 2021, Fabio participated in the Second Culture Community Plenary of the NFDI4 Consortium for Research Data on Material and Immaterial Cultural Heritage. In his talk “Modern Migrants – Provenance Studies at Leuphana”, Fabio presented the project Modern Migrants: Paintings from Europe in US Museums at Leuphana University Lüneburg, which aims to digitally collect, structure and, ultimately, analyze data on modern paintings from Europe in US museum collections, with the view to generating knowledge about art markets, the circulation of artworks, and other networked aspects of art history. Using the provenance of Pablo Picasso’s ‘Harlequin’ (1915) as an example, Fabio’s presentation focused on the challenges of extracting knowledge from provenance texts, as well as the possibilities and limitations of natural language processing.

TALK: “Driving L’Arlésienne”, 10/27/2021.

On October 27, 2021, Lynn participated in the workshop “Infrastructures of Producing, Transporting, and Logistics in Transnational Perspective“, organised by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich. In her talk, entitled “Driving L’Arlésienne: Transporting Paintings during National Socialism”, she highlighted and analysed the complexities of transporting art during the war, with a particular focus on the fate of one painting, van Gogh’s “L’Arlésienne”, as well the odyssey of its owner, Marianne de Goldschmidt-Rothschild, who had to endure a great deal before she could find a safe refuge for herself and her artwork.

CONFERENCE PAPER: “Towards an Emancipated Provenance Research”, 04/20/2021.

On April 20th, 2021, Lynn delivered a closing remark at the annual conference of the Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V., which, this year, went by the title “Searching for clues and coming to terms with the past – the state of provenance research in Hamburg”. Lynn’s talk, “Towards an Emancipated Provenance Research”, argued that provenance research is, fundamentally, not a temporary but a long-term project, and, if given time, will be able to “unfold its scientific and memory-culture potential, especially in cultural heritage institutions and at universities”.

CONFERENCE PAPER: “The History of Art is Linked but the Data is Not: Georgia O’Keefe, Provenance and Scholarship”, 07/21/20.

On July 21st, 2020, Lynn presented a paper called “The History of Art is Linked but the Data is Not: Georgia O’Keefe, Provenance and Scholarship” at DH2020, the annual Digital Humanities Conference, organized by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. With the theme of “carrefours/intersections,” the conference invited proposals from the sub-disciplines of public digital humanities and the open data movement. The reason why, Lynn argued, that she is advocating for Linked.Art—a community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data—is “because the history of art is linked but the data of cultural institutions is not”.

CONFERENCE PAPER: “Art Digitization and the State-of-the-Art(World)”, 03/05/2020.

On March 5th, 2020, Lynn presented her work in the field of provenance research at an all-day conference entitled “Art Digitization and the State-of-the-Art(World)”, which was organised by the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc. and hosted by SAP Hudson Yards. A recording of the event is now available on Youtube:

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