Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017 Views: 28
Great question! The Museum does keep track of where they got a piece of glass from. Sometimes, we know several previous owners, or a significant owner, such as with this lamp owned by Liberace. Other times, we don’t know that much. Probably the best way for you to find this information is to use our online glass collection browser (http://www.cmog.org/collection/search) and search for the piece you are interested in. When you find it, open the record for that piece. The record usually has a photo (especially if it’s a piece on display) and information like date, maker, materials used, etc. It might also include two bits of information that will be useful to you: Credit Line and Provenance.
For example, in the record for this paperweight, we see that it is a gift of The Honorable and Mrs. Amory Houghton (credit line) and was originally part of their collection (provenance).
Even better, this record for a Libensky and Brychtova piece shows not only that the piece was purchased with funds from James B. Flaws and Marcia D. Weber (credit line), but it also gives a list of former owners, along with the dates they owned the piece (provenance).
As for Amenhotep II, it looks like it was purchased in part with funds from the Museum Endowment Fund (credit line), and was previously in the collection of Levi de Benzion; Robin Symes was a source (provenance).
I couldn’t tell you how many records have a credit line, a provenance section, or both. If the piece you’re interested in has neither, uou can contact our curatorial department through their online form (http://www.cmog.org/glass-questions). They might be able to tell you a little more. Of course, you’re always welcome to ask one of us librarians for help as well! We do have books and auction catalogs that document personal collections or other sources for glass the Museum might own.