Last Updated: May 09, 2019     Views: 72

Hello! Thank you for your question. The Museum does keep track of how they acquired an object.

Sometimes, we can trace an object through several previous owners. Sometimes we have a record of a significant owner, such as with this electric lamp owned by Liberace. Other times, however, we don’t know that much.

Probably the best place for you to start is with our online collection browser. Search for the piece you are interested in, and when you find it, open the record for that piece.

The record usually includes a photo of the object (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 Baccarat 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, the record for Through the Cone by Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova not only shows that the piece was purchased with funds from James B. Flaws and Marcia D. Weber (credit line), but also gives a list of former owners along with the dates they owned the piece (provenance).

If you are unable to find information about the piece you’re interested in, you can contact our curatorial department through their online form ( They might be able to tell you a little more.

Of course, you’re always welcome to ask a librarian for help as well! We do have books and auction catalogs that might be useful in your research.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in the future with your glass-related questions!





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