Provenance Research

Provenance Research Project

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is participating in the nationwide effort to identify works of art that may have been illegally confiscated from their rightful owners by the Nazi regime during World War II. Committed to the responsible stewardship of its collection, the museum is conducting in-depth provenance research on a number of paintings in the permanent collection, in compliance with the guidelines issued by the American Association of Museums in 1999 and 2001.

List of paintings
Provenance Research ProjectProvenance Research Project
'Balthazar, from an altarpiece depicting the Adoration of the Magi,' Unknown Artist (Netherlandish (probably Antwerp), ca. 1515

Provenance Research

Provenance Research Project

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is participating in the nationwide effort to identify works of art that may have been illegally confiscated from their rightful owners by the Nazi regime during World War II. Committed to the responsible stewardship of its collection, the museum is conducting in-depth provenance research on a number of paintings in the permanent collection, in compliance with the guidelines issued by the American Association of Museums in 1999 and 2001.

List of paintings
Provenance Research Project
'Balthazar, from an altarpiece depicting the Adoration of the Magi,' Unknown Artist (Netherlandish (probably Antwerp), ca. 1515

March 22 - August 4, 2024

Christian Siriano: People Are People

'People Are People' honors famed American designer Christian Siriano’s electrifying contributions to fashion. Drawn from his extensive archive, the exhibition features bold creations from Siriano’s decade-plus career that celebrate self-expression for every body at every age.

Learn More
Christian Siriano prepping his 2019 Met Gala look for Janelle Monáe, Christian Siriano: People Are People, 2021, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia.
Christian Siriano prepping his 2019 Met Gala look for Janelle Monáe, Christian Siriano: People Are People, 2021, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia.

On View

Thomas Jackson, 'Chaotic Equilibrium'

Pennsylvania-based artist Thomas Jackson (b. 1971; Philadelphia) harnesses the wind and lightweight fabrics to create ethereal works of art that blur the boundaries between landscape photography, sculpture, and kinetic art. 

Learn More
Thomas Jackson, 'Chaotic Equilibrium'. Photo Credit: Lucy Garrett.
Thomas Jackson, 'Chaotic Equilibrium'. Photo Credit: Lucy Garrett.

October 2023 – May 2024

China Blues: The World of Blue & White Ceramics

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art has recently received a generous gift of 95 spectacular works of Chinese art. The collection includes a range of objects from the Ming and Qing dynasties in a wide array of materials, including beautifully carved jades, paintings, textiles, and ceramics.

Learn More

Ongoing

In the Moment: Art from the 1950s to Now

Contemporary art can capture the political and cultural essence of our time while contemplating and transcending our everyday realities. As time passes, this art connects us with the defining spirit of an era, becoming a visual record of a moment.

Learn More
Rashid Johnson, 'Seascape "Milestones"', 2022 Oil on linen; 95 × 122 in. From the collection of Pitt and Barbara Hyde
Rashid Johnson, 'Seascape "Milestones"', 2022 Oil on linen; 95 × 122 in. From the collection of Pitt and Barbara Hyde

Ongoing

Memphis on the Mississippi (Ode to Tom Lee)

To further build Memphis' Art Collection, the Brooks has commissioned the Memphis-based artist Carl E. Moore to create a work inspired by our soon-to-be new location Downtown on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Learn More
Carl E. Moore, 'Memphis on the Mississippi (Ode to Tom Lee)', 2022. Acrylic on canvas.
Carl E. Moore, 'Memphis on the Mississippi (Ode to Tom Lee)', 2022. Acrylic on canvas.

Ongoing

Art of the African Diaspora

As conversations around the African Diaspora shift and evolve, so too will this display, aided by the museum actively acquiring works that reflect these varied, global experiences.

Learn More

Ongoing

Power and Absence

This reimagining of the Schilling Gallery explores the representation of women in Europe from around 1500 to 1680, known as the Renaissance and Early Baroque period. Most of the works in this room have been made by men.

Learn More
Sofonisba Anguissola, 'Self-Portrait', 1560, oil on wood panel, Memphis Park Commission Purchase, 43.11
Sofonisba Anguissola, 'Self-Portrait', 1560, oil on wood panel, Memphis Park Commission Purchase, 43.11
No exhibitions were found

January 26 - February 25, 2024

2024 Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards

Every year, we are honored to host what some artists have called the "championships for our young artists": the Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards. Featuring artworks by the Mid-South's best and brightest creative youths, this is a visual celebration of the Mid-South's best creativity.

Learn More
Emily Zhang, Sewing, Senior Division Best-In-Show, Drawing & Illustration, 11th grade, White Station High School, educator Wenjun Huang.
Emily Zhang, Sewing, Senior Division Best-In-Show, Drawing & Illustration, 11th grade, White Station High School, educator Wenjun Huang.

January 24 - March 17 2024

Art Builds Creativity 2023 - 2024

This dynamic exhibition features artwork created by the Memphis-area students who participated in the 2023-24 Art Builds Creativity (ABC) program.

Learn More
Photo from Dr. Elizabeth Woodard at Shelby Oaks Elementary
Photo from Dr. Elizabeth Woodard at Shelby Oaks Elementary

PAST

The Human Zoo by Kent Monkman

Experience the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s latest acquisition: The Human Zoo (2015) by Cree artist Kent Monkman (b. 1965).

Learn More
Kent Monkman, The Human Zoo, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Museum Purchase. 2022.7a-e
Kent Monkman, The Human Zoo, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Museum Purchase. 2022.7a-e

November 11 2023 - January 7 2024

Inspired Aging: Wellness and Creative Courage

The Inspired Aging: Art and Wellness course brings to life the many ways mindfulness and creativity can both inspire and positively impact well-being. 

Learn More

August 17, 2023 - January 7, 2024

Black American Portraits

'Black American Portraits' reframes the history of portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters, and spaces. The exhibition chronicles the many ways in which Black Americans have used portraiture to envision themselves in their own eyes.

Learn More
Barkley Leonnard Hendricks, 'Self Portrait', 1977, © Barkley L. Hendricks. Rennie Collection, Vancouver
Barkley Leonnard Hendricks, 'Self Portrait', 1977, © Barkley L. Hendricks. Rennie Collection, Vancouver

May 12th - July/August 2023

Sense-ational!: The Art of the Five Senses

Explore how artists convey sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch in their masterpieces. This interactive exhibit will highlight art from Memphis’s art collection ranging from floral watercolor to Cubist prints. 

Learn More
Walter I. Anderson (American (active in Mississippi), 1903 - 1965), Floral Decorative, 1951, Watercolor, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery purchase, funds provided by the Memphis Park Commission, the Brooks Fine Arts Foundation and Mrs. Walter I. Anderson, 69.7.2
Walter I. Anderson (American (active in Mississippi), 1903 - 1965), Floral Decorative, 1951, Watercolor, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery purchase, funds provided by the Memphis Park Commission, the Brooks Fine Arts Foundation and Mrs. Walter I. Anderson, 69.7.2

February 15th - April 30th

Art Builds Creativity

This dynamic exhibition features artwork created by the Memphis-area students who participated in the 2022-23 Art Builds Creativity (ABC) program.

Learn More

January 20 - February 19, 2023

2023 Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards

Learn More
“Kendall” by Sydney Wickens, age 18, grade 12, Arlington High School, Drawing & Illustration, Senior Division Best in Show
“Kendall” by Sydney Wickens, age 18, grade 12, Arlington High School, Drawing & Illustration, Senior Division Best in Show

May 8 - October 26 2024

Summer Art Garden: Creatures of Paradise

Bask in the summer air on the museum’s plaza surrounded by vibrant and whimsical creatures at our second annual Summer Art Garden! This year’s featured artist is the Memphis-based duo Banana Plastik with their installation Creatures of Paradise, where monstrous bugs and tiny Thumbelinas relax in a fantasy landscape.

Learn More
Banana Plastik, 2024.
Banana Plastik, 2024.

September 2024 - January 2025

Andrea Morales: Roll Down Like Water

Memphis-based Peruvian-American photographer Andrea Morales’s (b. 1984; Lima, Peru) portrayal of the Delta South is deeply rooted in the communities she engages with, and because of this, a truer account of this region that is often portrayed through stereotypes, misperceptions, nostalgia, and storytelling. 

Learn More
Andrea Morales, Kaylin McCain and Jakayla Davis wait for their grandmother to sign up for the Affordable Care Act at Impact Baptist Church in Frayser, a Memphis, Tennessee, neighborhood, in February 2015.
Andrea Morales, Kaylin McCain and Jakayla Davis wait for their grandmother to sign up for the Affordable Care Act at Impact Baptist Church in Frayser, a Memphis, Tennessee, neighborhood, in February 2015.

Fall 2025

MCA at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

For eighty-four years, the Memphis College of Art (MCA) offered rigorous arts education to students from across the country and around the world. To celebrate the illustrious history of the college, in 2025 the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will open an exhibition with works by faculty, administrators, and graduates.

Learn More

Nazi-Era Research

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi Party systemically persecuted and stripped Jewish people from Nazi-occupied Europe of their possessions. These objects were looted, sold, dispersed, or destroyed. The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art began Nazi-Era provenance research in 2002, focusing on all European paintings in the permanent collection that transferred ownership or have gaps in their provenance from 1933 to 1945.

Although we cannot conclude that a work of art was looted or appropriated by the Nazis simply because it has incomplete or unverified information in its provenance, gaps do indicate that more robust research must be conducted. Many times, these gaps in provenance are the result of lost or destroyed gallery records, or the requested anonymity of a past owner. Several of the museum’s paintings have been researched and their provenance has been established, while others continue to be investigated.

The American Association of Museums has developed a Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal which provides a searchable registry of objects in United States museum collections that fit the criteria discussed above.

In allowing public access, we join with the international art museum community in the diligent search for items seized or looted during the Nazi era. If you have any inquiries or information about these items, please contact the museum at provresearch@brooksmuseum.org.

Colonial-Era Research

Throughout history, many works of art from around the world were stolen, forcibly sold, or taken without consent as the direct result of Colonialism. The communities whose objects were taken experienced trauma, violence, and loss. Looting is not just an issue of the past. These problems persist globally due to war, riot, shifts in government, organized crime, terrorism, and natural disasters and, unfortunately, looted objects emerge on the art market to this day.

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is committed to not only investigating the history of objects in our collection with possible links to Colonialism, but also to ensuring that all incoming acquisitions and gifts have a verified past that align with our ethical obligations.

Enhance your connection with the world of art

There are many ways for individuals, foundations, and corporations to support Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Ways to give

Galleries

You can start your visit to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art online and purchase your tickets before your arrive.

Plan your visit

Permanent Collections

Information about the permanent collections of the Brooks Museum

Interior with Soldiers
Provenance Research Paintings
View CollectionView Collection