Keeping Tabs on an Art Collection, Part III

September 23, 2009


After speaking with Tiffany Shea in the registrar’s office about identifying objects by number at museums, I knew that I’d see a sticker on the back of this Theodore Robinson painting, currently in storage. What I did not expect was eight stickers. It was a veritable passport for Valley of the Seine, Giverny.


In a glance, I could track its travel all over the world as part of exhibitions. There was even a sticker belonging to a gallery that once owned it. Before seeing these stickers, I had only really considered the meaning of the front side of a painting—of the actual art. For the first time, looking at the back of the Robinson, I considered the flipside—the history of the painting itself, and how each of the places the painting has been adds to its legacy.

Allison Agsten