Close up of a man’s torso. His hand is positioned across his chest, and it holds a small red fish, a herring

Frans Hals, Pieter Cornelisz. van der Morsch (detail), 1616, oil on canvas, transferred from panel, Carnegie Museum of Art, Acquired through the generosity of Mrs. Alan M. Scaife

Created, Collected, Conserved: The Life Stories of Paintings

Scaife Galleries

Every painting at Carnegie Museum of Art has a story involving artists who created them, collectors who cherished them, donors who entrusted them to the museum, and curators and conservators who have cared for them. Created, Collected, Conserved shows how extensive research and new technology can uncover fascinating stories.

This gallery installation focuses on seven paintings that share a common origin: all were part of the Northbrook Collection in England, which was mainly assembled in the 19th century. The collection was largely dispersed and sold by the late 1930s.

A new interactive map anchors the gallery, tracing the paths of nearly 200 paintings in the Northbrook Collection. The map uses Art Tracks, a new set of digital provenance tools developed by CMOA. Visitors can see the paths of each artwork from their creation to current locations, often traveling thousands of miles between owners. CMOA’s paintings, for example, arrived from five different donors, and over the course of 70 years.

The installation also highlights recent and ongoing conservation work through several additional paintings, and the conditions and histories leading to the care that they are receiving at CMOA.

Explore the life stories of paintings, and consider the ways that history shapes culture.