Object Acquisition and Loan

Table of Contents


Introduction

The majority of recorded provenance events are when the object changes ownership, and the various methods in which that happens.

Object Acquisition

The transfer of ownership from (transferred_title_from) one owner to (transferred_title_to) the next, starting with the artist as defacto first owner to the person or organization who owns it next. The object itself is the value of the transferred_title_of relationship. The ownership chain can then be expressed by repeating this same pattern of transferring title from the current owner to the next.

If the previous or next owner is unknown, then the respective relationship can be omitted from the event. For example, if it is known that the object was sold between 1806 and 1809, but not to whom it was sold, this can be expresed by omitting transferred_title_to from the description.

This pattern does not express any further detail about how the acquisition took place, just that the object's ownership was transferred. For more detailed models of acquisition, the following sections include additional information.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/29", 
  "type": "Acquisition", 
  "took_place_at": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/place/14", 
      "type": "Place", 
      "label": "Art Gallery"
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_from": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/4", 
      "type": "Actor", 
      "label": "Seller"
    }
  ], 
  "timespan": {
    "id": "https://linked.art/example/time/12", 
    "type": "TimeSpan", 
    "label": "When", 
    "end_of_the_end": "1890-01-05T00:00:00Z", 
    "begin_of_the_begin": "1890-01-04T00:00:00Z"
  }, 
  "transferred_title_of": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/68", 
      "type": "ManMadeObject", 
      "label": "Example Sculpture", 
      "classified_as": [
        {"id": "aat:300047090","type": "Type","label": "Sculpture"}, 
        {"id": "aat:300133025","type": "Type","label": "Artwork"}
      ]
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_to": [
    {"id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/5","type": "Actor","label": "Buyer"}
  ]
}

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Purchase

A purchase is a common type of acquisition in which money is exchanged for the object. The main activity is the transfer of the title for the object from the seller to the buyer, exactly as for any Acquisition. The activity then consists of one or more related payments, without which the purchase would not be concluded. This typically involves a payment from the seller to the buyer for the agreed upon price, but might include payments to or from others such as for shared ownership or payment of debts owed.

The Payment activity has equivalent relationships for from (paid_from) and to (paid_to), as well as the amount of money paid (paid_amount). The amount itself is a resource that has a value (value) and a currency (currency). In the simple case, where the amount the object was offered for sale at (offering_price) is the same as it was sold for (sales_price) and there was a single transfer of money, for that amount. However, these values might be different if in certain circumstances and are hence modeled separately. The Acquisition also has the aat classification of "purchasing" (aat:300077989) to ensure that even if there are no payments explicitly modeled, then it can still be distinguished from other types of acquisition such as inheritance or gifts.

Diachronic Comparison of Monetary Amounts

The CIDOC-CRM SIG have clarified that the MonetaryAmount refers to the face value of the combination of value and currency. This means that any comparison between MonetaryAmount instances should also take into account the datetimes of resources that reference it, rather than standing alone. Further, it is still unclear if the same MonetaryAmount can be used for all occurences of value and currency, or whether there is something more unique than that.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/30", 
  "type": "Acquisition", 
  "classified_as": [
    {"id": "aat:300077989","type": "Type","label": "Puchasing"}
  ], 
  "transferred_title_from": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/6", 
      "type": "Actor", 
      "label": "Seller"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/31", 
      "type": "Payment", 
      "paid_amount": {
        "id": "https://linked.art/example/money/0", 
        "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
        "value": 100, 
        "currency": {
          "id": "https://linked.art/example/money/1", 
          "type": "Currency", 
          "label": "dollars"
        }
      }, 
      "paid_from": ["https://linked.art/example/actor/7"], 
      "paid_to": ["https://linked.art/example/actor/6"]
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_of": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/69", 
      "type": "ManMadeObject", 
      "label": "Example Painting", 
      "classified_as": [
        {"id": "aat:300033618","type": "Type","label": "Painting"}, 
        {"id": "aat:300133025","type": "Type","label": "Artwork"}
      ]
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_to": [
    {"id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/7","type": "Actor","label": "Buyer"}
  ]
}

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Multiple Owners

In some circumstances, the same object can be owned by multiple parties at the same time. For example, art dealers will pool resources in order to purchase an expensive object and later share the proceeds of sale amongst themselves, or informal groups of individuals contributing to a purchase, where there isn't a legal entity that becomes the sole owner.

In these cases, there are simply multiple buyers or sellers for the Purchase. The object is owned by all of the individuals, and it is unknown as to whether the ownership is evenly distributed or not. Similarly the multiple actors working together might make a payment for the object, and it is unknown how much each actor contributed to the total. It does not imply that each actor made the payment, that would be described as two separate Payment activities, one from each.

For situations where the division of ownership is known (likely based on the division of payment), please see the section on legal claims of rights.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/32", 
  "type": "Acquisition", 
  "label": "Purchase of the Example Painting by two Art Dealers", 
  "classified_as": [
    {"id": "aat:300077989","type": "Type","label": "Puchasing"}
  ], 
  "transferred_title_from": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/8", 
      "type": "Actor", 
      "label": "Seller"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/33", 
      "type": "Payment", 
      "paid_amount": {
        "id": "https://linked.art/example/money/2", 
        "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
        "value": 1000, 
        "currency": {
          "id": "https://linked.art/example/money/3", 
          "type": "Currency", 
          "label": "dollars"
        }
      }, 
      "paid_from": [
        "https://linked.art/example/group/17", 
        "https://linked.art/example/group/18"
      ], 
      "paid_to": ["https://linked.art/example/actor/8"]
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_to": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/group/17", 
      "type": "Group", 
      "label": "Art Dealership 1"
    }, 
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/group/18", 
      "type": "Group", 
      "label": "Art Dealership 2"
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_of": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/70", 
      "type": "ManMadeObject", 
      "label": "Example Painting", 
      "classified_as": [
        {"id": "aat:300033618","type": "Type","label": "Painting"}, 
        {"id": "aat:300133025","type": "Type","label": "Artwork"}
      ]
    }
  ]
}

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Agents and Commissions

In some cases, an agent other than the eventual owner carries out the acquisition. This can be modeled by associating a different actor from the buyer (the person who title is transferred to) carrying out the activity. If there was some known payment for this service, that can also be modeled as a payment that is part of the purchase, but instead where the recipient is the agent. In order to make it clear that this payment is a commission, it should have the type aat:300393199.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/34", 
  "type": "Acquisition", 
  "classified_as": [
    {"id": "aat:300077989","type": "Type","label": "Puchasing"}
  ], 
  "carried_out_by": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/11", 
      "type": "Actor", 
      "label": "Agent for the Buyer"
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_from": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/9", 
      "type": "Actor", 
      "label": "Seller"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/35", 
      "type": "Payment", 
      "classified_as": [
        {"id": "aat:300393199","type": "Type","label": "Commission"}
      ], 
      "paid_amount": {
        "id": "https://linked.art/example/money/4", 
        "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
        "value": 100, 
        "currency": {
          "id": "https://linked.art/example/money/5", 
          "type": "Currency", 
          "label": "dollars"
        }
      }, 
      "paid_from": ["https://linked.art/example/actor/10"], 
      "paid_to": ["https://linked.art/example/actor/11"]
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_to": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/10", 
      "type": "Actor", 
      "label": "Buyer"
    }
  ], 
  "transferred_title_of": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/71", 
      "type": "ManMadeObject", 
      "label": "Example Painting", 
      "classified_as": [
        {"id": "aat:300033618","type": "Type","label": "Painting"}, 
        {"id": "aat:300133025","type": "Type","label": "Artwork"}
      ]
    }
  ]
}

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Auctions

The individual purchase that is the result of auctioning an object is the same as the above model. The auction event itself however is important for understanding the provenance of the object, and is described in more detail here.

Transfer of Custody

The model makes a distinction between the transfer of legal ownership (e.g. by sale or gift) and the transfer of custody (e.g. by losing the object or loaning it out for an exhibition). If the possession of the object is temporary, such that the object would be given back to the real owner at the end of that possession without what might be considered a sale or exchange, then it is a transfer of custody only.

Transfers of custody use a different class, TransferOfCustody instead of Acquisition. The properties that capture the parties and object involved are also different, although equivalent, to those of Acquisition: transferred_custody_of the object, transferred_custody_from the previous custodian, and transferred_custody_to the new custodian.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions are a common way that the custody of an object changes, while the ownership remains the same. Exhibitions are described in more detail here.

Loss

The loss of an object is the transfer of custody away from its current owner, without stating a recipient. In the future, if the object is discovered, the recipient might be able to be filled in. If the object is then returned to the owner, there would be the reverse transfer of custody from the party that found it. It might be that the owner simply loses track of it, and although it is still in their possession, they are not aware of it ... it has no custodian.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/36", 
  "type": "TransferOfCustody", 
  "transferred_custody_from": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/person/24", 
      "type": "Person", 
      "label": "Previous Owner"
    }
  ], 
  "timespan": {
    "id": "https://linked.art/example/time/13", 
    "type": "TimeSpan", 
    "label": "Time noticed as Lost", 
    "end_of_the_end": "1790-12-05T00:00:00Z", 
    "begin_of_the_begin": "1790-12-04T00:00:00Z"
  }, 
  "transferred_custody_of": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/72", 
      "type": "ManMadeObject", 
      "label": "Example Lost Painting", 
      "classified_as": [
        {"id": "aat:300033618","type": "Type","label": "Painting"}, 
        {"id": "aat:300133025","type": "Type","label": "Artwork"}
      ]
    }
  ]
}

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Theft

Theft, looting and other illegal acquisitions are covered more accurately under the legal claims pattern. While CIDOC-CRM recommends the use of a Transfer of Custody as legal ownership does not change, there are serious drawbacks to this approach. Notably when a stolen item is sold to an unwitting buyer, there is no outward appearance that there is anything untoward. The ability to classify a legal claim as valid or invalid resolves this issue.