According to the Grove Art Dictionary, provenance is the term used for the record of ownership of movable works of art. A complete provenance provides an accurate account of the locations of a work of art from the time and place of its manufacture to the present.
In acquiring any work of art it is essential that the Museum abide by the strictest legal and ethical standards. Serious effort is given to establishing provenance for all acquisitions, particularly archaeological objects. The Museum follows the guidelines for the protection of cultural properties currently recommended by the 1970 UNESCO treaty. The Museum also complies with the guidelines developed by the AAMD in their Report of the AAMD Task Force on the Spoilation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era (1933-1945) and with the legislation established in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).