you know who made the object? This may be the name of a known
individual (e.g., Thomas Tompion), a company (e.g., Tiffany &
Co.), or cultural group (e.g., Hopi).
the name of the Maker can help to narrow a database search to
objects made by that person, company, etc. Moreover, associating
an object with a named individual can greatly enhance its historic
significance and in some instances its value. However, the retrievability
of this information depends on the use of the same form of spelling
by the person who documented the object and the person searching
for it. For example, the name of the painter Gerrit van Honthorst
would be searched for by a Dutch person using this "preferred"
form of his name, while an Italian would most likely search using
Gherardo delle Notti.
of ensuring consistency is to use only "preferred" versions of
names (see discussion of preferred terms in Type
of Object). Some organizations achieve this by using a
published reference work such as Bénézits
Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs
as their authority. A more flexible approach uses the on-line,
structured vocabulary tool Union List of Artist Names (ULAN).
ULAN (www.gii.getty.edu/vocabularies/ulan) is a database of biographical
and bibliographical information on artists and architects, including
variant names, pseudonyms, and language variants. It can be used
as an authority file (see Type of
Object) and as a searching
tool that enhances retrieval of multiple versions of names.
have more than one maker, e.g., a clock made by Thomas Tompion
and Edward Banger. Sometimes the different roles played by
individuals in the creation of an object are also known, e.g.,
artist: Charles le Brun; engraver: Michel Corneille, Francesco
di Giorgio Martin’; reworked by Baldassare Peruzzi. In the
case of mass-produced objects it may be possible to give only
the name of the factory (e.g., Wedgwood). In other cases,
the names of designers may be known and their work so distinctive
that they are more useful for purposes of identifying an object
than the name of the company that actually made the object (e.g.,
designer: Clarice Cliff; manufacturer: A.J. Wilkinson Ltd.).
The maker may also be recorded as the tribe or people to whom
an anonymous maker belonged, e.g., Vuvi tribe, Gabon (see also
Place of Origin/Discovery).
In the art
trade, attributions of responsibility are of considerable importance:
they enable one to say that an object was created by a particular
individual, thereby greatly enhancing its value. Where attribution
is certain, the makers name can be stated without accompanying
qualifications. However, if the attribution is not certain, it
needs qualification. Degrees of certainty are expressed using
terms such as attributed to (when the attribution
is relatively certain), school or atelier of (when
the object was made by someone working within the circle of the
named person), follower of (when the object was
made by someone working close to, but not within the circle of
the named person), or after or style of
(when the objects maker comes later and had no direct contact
with the named person). In addition, the name may have been given
posthumously to an anonymous individual with a recognizable style
and to whom objects have been attributed, e.g., the Painter
catalogues now explain the companys attribution policy by
means of glossaries which qualify the relationship between the
object and the named person in the catalogue. The following conventions
for attribution are used by Sothebys:
Bellini: In our opinion a work by the artist. When the artists
forename(s) is not known, a series of asterisks, followed by
the surname of the artist, whether preceded by an initial or
not, indicates that in our opinion the work is by the artist
to Giovanni Bellini: In our opinion probably a work
by the artist but less certainty as to authorship is expressed
than in the preceding category.
of Giovanni Bellini: In our opinion a work by an unknown
hand in the studio of the artist which may or may not have been
executed under the artists direction.
of Giovanni Bellini: In our opinion a work by an as yet
unidentified but distinct hand, closely associated with the
named artist but not necessarily his pupil.
ofÉÉ.; follower of Giovanni Bellini: In our opinion a work
by a painter working in the artists style, contemporary
or nearly contemporary, but not necessarily his pupil.
of Giovanni Bellini: In our opinion a work in the style
of the artist and of a later date.
Giovanni Bellini: In our opinion a copy of a known
work of the artist.
signed and/or dated and/or inscribed means
that in our opinion the signature and/or date and/or inscription
are from the hand of the artist.
bears a signature and/or date and/or inscription
means that in our opinion the signature and/or date and/or inscription
have been added by another hand
signature. . ."/ "With date. . ."/ "with inscription. . ."
In our opinion the signature/date/inscription is by a hand other
than that of the artist.
In the case
of known artists, their life dates provide added value, e.g.,
Jean Laurent Mosnier (1743-1808). If their locus of activity
is known, this may also be recorded, e.g., Philips Wouwerman
(1619-Haarlem-1668). Where the artist had more than one principal
locus of activity, this may be indicated, e.g., Francesco-Giuseppe
Casanova, London 1727-1802 Vienna; Bartholomeus Maton, Leiden
circa 1643-46--after 1684 Stockholm. (See also Place