At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Victoria Reed is the first and only endowed curator of provenance at an American museum. Since 2010, her role has been to research objects in the museum's collections, and new acquisitions, in order to determine the right of ownership.
At times, Reed's findings have led to restitution for Nazi victims' families, such as the MFA's payment to keep “Portrait of a Man and Woman in an Interior,’’ a painting by the 17th-century Dutch painter Eglon van der Neer.
In other instances, she has determined that the MFA has clear title to works, such as Oskar Kokoschka's painting, “Two Nudes (Lovers),’’ a work that an Austrian woman laid claim to.
Recently, Reed foiled a MFA jewelry curator's desire to acquire a dazzling 17th-century gold medallion, offered at TEFAF Maastricht. Reed discovered the piece had been looted from a German museum during World War II. The fair's exhibitor, in turn, sent the medallion back to the Castle Friedenstein museum.