Art and Art History
Art and Art History
These reference sources may provide an overview of a specific topic, define a term or concept, provide biographical information on an artist or suggest books, articles and other materials that may be useful in your research. The entries in these resources range from brief descriptions to signed, scholarly articles.
Other Useful Guides to Art History
- Artlex : art dictionary for artists, collectors, students and educators in art production, criticism, history, aesthetics, and education
An illustrated, cross referenced dictionary of over 3300 art terms, movements and concepts.
- The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms; AAA Ref N33 .L75 2004
Brief entries covering terms, styles and movements. Contains no artists' names.
- A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques; AAA Ref N33 .M36
This dictionary contains definitions of technical processes in the areas of painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking as well as ceramics.
- The Oxford Dictionary of Art.
A comprehensive dictionary of artists' names, movements, theories, techniques and terminology.
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Use this resource to brainstorm for terms to use in key word searches. One of the many problems in indexing and describing art is that there are few precise and definite terms. This resource may help you to come up with a few.
- Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
Very easy to use and very helpful, especially if you are interested in ancient art or art from non-western cultures. Entries provide basic information about the place, as well as variations and changes in place names. Authorities for names are also cited.
The directories and biographical sources listed below are all major works in which some effort to be comprehensive has been made. These are quick reference lists, leading or linking you to more detailed information.
- Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon : Bio-bibliographischer Index A-Z = The artists of the world : Bio-bibliographical index A-Z; AAARef N40 .A62 1999
With the Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon less than a quarter complete, the publisher has created this name authority that contains the c. 500,000 artists' names that should appear in the finished biographical work. This resource does not provide the biographical sketch that the complete reference work will, but it does provide basic information about a massive number of artists. Name, artistic occupation, date and place of birth and death, and most importantly, a bibliographic reference are included. In English. This resource, published in 1999, is less helpful for very contemporary artists.
- AskART.com: the artists bluebook
AskART provides directories to museums, dealers, auction houses and other art related organizations and services, but its true strength is the database of American artists. Type in the artist's name or browse the directory of over 27,000 American artists to find images, biographies, and references to museum holdings, books and articles, and auction records.
- Union List of Artists' Names
This is a searchable database of artists' names and their variations. It may help you to clarify the way an artist's name is spelled (this is especially helpful in cases of transliteration) or represented, middle names, prefixes, hyphens and all. The list also contains references to the resources cited for each artist. This directory is helpful with well known historical artists, but contains strange gaps for artists active in the later part of the twentieth century.
- Who's Who in American Art : a biographical directory of contemporary artists, editors, critics, executives, etc.; N6536.W5
Extremely brief entries for living American artists.
- Artcyclopedia is a cross referenced directory to artists and museums on the web. Entries for individual artists consist of links to sites hosting images, articles and to museums with holdings by the artist. Other content includes articles, primarily by the site's developers, art news and links to museums.
- ArtSource This gateway site provides annotated links to hundreds of internet resources on art, architecture and design.
- World Wide Arts Resources
This is the only comprehensive registry of art information on the world wide web. Thousands of sites are registered and organized here.
To find articles or essays in journals, art magazines and sometimes in museum catalogs, you will need to start with an index. Indexes allow you to search the content of art periodicals using keywords, author's names and titles among other search strategies. Use the Find Text button in the citation entry to locate the journal online, at the UO Libraries, or to request it through Interlibrary Loan.
- Art Abstracts and Art Index Retrospective
This database in two parts indexes periodicals dating back to 1929, with Art Index Retrospective covering 1929 to 1983 and Art Abstracts indexing from 1984 on. These indexes are strongest for English language publications, and include many smaller or more regionally oriented U.S. publications that may not be indexed in other databases. Art Abstracts and Art Index Retrospective include citations to articles on all art forms from all periods in history, from all parts of the world.
- ArtBibliographies Modern
This resource indexes articles about art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries including Festschriften, chapters from books and essays from exhibition catalogs.
- Bibliography of the History of Art
An important index of articles, chapters and essays on Western art, BHA provides the best coverage of foreign (primarily European) language publications.
- Design and Applied Art Index
This index, created in the UK, is ideal for searches for material on design (graphic, digital, automative, fashion, etc.) and applied arts (ceramics, weaving, and metalsmithing among others).
These resources will help you locate books, videotapes, and other library materials. Some of the resources below facilitate interlibrary loan or other borrowing.
If you are searching for a particular artist, these tips may be helpful:
- If the artist you are trying to find is a well known it is possible, even likely that a book about the artist has been published. A keyword search on the artist's name may be the best approch to locating books.
- Notable artists may have a catalogue raisonne. Catalogues raisonnes contain the complete works of an artist. In the case of a particularly prolific artist, a catalogue raisonne may be limited to a single media such as the complete paintings or the complete graphic works. Add the term "catalogue raisonne" to your keyword search on the artist's name to search for these resources.
UO Worldcat, also available on the catalog tab on the UO Libraries' homepage, locates books, journals, videos and other library materials at the UO, Summit libraries and in libraries around the world. Materials owned by the UO are listed first on the results list, followed by Summit and then by libraries elsewhere. For more information see the Books and More page.
You may also search for materials only at the UO Libraries. To see which search will serve your needs best consult this chart.
The following resources are searchable image databases. Some of these are part of the University of Oregon Libraries' collections and some are available on the free web. For more information on locating images see the Art Image Searching guide.
- UO Libraries Art and Architecture Image Collection is a searchable or browsable database of digital images of art and architecture. This curriculum based collection is currently under development.
- ARTstor Watch this location for ARTstor an image database containing more than half a million images..
- Google Image Search allows you to do a keyword search including the artist's name and/or title of the work of art. Keep in mind that results may vary considerably in quality and authority.
- Grove Dictionary of Art Image Link Search allows users to search the image links selected to illustrate articles in the Grove's Dictionary of Art Online. Links are to images located at hundreds of international museum and gallery websites.
- Art Resource is a commercial stock photo vendor specializing in fine art. As a study resource, the searchable database of 250,000 images is a valuable resource.
- Web Gallery of Art is a searchable database of Western painting and sculpture from 1100 to 1850.
These online resources address particular areas within the visual arts.
- Art Teacher on the Net is an award winning site featuring K-12 project ideas for a variety of circumstances.
- PBS TeacherSource provides a searchable directory of lesson and curriculum guides for art educators. Guides can be downloaded as PDF files, or email PBS to receive the complete color guides by postal service.
- Dictionary of Art Historians is a biographical dictionary of art historians. Entries for art historians are based on their presence in a growing list of major art historiographies. Searchable by name and methodology.
- Mother of All Art History Links Pages is a metasite for online art history resources. Links to hundreds of websites of practical or research value to the art historian. From the University of Michigan.
- Timeline of Art History Produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The timeline contextualizes art history by providing a geographical and chronological overview of key events in world history. Illustrated with works of art from the appropriate time periods and regions.
- Artnet.com is an online magazine (artnet Magazine: the insiders guide to the art market), a network of galleries from around the world and an index of active artists. Use the artists index to find images, galleries and biographical information about artists who are working and showing now. This may be the best online resource for contemporary, emerging and cutting edge artists.
- Imagesite is an annotated yellowpages for organizations, individuals, supplies, schools and other products and services for fine artists.
- PaintersStudio: resource for studio artists provides history, technique and other useful information about the broad variety of materials used in painting and drawing
- American Association of Museums provides a wealth of helpful pages for museum professionals. The "information center" contains information about best practices, guidelines for creating a collection management policy and more.
- Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) promotes the role of art in society and acts as an advocate for member museums by establishing high standards of professional practice and by supporting the sharing of information. The Art Museum Network is a communication project of the AAMD and is an important online resource for art museum news and information.
- Association of Children's Museums "endeavors to expand the capacity and further the vision of children's museums around the world". The "all about ACM" page contains information about the mission of this organization.
- The Smithsonian: Museum Studies provides links to many continuing education and training opportunities such as workshops and fellowships.
- Museum Computer Network (MCN) is a non-profit organization supporting the use of technology to achieve the cultural and educational aims of museums. Click on "Museum Sites Online" to find an extensive list of links to museum homepages from around the world.
- Museum Loan Network facilitates sharing and collaboration between museums and cultural institutes by funding the long-term loan of art and cultural objects. Several publications are available in their "Collection Sharing/ What's New section.
- Art Library Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is the professional society of art, architecture and design libraries and librarians includes members from academic, museum and special research libraries.
- College Art Association. Among many services provided by the College Art Association, are advocasy for arts and humanities issues, the promotion of excellence in the teaching and criticism of art history and the visual arts, and the fostering of career development for artists, art historians and others associated with these fields.
- National Endowment for the Arts is an independant agency of the U.S. Federal government. Their mission is to support excellence in the arts through grants for artists and art organizations.