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Art & Art History

Gateway into art and art history resources at USD

Assignment Help

Smart History


Find Background Information

  • Search online catalog for the artist's name as author or subject (last name, space, first initial), or as keyword (place name in direct order between quotes, or search first and last name separated by and) to see if the Library has exhibition catalogues or art historical materials containing the artist's work
  • Use bio-bibliographical indexes to artists. 
  • Search online catalog for topics by art form, style, country and/or time period under appropriate subject headings or keyword combinations. Information about artists may also appear in un-indexed anthologies under these types of headings. For example:
    • Art, Abstract
    • Art, Baroque
    • Art, Italian--17th century
    • Impressionism--Art

For Interpretation, Criticism, and Analysis

  • For critical essays and art criticism in general, search "Art--Criticism" as a subject in online catalog.
  • Search appropriate journal indexes by artist, topic (subject/keyword), art form/style, geographic place, or time period to find articles published in scholarly journals, popular magazines or newspapers.

Find Exhibition Catalogues

  • Exhibition catalogues are useful visual sources of an artist's work, and sometimes the only source for an image of a work held in a private collection. 
  • Search online catalog for exhibition catalogues by keyword, combining terms such as artist's or gallery name, city where exhibition held, school (e.g. Impressionism), form/process (e.g. sculpture), etc. with the truncated word exhibition?.
    • rembrandt and agnes and kingston
    • "jeff wall" and exhibition*
    • installation and exhibition*

Reviews of Exhibitions

  • Reviews of exhibitions can be found in art journal article indexes and appropriate newspapers. Some possible newspaper indexes are:
    • US Major Dailies:  Provides access to five of the country’s most respected national and regional newspapers offering researchers complete and timely coverage of local, national, and world events. (Chicago Tribune,Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post)
    • LexisNexis (for national and international full text newspaper coverage)

For Information About Artists

  • For biographical information search catalog under individual's name as a subject, or try general subject headings such as "Painters", "Sculptors" or "Women Artists". Examples:
    • Carr, Emily, 1871-1945
    • Sculptors--Canada--Biography  
    • Try artist-related websites.
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