selecting artists | researching works of art | researching artists

For additional resources, consult other research guides for: Art & Art History, Architecture, Contemporary & Modern Art, Iconography, Women and Art, American Art, and other topics.


Selecting artists from different centuries

There are several types of resources that can help you identify specific artists from different centuries. You may browse in the Humanities Reference stacks (level 5), search for books or exhibition catalogs in the Library Catalog, or browse in online art image databases. Once you identify the artists, look for information on each one individually.



General art history surveys

Adams. A History of Western Art. 2001. HumRef N 5300 .A33 2001
Adams. Art Across Time. 2002. HumRef N 5300 .A3 2002
Gardner's Art Through the Ages. 2001. HumRef N 5300 .G25 2001 (11th ed.)
Honour and Fleming. The Visual Arts: A History. 2002. HumRef N 5300 .H68 2002 (6th ed.)
Janson. History of Art. 1999. HumRef N 5300 .J3 1999
Stokstad. Art History. 2002. 2 vols. HumRef N 5300.S923 2002
Wilkins, Schultz, and Linduff. Art Past Art Present. 2001. HumRef N 5300 .W65 2001

Specific medium

Bruneau. Sculpture: The Great Art of the Antiquity from the 8th century BC to the 20th Century. 1996. 4 vols. HumRef NB 60 .S38x 1996
Maere. Illustrated Dictionary of 17th Century Flemish Painters. 1994. 3 vols. HumRef ND666.M326x 1994q

Specific century

Arnason. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. 2004. HumRef N 6490 .A713 2004
Lucie-Smith. Lives of the Great 20th-Century Artists. HumRef N 6489 .L83 2000
Rosenblum. 19th century art. 2005. HumRef N 6425 .N4 R65

Specific topics

Annunciation. 2000. HumRef N 8070 .A56x 2000
Crucifixion. 2000. HumRef N 8053 .C78x 2000
500 Self-portraits. HumRef N 7618 .F58x 2000
Zuffi. Gospel Figures in Art. HumRef N 8030 .Z8413 2003

Art reproduction indexes:
Havlice. World Painting Index. 1977-1995. Index Table - HumRef ND45.H38
Search by subject/word in titles of paintings



Search in the Library Catalog by specific medium (painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving), time period (century), artistic style, country, nationality, or topic depicted in art.



Browse by time period or country in art image databases listed in the "Art & Art History Resources" page. Click on "Art Image Collections" where you'll find links to selected websites and databases such as ARTstor.


Researching Works of Art

Look for books on the artist you are researching in the Library Catalog. You will find information on a work of art only if a whole book is about a specific work of art (not very common). Otherwise, you must search by the artist.

In the Periodical Indexes such as Art Full-Text, ART Bibliographies Modern, and BHA, you can be more specific and search the title of the work and the last name of the artist.

See information above for researching artists in the Library Catalog.


Researching Artists

There are several resources for obtaining information on artists. If they are well known, there will be books and articles about them. However, if they are more obscure, their names may appear only in biographical dictionaries or books about the style, time period, or country of origin of the artist.

Biographical Sources

Cerrito. Contemporary Artists. 1996. HumRef N6490.C6567 1995b

Gowing. Biographical Dictionary of Artists. 1995. Humref N 40 .B53 1995

Grove's Dictionary of Art. 1996. 34 vols. HumRef Index Table N31 .D5 1996 (also online as Grove Art Online)

Havlice. Index to Artistic Biography. 1973. 2 vols. HumRef N40.H38

Hillstrom. Contemporary Women Artists. HumRef N 8354 .C66 1999

International Dictionary of Art and Artists' Art. 1990. 2 vols. HumRef N31.I58x 1990

McNeil. Artist Biographies Master Index. 1986. HumRef N40.A78 1986

Wood. Victorian Painters. 1995. 2 vols. HumRef N 6796 .D53 1990 vol.4 pt.1/2


Library Catalog

Books and exhibition catalogues are found in the Library Catalog. Be sure to have the correct spelling of the artist's name. If you don't find anything on the artist, you may try searching other databases such as Worldcat or RLIN, for books in other libraries. You can then use Interlibrary Loan to borrow the titles we don't have in the Lee Library.

For additional materials, search the style, time period, country of origin, or nationality of the artist.


Periodical Indexes

To find articles about an artist or work of art, search the artist's name in any of the Periodical Indexes listed in the Art & Art History Resources page. These are all available online and include:

Art Full-Text
ART Bibliographies Modern
BHA (Bibliography of the History of Art)

and others that may apply to your topic or time period.