Latin American Art: Strategies and Tactics

Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-255. Niko K. Vicario

A note on searching for exhibition catalogs
Almost all Five College Library catalog records for exhibition catalogs contain the word "exhibitions," either as a subject term, or in the description. To find a catalog focused on a specific artist or topic, perform a keyword search that includes the artist's name (last name is often enough) and/or the topic word or words, and the word exhibition* (using the truncation symbol * will search for both the word exhibition and the subject term exhibitions).

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Print Reference:

Artists from Latin American Cultures: A Biographical Dictionary
Frost reference N6502.5 .C657 2002

Latin American and Caribbean Artists of the Modern Era 
Frost reference N6502.4 .S45 2003

Latinoamericana: enciclopédia contemporânea da América Latina e do Caribe
Frost reference F1406 .L36 2006

Art in the Modern Era: a guide to styles, schools and movements, 1860 to the present (2002)
Frost reference N6490 .D415 2002

Encyclopedia of World Art
Frost reference x N31 .E4833

Modern Arts Criticism
Frost reference N40 .M63


  • International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) Catalogues Raisonnes.
    Covers published and in-progress catalogue raisonnes, with a focus on paintings, works on paper, sculpture and photographs.
  • Art & Architecture Source (1914 to present)
    Index to leading publications in the world of the arts, including full-text coverage for several hundred titles.
  • BHA: Bibliography of the History of Art (1973 to present)
    Bilingual database on the history of post-classical western art. Also includes RAA (Repertoire d'Art et d'Archeologie) from 1973 to 1989 and RILA (International Repertory of the Literature of Art) from 1975 to 1989.
  • Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984)
    Index to leading English-language publications in the world of the arts.
  • Arts & Humanities Database
    Full-text publications that focus on art, architecture, design, history, philosophy, music, literature, theatre and cultural studies.
  • America, History & Life (1964 to present)
    Covers the world's scholarly literature on the history and culture of the United States and Canada.
  • Historical Abstracts with Full Text (1955 to present)
    Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).
  • ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) (1974 to present)
    Citations to and abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art; some entries date back as far as the late 1960s.
    Full-text backfiles of over two thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)
  • Project Muse
    Online database of more than 200 journals from nonprofit publishers. (Alumni access)
  • HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index (1970 to present)
    Covers analyses of current political, economic, and social issues to unique coverage of Latin American arts.
  • Latin American Newspapers (1805-1922)
    Provides more than thirty-five fully searchable newspapers published in Central and South American between 1805-1922.

Media/Primary Sources

  • ARTstor
    Image database including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture.
  • Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
    Combined search of the historic Boston Globe, Chicago Defender, Chinese Newspapers Collection, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, New York Amsterdam News, New York Times, South China Morning Post, Times of India, and Washington Post.
  • Amherst College Digital Collections
    Digitized art works, photographs, manuscripts, books, and other media from Amherst College Archives & Special Collections and the library’s Art & Architecture Collection.
  • Bridgeman Education
    A visual resource offering digital images of art, history, and culture from museums, galleries, private collections, and contemporary artists.
  • UbuWeb
    Large web-based educational resource for avant-garde material.
  • MetPublications (1964 to present)
    Full-text access to out-of-print exhibition catalogues, collection catalogues, museum guides, and educational materials from the the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Latin American Newspapers (1805-1922)
    Provides more than thirty-five fully searchable newspapers published in Central and South American between 1805-1922.
  • ICAA Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art digital archive
    Primary sources and critical documents tracing the development of twentieth-century art in Latin America and among Latino populations in the United States. From the International Center for the Arts of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
  • Digital Public Library of America

Web Resources

Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library
Digital video library of performance practices in the Americas. Includes artist profiles,interviews, bibliographies, production information, image galleries, scripts, and additional materials.

Metropolitan Museum of Art collections database
Images and information about artworks and objects in the museum's collections.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) collections database
Images and information about artworks and objects in the museum's collections. Click on Collection and type "Latin American" in search box. 

Getty Open Content Images database
Digitized materials from the Research Institute's collection.

Getty Research Portal
Digitized multilingual, multicultural art history texts in the public domain.

Feminist Art Base, Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum
Profiles, images, audio and video of contributors to feminist art from the 1960s to the present.

The Art Newspaper
International art news

Google Cultural Institute

AMA: Art Museum of the Americas.  Organization of American States.  Established in 1917. "Showcases cutting-edge exhibits of artists whose output creatively combines aesthetics with topical social and political issues."

El Museo del Barrio.  Established in 1975.  “El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino cultural institution...[for discovering] the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures…El Museo del Barrio’s purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the art and artifacts of Caribbean and Latin American cultures for posterity.”

LACMA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Latin American Art.  “In 1997, the collectors Edith and Bernard Lewin added more than two thousand works by Mexican modernists to the collection, making LACMA one of the main U.S. repositories of Latin American art. The museum has since expanded its collection with works from throughout Latin America, ranging from the colonial to the contemporary periods.”

MOLAA: Museum of Latin American Art. “Founded in 1996 in Long Beach, California, dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art."

Smithsonian Latino Center  This is an important website for researching Latin American and Latino art in the United States.  Here you can search the Center’s collections, and explore other Resources including a list of museums with Latin American art collections.


    Some Keyword Advanced search examples to search in the Five College Library Catalog [insert various regions & topics]:

    • (Xicano OR Chicano) AND art
    • (painting OR art) AND Buenos Aires
    • "state-sponsored" AND mural*
    • (political OR activist) AND art AND Argentina
    • (art OR visual) AND indigenous

    Add "AND exhibition" to look for exhibit catalogs. Ex:

    • (art OR visual) AND indigenous AND exhibition
    • Mexico AND mural* AND exhibition

    Some example subject keywords to search in the Five College Library Catalog
     (you can use these in conjunction with strategies above):

    LinkAestheticsLatin American
    Art manifestos -- Latin America
    Art -- Political aspects -- Latin America
    Art, Latin American -- 20th century
    Arts, Latin American -- 20th century
    Art, Latin American -- 21st century
    Arts and society -- Latin America
    Art and society -- United States -- History -- 20th century
    Arts and revolutions -- Mexico -- History -- 20th century
    Dissident art -- Latin America
    Hispanic American arts -- 20th century -- Exhibitions
    Hispanic American women artists -- Exhibitions
    LinkMexican-American Border Region
    Mural painting and decoration, Mexican -- 20th century
    LinkPostcolonialism and the arts
    Radicalism in art
    Women artists -- Latin America -- Exhibitions