Art and the History of Art Research Guide

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).

Questions about this guide? Contact
Try these databases first to find journal articles in this discipline.
  • Art Abstracts (1984 to present)
    Index to leading English-language publications in the world of the arts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ARTicles Online ( (date coverage varies)
    Index of art historical articles, compiled by the University Library of Regensburg (Germany).
  • Arts:Search
    Resource for research into the history of modern design and the applied arts.
  • 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.
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies (1973 to present)
    Index to articles and books in Asian Studies, including humanities and social sciences.
  • British Periodicals
    Searchable full text of hundreds of British periodicals from the late 17th century to the early 20th, with high-resolution facsimile page images.
  • Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) (1973 to present)
    Covers both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century.
  • Getty Publications Virtual Library
    Art historical research, exhibition catalogues, journals, and other full-text publications from the Getty Publications Archives.
  • International Bibliography of Art (IBA) (1973 to present)
    Covers scholarly literature on western art including traditional visual arts as well as new media, architectural history, museum studies and conservation, archaeology, and classical studies.
  • ITER: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (1784 to present)
    Index of resources pertaining to the study of the Middle Ages & Renaissance
  • Oxford Islamic Studies Online
    Interdisciplinary reference content and commentary, plus Quranic materials, primary sources, images, maps, and timelines. Includes Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World and other core reference works on Islam.
  • Worldcat Art Libraries (1906 to present)
    Access to Worldcat content, including the articles database of 200 million records, specific to the visual arts. Includes information on which libraries hold the material.
    Full-text backfiles of over two thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)

 For more databases, use the subject filter on A-Z Databases

Use these encyclopedias and reference works to get started on a topic.
Find images and streaming audio and video in these collections (also see the Images Research Guide, and the Web tab of this guide).
  • 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.
  • ARTstor
    Image database including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture.
  • 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.
  • Aluka
    Digital resources and data in three major content areas: African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes, The African Plants Initiative and Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa.
  • Rhizome ArtBase
    An online archive of new media art.
Start with these recommended freely available resources in this discipline.
Also see the Primary Sources research guide.
  • Aluka
    Digital resources and data in three major content areas: African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes, The African Plants Initiative and Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa.
  • 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.
  • MoMA exhibitions archive online
    Information, images, and digitized catalogs and gallery text from exhibitions dating from the museum's founding in 1929 to the present.

Histoire du Louvre (Musée du Louvre.) Frost Library; N2030 .A843 2016

The Prado : Spanish culture and leisure, 1819-1939 (Afinoguénova, Eugenia, author.) Frost Library; N3450 .A96 2018

Conversations with artists (Zuckerman, Heidi, interviewer.) Frost Library; N40 .Z83 2017

How institutions think : between contemporary art and curatorial discourse Frost Library; N408 .H69 2017

The politics of contemporary art biennials : spectacles of critique, theory and art (Kompatsiaris, Panos, author.) Frost Library; N4396 .K66 2017

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum : a guide (Nielsen, Christina, author.) Frost Library; N521.I7 N545 2017

Christiane von Lothringen am Hof der Medici (Strunck, Christina, author.) Frost Library; N5273 .S77 2017

The Oxford handbook of prehistoric figurines Frost Library; N5310 .O94 2017

The horse in ancient Greek art Frost Library; N5635.M533 A4 2017

A world of emotions : Ancient Greece, 700 BC-200 AD Frost Library; N5635.N4 W67 2017

Voces y visiones (Museo del Barrio (New York, N.Y.).) Frost Library; N620.M86 A8 2003

The mercantile effect Frost Library; N6260 .M47 2017 x

An album of artists' drawings from Qajar Iran Frost Library; N6263.C36 H37 2017 x

European art and the wider world 1350-1550 Frost Library; N6370 .E87 2017

Rethinking Lessing's Laocoon : antiquity, enlightenment, and the 'limits' of painting and poetry Frost Library; N64.L6 R38 2017

Utopia Frost Library; N6488.P8 L576 2017

Art Basel Unlimited 2017 Frost Library; N6488.S9 B4 2017

Club 57 : film, performance, and art in the East Village 1978-1983 Frost Library; N6490 .C58 2017

Proof : Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo (Fowle, Kate, author.) Frost Library; N6490 .F675 2017 x

Other criteria (Steinberg, Leo, 1920-2011.) Frost Library; N6490 .S74

Eye attack : op art and kinetic art 1950-1970 Frost Library; N6494.O6 E94x 2016

Descent Frost Library; N6496.P45 I57 2016

Collective situations : readings in contemporary Latin American art 1995-2010 Frost Library; N6502.6 .C66 2017

Experience Frost Library; N6505 .E87 2017

Magnetic Fields : Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today Frost Library; N6512.5.A2 M34 2017

Beauty in the city : the Ashcan school (Slayton, Robert A., author.) Frost Library; N6512.5.E4 S59 2017

Terry Adkins : soldier shepherd prophet martyr : videos from 1998-2013 Frost Library; N6537.A315 A4 2017

Lee Bontecou (Bontecou, Lee, 1931-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B6 A4 2017

Louise Bourgeois : an unfolding portrait : prints, books, and the creative process (Wye, Deborah, author, interviewer, organizer.) Frost Library; N6537.B645 W94 2017

Mark Bradford : tomorrow is another day Frost Library; N6537.B6813 A4 2017

Scott Burton : collected writings on art and performance, 1965-1975 (Burton, Scott, 1939-1989.) Frost Library; N6537.B8775 A35 2012

New new testament : Paul Chan Frost Library; N6537.C456 A4 2014

The essential and incomplete Sade for Sade's sake (Chan, Paul, 1973-) Frost Library; N6537.C462 A4 2010

Artists on Walter De Maria Frost Library; N6537.D432 A88 2017

Mark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalist (Erickson, Ruth, curator, author.) Frost Library; N6537.D54 E75 2017

Into words : the selected writings (Dunham, Carroll, 1949-, author.) Frost Library; N6537.D84 A35 2017

Dan Graham (Graham, Dan, 1942-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.G674 A4 2017

David Hammons : Bliz-aard Ball Sale (Filipovic, Elena, author.) Frost Library; N6537.H3455 F55 2017

Eva Hesse Frost Library; N6537.H4 E93

Coming away : Winslow Homer & England (Athens, Elizabeth, author.) Frost Library; N6537.H58 A4 2017 x

Joan Jonas is on our mind (Jonas, Joan, 1936-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.J663 A4 2017

Yard (Kaprow, Allan.) Frost Library; N6537.K27 A78 2009 x

Doors, floors, doors. Frost Library; N6537.M3947 A4 2016

Gordon Matta-Clark : anarchitect (Matta-Clark, Gordon, 1943-1978, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.M3947 A4 2017

Black Dada reader : Adam Pendleton Frost Library; N6537.P365 A4 2017

Elizabeth Peyton : dark incandescence : 5, 2009-2014 (Peyton, Elizabeth, 1965-) Frost Library; N6537.P428 A4 2017 x

Atlas, plural, monumental (Ramírez Jonas, Paul, 1965-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.R237 A4 2017

Amy Sillman : the all-over (Sillman, Amy, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.S543 A4 2017

Borderless : the art of Luis Tapia (Tapia, Luis (Luis Eligio), 1950-) Frost Library; N6537.T375 A4 2017 x

Kaari Upson : good thing you are not alone (Upson, Kaari, 1972-, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6537.U66 A4 2017

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (Von Bruenchenhein, Eugene, 1910-1983.) Frost Library; N6537.V66 A4 2017

Like Andy Warhol (Flatley, Jonathan, author.) Frost Library; N6537.W28 F58 2017

Warhol's working class : pop art and egalitarianism (Grudin, Anthony E., author.) Frost Library; N6537.W28 G78 2017

Ménage : Beato : the Betsy and Marc Rowland Collection : drawings Frost Library; N6537.W65 A4 2017 x

No reservation : New York contemporary Native American art movement Frost Library; N6538.A4 N668 2017

Rising above : the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection Frost Library; N6538.N5 R57 2016

Soul of a nation : art in the age of Black power Frost Library; N6538.N5 S63 2017

A los artistas del mundo ... = To the artists of the world ... Frost Library; N6555 .A56 2016

Relational undercurrents : contemporary art of the Caribbean archipelago Frost Library; N6591 .R45 2017

John Dunkley : neither day nor night (Nawi, Diana, author.) Frost Library; N6611.D96 N39 2017

David Lamelas : a life of their own (Lamelas, David, 1946-, artist.) Frost Library; N6639.L34 A4 2017

Anna Maria Maiolino (Maiolino, Anna Maria, 1942-) Frost Library; N6659.M326 A4 2017

Read thread : the story of the red thread (Vicuña, Cecilia, artist, author.) Frost Library; N6669.V53 A4 2017

Lettered artists and the languages of empire : painters and the profession in early colonial Quito (Webster, Susan Verdi, 1959-, author.) Frost Library; N6687.Q5 W43 2017

Eileen Agar : dreaming oneself awake (Remy, Michel, 1946-, author.) Frost Library; N6797.A36 R46 2017

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius Frost Library; N6797.B57 A4 2017

Tracey Emin : works 2007-2017 (Emin, Tracey, 1963-) Frost Library; N6797.E486 A4 2017

What is Gilbert & George? (Bracewell, Michael, 1958-, author.) Frost Library; N6797.G47 B73 2017

Idris Khan Frost Library; N6797.K485 A4 2017 x

A forgotten Maverick - Marlow Moss (Moss, Marlow, 1890-1958.) Frost Library; N6797.M67 A4 2017

Maria Lassnig : the future Is invented with fragments from the past Frost Library; N6811.5.L3 A4 2017

Egon Schiele : his life and death (Coste, Xavier, author, artist.) Frost Library; N6811.5.S34 C6713 2017

Erwin Wurm : one minute sculptures, 1997-2017 Frost Library; N6811.5.W87 A4 2017

Degas : a passion for perfection Frost Library; N6853.D33 D44 2017

Drawn in colour : Degas from the Burrell Collection (Hamilton, Vivien,, author.) Frost Library; N6853.D33 H355 2017

Fred Forest's utopia : media art and activism (Leruth, Michael F., author.) Frost Library; N6853.F62 L47 2017

PascALEjandro : alchemical androgynous (PascALEjandro, artist.) Frost Library; N6853.P3666 A4 2017

Through the eyes of Picasso : face to face with African and Oceanic art Frost Library; N6853.P5 A4 2017 x

Emil Nolde : the grotesques Frost Library; N6888.N6 A4 2017

Oppenheim Object (Lanchner, Carolyn, author.) Frost Library; N6888.O6 L36 2017

Rosa Barba : from source to poem (Barba, Rosa, 1972-, artist.) Frost Library; N6923.B2776 A4 2017

Michelangelo : divine draftsman & designer Frost Library; N6923.B9 A4 2017 x

De Stijl in the Netherlands (Groenendijk, Paul, author, editor.) Frost Library; N6948.5.D42 G76 2017

The history of the discovery and study of Russian medieval painting (Vzdornov, Gerolʹd Ivanovich, author.) Frost Library; N6983 .V9413 2018

Anti-shows : APTART 1982-84 Frost Library; N6988.5.A6 A57 2017

Soviet salvage : imperial debris, revolutionary reuse, and Russian constructivism (Walworth, Catherine, author.) Frost Library; N6988.5.C64 W35 2017

Beg, steal and borrow : artists against originality (Shore, Robert (Robert M.) author.) Frost Library; N72.7 .S56 2017

I can't work like this : a reader on recent boycotts and contemporary art Frost Library; N72.A77 I23 2017

Feminism and art history now : radical critiques of theory and practice Frost Library; N72.F45 F44155 2017

Queer British art, 1861-1967 Frost Library; N72.H64 Q44 2017

Museum of capitalism Frost Library; N72.P6 M88 2017

Sabotage art : politics and iconoclasm in contemporary Latin America Frost Library; N72.P6 S236 2016

Look back in time : Russell Crotty and Lick Observatory Frost Library; N72.S3 L66 2017

Being public : how art creates the public Frost Library; N72.S6 B45 2017

The tiger in the smoke : art and culture in post-war Britain (Nead, Lynda, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 N42 2017

Obaidi (Obaidi, Mahmoud, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N7269.O23 A4 2016

Technologies of the image : art in 19th-century Iran Frost Library; N7280 .T37 2017

Monastery, monument, museum : sites and artifacts of Thai cultural memory (Peleggi, Maurizio, author.) Frost Library; N7321 .P38 2017

Art and China after 1989 : theater of the world Frost Library; N7345 .A77 2017

Bosuton Nihon kobijutsu tenrankai hōkokusho. Archives and Special Collections; N7353 .B67 1936 x