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).

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  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Media
  • Web
  • Primary Sources
  • New Titles
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)
  • 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 one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)


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.
  • Ubu-Web
    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.
  • Ubu-Web
    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.

Essential guide Frost Library; N1250 .A673 2016

The Brotherhood : the Experimenting Art School, Copenhagen 1961-1969 (Morell, Lars, author.) Frost Library; N332.D43 C67613 2016 x

No museum, no life? Frost Library; N3750.T635 A5 2015

Beyond objecthood : the exhibition as a critical form since 1968 (Voorhies, James Timothy, author.) Frost Library; N4395 .V66 2017

Assyria to Iberia : art and culture in the Iron Age (Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age (Conference) (2014 : New York, N.Y.) author.) Frost Library; N5340 .A87 2014

Images for classicists Frost Library; N5613 .I43 2015

Ancient mythological images and their interpretation (Lorenz, Katharina, author.) Frost Library; N5613 .L67 2016

Greek art and archaeology : c. 1200-30 BC (Plantzos, Dimitris, author.) Frost Library; N5630 .P4813 2016

A companion to Roman art Frost Library; N5760 .C65 2015

How to read Medieval art (Stein, Wendy Alpern, author.) Frost Library; N5970 .S745 2016

Cosmos and community in early medieval art (Anderson, Benjamin, author.) Frost Library; N5975 .A53 2017

A feast for the senses : art and experience in medieval Europe Frost Library; N5975 .F43 2016 x

The Routledge companion to medieval iconography Frost Library; N5975 .R687 2017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art : masterpiece paintings (Galitz, Kathryn Calley, 1964-, author.) Frost Library; N610 .A6736 2016 x

Visionaries : creating a modern Guggenheim (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, author.) Frost Library; N6447 .S58 2017

Visionaire : experiences in art and fashion (Dean, Cecilia, author.) Frost Library; N6480 .D43 2016 xx

Concrete Cuba : Cuban geometric abstraction from the 1950s Frost Library; N6490 .C65625 2016 x

How to see : looking, talking, and thinking about art (Salle, David, 1952-, author.) Frost Library; N6490 .S178 2016

Breathless days, 1959-1960 Frost Library; N6493 1959 .B74 2017

One and five ideas : on conceptual art and conceptualism (Smith, Terry (Terry E.) author.) Frost Library; N6494.C63 S585 2017

Living inside the grid (New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, N.Y.).) Frost Library; N6494.I56 N4 2003

9. Berlin Biennale für Zeitgenössische Kunst = 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (Berlin Biennale (9th : 2016 : Berlin, Germany)) Frost Library; N6496.3.G3 B473 2016

Watched! : surveillance, art and photography Frost Library; N6497 .W358 2016 xx

Wonder in contemporary artistic practice Frost Library; N6497 .W66 2017

Do it = Bāl-ʻArabī Frost Library; N6498.C66 D6 2016

Paik's virtual archive : time, change, and materiality in media art (Hölling, Hanna, author.) Frost Library; N6498.V53 H65 2017

For art's sake : the Aesthetic movement in print & beyond, 1870-1890 (Holzenberg, Eric.) Frost Library; N6510.5.A37 H76 2017

Eccentric modernisms : making differences in the history of American art (Latimer, Tirza True, author.) Frost Library; N6512.5.M63 L38 2017

Nuevo New York (Neumann, Hans, 1981-, photographer.) Frost Library; N6535.N5 N39 2016 x

Asking the audience : participatory art in 1980s New York (Rounthwaite, Adair, 1983-, author.) Frost Library; N6535.N5 R66 2017

Victor Arnautoff and the politics of art (Cherny, Robert W., author.) Frost Library; N6537.A673 C49 2017

Matthew Barney : OTTO trilogy (Barney, Matthew, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B223 A4 2016 xx

Words are all we have : paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat (Basquiat, Jean-Michel, 1960-1988, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B233 A4 2016 xx

Radiant child : the story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Steptoe, Javaka, 1971-, author, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B233 S84 2016

Wallace Berman : American aleph (Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B466 A4 2016 x

James Castle : the experience of every day Frost Library; N6537.C363 A4 2016

Walter De Maria : meaningless work (McFadden, Jane, author.) Frost Library; N6537.D432 M34 2016

Jim Denevan : Lake Baikal (Denevan, Jim.) Frost Library; N6537.D4454 A4 2011 xx

Jimmie Durham : at the center of the world Frost Library; N6537.D875 A4 2017

Whitfield Lovell : kin (Lovell, Whitfield, 1959-, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6537.L678 A4 2016 x

Agnes Martin : night sea (Hudson, Suzanne Perling, 1977-, author.) Frost Library; N6537.M38 A72 2016

Odyssey Works : transformative experiences for an audience of one (Burickson, Abraham, author.) Frost Library; N6537.O37 B87 2016

Charles Ross : the substance of light (Ross, Charles, 1937-, author.) Frost Library; N6537.R584 C43 2012 x

Betye Saar : uneasy dancer (Saar, Betye, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.S2 A4 2016

Cracking (Simonds, Charles, 1945-, author, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.S55 C813 2016

Lorna Simpson Frost Library; N6537.S5554 A4 2013 x

John Udvardy Frost Library; N6537.U36 A4 2016 x

Frederick Weygold : artist and ethnographer of North American Indians (Weygold, Frederick.) Frost Library; N6537.W39 A4 2017

Out of my great sorrows : the Armenian genocide and artist Mary Zarkarian (Arpajian, Allan, author.) Frost Library; N6537.Z27 A85 2017

Art and Indian individualists (Monthan, Guy, author.) Archives and Special Collections; N6538.A4 M668 1975a x

Liminal : Lucie Chan, Jérôme Havre Frost Library; N6549.C42 A4 2016

México barroco (Tovar de Teresa, Guillermo, 1956-) Frost Library; N6553 .T684 1981

Europe in the Renaissance : metamorphoses 1400-1600 Frost Library; N6754 .E97 2016

Houses and monuments of Pompei = Häuser und Monumente von Pompeji = Maisons et monuments de Pompéi Frost Library; N6757 .H68 2016 xx

Staging the artist : performance and the self-portrait from realism to expressionism (Moran, Claire, author.) Frost Library; N6757 .M63 2017

British black art : debates on the western art history (Orlando, Sophie, author.) Frost Library; N6768 .O75 2016

Clare Goodwin : constructive nostalgia (Goodwin, Clare, 1973-) Frost Library; N6797.G66 A4 2016

The glovers' repository : the tenaciousness of subterfuge (Lincoln, Paul Etienne, artist.) Frost Library; N6797.L467 A4 2016

Das Universum des Jan Švankmajer (Švankmajer, Jan, 1934-, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6834.5.S9145 A4 2015

Ōya mina ronbun senshū : Inshōha, Rodan, Matsukata korekushon (Ōya, Mina author. 大屋美那, author.) Frost Library; N6847 .O93 2014

Dubuffet drawings, 1935-1962 Frost Library; N6853.D78 A4 2016

The apparently marginal activities of Marcel Duchamp (Filipovic, Elena, author.) Frost Library; N6853.D8 F55 2016

Renaissance & Reformation Frost Library; N6865 .R46 2016

Kai Althoff : and then leave me to the common swifts = und dann überlaßt mich den Mauerseglern Frost Library; N6888.A575 A4 2016

Danh Vo : relics (Vo, Danh, 1975-, artist.) Frost Library; N6888.D36 A4 2015

Albrecht Dürer (Ashcroft, Jeffrey, author.) Frost Library; N6888.D8 A88 2017

Albrecht Dürer & the epistolary mode of address (Brisman, Shira, author.) Frost Library; N6888.D8 B75 2016

Working conditions : the writings of Hans Haacke (Haacke, Hans, 1936-, author.) Frost Library; N6888.H22 A35 2016

Hannah Höch : life portrait (Höch, Hannah, 1889-1978, artist.) Frost Library; N6888.H6 A4 2016

Nihonbi no kōzō (Tanaka, Hisao, 1932-2009 田中日佐夫, 1932-2009.) Frost Library; N69.3.J3 T36 1975

Constant : New Babylon. To us, liberty (Constant, 1920-2005, artist.) Frost Library; N6953.C57 A4 2016 x

Personal recollections of Vincent van Gogh (Gogh, Elisabeth du Quesne van, 1859-1936, author.) Frost Library; N6953.G63 G64 2017

The Age of Rubens Frost Library; N6973.R9 A44 2016

Access Moscow : the art life of a city revealed 1990-2000 Frost Library; N6988 .A31 2016

Kazimir Malevich : letters, documents, memoirs, criticism (Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich, 1878-1935, artist, author.) Frost Library; N6999.M34 M3513 2015

The sleeping hippopotamus and the missing eskimo (Gusmão, João Maria, 1979-, artist.) Frost Library; N7133.G87 A4 2016

Max Bill (Bill, Max, 1908-1994, artist.) Frost Library; N7153.B5 A4 2015

The seductions of Darwin : art, evolution, neuroscience (Rampley, Matthew, author.) Frost Library; N72.B5 R36 2017

Feminist avant-garde : art of the 1970s : the Sammlung Verbund Collection, Vienna Frost Library; N72.F45 F447 2016

Re-envisioning the contemporary art canon : perspectives in a global world Frost Library; N72.G55 R48 2017

The work of art : rethinking the elementary forms of religious life (Jackson, Michael, 1940-, author.) Frost Library; N72.R4 J33 2016

24 (Crary, Jonathan, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 C733 2014

The stakes of exposure : anxious bodies in postwar Japanese art (Kunimoto, Namiko, 1974-, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 K843 2017

Machine art in the Twentieth Century (Broeckmann, Andreas, author.) Frost Library; N72.T4 B76 2016

Hacking Habitat : art of control : art, technology and social change (Gevers, Ine, curator, editor.) Frost Library; N72.T4 G43 2016

The systemic image : a new theory of interactive real-time simulations (Hinterwaldner, Inge, author.) Frost Library; N72.T4 H5613 2017

Here (Paulsen, Kris, author.) Frost Library; N72.T45 P38 2017

Walk through walls : a memoir (Abramović, Marina, author.) Frost Library; N7253.A25 A2 2016

Masterworks from India and Southeast Asia : the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, author.) Frost Library; N7301 .N45 2016 x

Fashioning a national art : Baroda's royal collection and art institutions (1875-1924) (Maholay-Jaradi, Priya, author.) Frost Library; N7307.B37 M35 2016

Tera yuki megure : Ōhashi Katsuaki Hakushi koki kinen bijutsushi ronshū Frost Library; N7337 .T47 2013

Ming China : courts and contacts, 1400-1450 Frost Library; N7343.5 .M565 2016

Gu shi xin bian = Tales of our time Frost Library; N7345.6 .G79 2016

Nihon bijutsu zenshū Frost Library; N7350 .N528 2012 x

Kioku to rekishi Frost Library; N7352 .K56 2007

Conflicts of interest : art and war in modern Japan (St. Louis Art Museum, author.) Frost Library; N7354.5 .S7 2016 x

Shōwa senzenki no bijutsu : dentō to kindai no kattō (Ōtani, Shōgo. 大谷省吾.) Frost Library; N7355.4 .O83 1999

Kanayama Akira = Akira Kanayama (Kanayama, Akira, 1924-2006. 金山明, 1924-2006.) Frost Library; N7359.K337 A4 2007 xx

What is obscenity? : the story of a good for nothing artist and her pussy (Rokudenashiko, author, artist.) Frost Library; N7359.R65 A2 2016

Takehisa Yumeji : kodomo no shiki (Takehisa, Yumeji, 1884-1934 竹久夢二, 1884-1934.) Frost Library; N7359.T3495 T34 1985