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.

Shōsōin ten posutā : Shōwa 22-Shōwa 63 = Shōsō-in exhibition posters from 1947 to 1988 Frost Library; N3750.N36 A63 2014

Shinpin shiho Frost Library; N3750.T32 S55 2014

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

The museum of the senses : experiencing art and collections (Classen, Constance, 1957-, author.) Frost Library; N410 .C59 2017

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

Double vision : the unerring eye of art world avatars Dominique and John de Menil (Middleton, William, 1961- author.) Frost Library; N5220.M555 M53 2018

Lily Pastré : la Bonne-Mère des artistes (Kressmann, Laure.) Frost Library; N5262.P37 K74 2014

Art patronage, family, and gender in Renaissance Florence : the Tornabuoni (DePrano, Maria, 1967- author.) Frost Library; N5273.2.T67 D47 2018

Usami korekushon sōmokuroku = The catalogue raisonné of the Usami Collection Frost Library; N5285.J32 U83 2014

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art : uncommon legacy (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, author.) Frost Library; N576.H3 A89 2017

Being modern : building the collection of The Museum of Modern Art Frost Library; N620.M9 B456 2017

40 years New (New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, N.Y.), author.) Frost Library; N620.N35 A84 2017 x

Historical dictionary of Baroque art and architecture (Zirpolo, Lilian H., author.) Frost Library; N6415.B3 Z57 2018

The Documenta 14 reader (Documenta (Exhibition) (14th : 2017 : Kassel, Germany; Athens, Greece)) Frost Library; N6488.G3 K3718 2017

Rosemarie Beck : letters to a young painter and other writings (Beck, Rosemarie, 1923-2003, author.) Frost Library; N6490 .B3635 2018

Future shock Frost Library; N6490 .F88 2017

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

Baroque between the wars : alternative style in the arts, 1918-1939 (Stevenson, Jane, 1959-, author.) Frost Library; N6490 .S766 2018

Corporate imaginations : Fluxus strategies for living (Dumett, Mari, 1977- author.) Frost Library; N6494.F55 D86 2017

Capital : debt territory utopia Frost Library; N6494.I56 C36 2016

Four metaphors of modernism : from Der Sturm to the Société Anonyme (Anger, Jenny, 1965-, author.) Frost Library; N6494.M64 A645 2018

Transmedium : conceptualism 2.0 and the new object art (Stewart, Garrett, author.) Frost Library; N6494.M78 S74 2017$$hN6494.C63

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

Witness to phenomenon : Group ZERO and the development of new media in postwar European art (Ketner, Joseph D., II, 1955-, author.) Frost Library; N6494.Z47 K48 2018

Stories of almost everyone (Moshayedi, Aram, author.) Frost Library; N6496.L66 H367 2018

Prospect.4 : the lotus in spite of the swamp, a project of Prospect New Orleans (Prospect New Orleans (Exhibition) (4th : 2017-2018 : New Orleans, La.)) Frost Library; N6496.N49 P76 2017

Streetopia Frost Library; N6496.S22 S77 2015

Streetopia Archives and Special Collections; N6496.S22 S77 2015

Duty free art (Steyerl, Hito, author.) Frost Library; N6497 .S75 2017

Making the Americas modern : hemispheric art, 1910-1960 (Sullivan, Edward J., author.) Frost Library; N6501 .S85 2018

San Antonio 1718 : art from Mexico Frost Library; N6502.2 .S26 2018 x

Transatlantic Encounters : Latin American Artists in Paris Between the Wars (Greet, Michele, 1970-, author.) Frost Library; N6502.5 .G74 2018

American colonial women and their art : a chronological encyclopedia (Snodgrass, Mary Ellen, author.) Frost Library; N6507 .S66 2018

Power & posterity : American art at Philadelphia's 1876 Centennial Exhibition (Orcutt, Kimberly, author.) Frost Library; N6510 .O73 2017

Cult of the machine : precisionism and American art Frost Library; N6512.5.P67 C85 2018 x

In part : writings (Ault, Julie, author.) Frost Library; N6537.A915 A35 2017

Judith F. Baca (Indych-López, Anna, author.) Frost Library; N6537.B13 I53 2018

Mark Bradford : Pickett's Charge (Hankins, Evelyn Carol, author.) Frost Library; N6537.B6813 A4 2018 x

Birds of a feather : Joseph Cornell's homage to Juan Gris (McKinley, Mary Clare, author.) Frost Library; N6537.C66 A4 2018

Walter De Maria : The lightning field Frost Library; N6537.D432 A68 2017b x

Ardent nature : Arshile Gorky landscapes 1943-47 Frost Library; N6537.G65 A4 2017

Ann Hamilton : habitus Frost Library; N6537.H337 A4 2017

Roni Horn. Frost Library; N6537.H644 A4 2017

Bruce Nauman : Contrapposto studies (Philadelphia Museum of Art, organizer, host institution.) Frost Library; N6537.N38 A63 2018

Georgia O'Keeffe : living modern (Corn, Wanda M., author.) Frost Library; N6537.O39 A4 2017

Sheila Pepe : hot mess formalism (Pepe, Sheila, 1959-, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6537.P47 A4 2017

David Smith : collected writings, lectures, and interviews (Smith, David, 1906-1965, author.) Frost Library; N6537.S616 A35 2018

Frank Stella (Stella, Frank, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6537.S72 A4 2017

Henry Ossawa Tanner : art, faith, race, and legacy (Woods, Naurice Frank, Jr. author.) Frost Library; N6537.T35 W66 2018

Queer art camp superstar : decoding the cinematic cyberworld of Ryan Trecartin (Zulueta, Ricardo Estanislao, 1962- author.) Frost Library; N6537.T665 Z85 2018

For the time being : 2017 Alberta Biennal of Contemporary Art: May 27-September 10, 2017 Frost Library; N6546.A4 F66 2017

My name is Arnaktauyok : the life and art of Germaine Arnaktauyok (Arnaktauyok, Germaine, author, artist.) Frost Library; N6549 A763 A2 2014

Pedro Reyes : ad usum Frost Library; N6559.R49 A3 2017

Tremblement de ciel : Matta, Zañartu, Téllez Frost Library; N6665 .T66 2011

Matta in the 1950s and 1960s. (Matta, 1912-2002, artist.) Frost Library; N6669.M38 A4 2015

Picasso-Giacometti Frost Library; N6758.5.M63 A4 2017

Individuals against individualism : art collectives in Western Europe (1956-1969) (Galimberti, Jacopo, author.) Frost Library; N6758.5.P65 G36 2017

Contemporary British artists of African descent and the unburdening of a generation (Kerman, Monique, author.) Frost Library; N6768 .K47 2017

Phenomenal difference : a philosophy of black British art (Wainwright, Leon, author.) Frost Library; N6768.65.B53 W34 2017

Mona Hatoum : terra infirma Frost Library; N6797.H338 A4 2017

David Hockney (Little, Helen, 1980-, author.) Frost Library; N6797.H57 L58 2017

Katie Holten (Holten, Katie.) Frost Library; N6797.H658 A4 2007

Klimt and Schiele : drawings : from the Albertina Museum, Vienna Frost Library; N6808.5.M64 K55 2018 x

Promote, tolerate, ban : art and culture in Cold War Hungary Frost Library; N6820 .P765 2018

Litterature (Picabia, Francis, 1879-1953, author, artist.) Frost Library; N6853.P48 A4 2017

Inventur : art in Germany, 1943-55 Frost Library; N6868 .I62 2018

Anni Albers : Notebook 1970-1980 Frost Library; N6888.A48 A4 2017

Josef Albers in Mexico Frost Library; N6888.A5 A4 2017

Jenseits der Repräsentation : essays 1999-2009 = Beyond representation (Steyerl, Hito, author.) Frost Library; N6888.S782 A35 2016

Behind the mask : artists in the GDR Frost Library; N6889 .B45 2017

The devout hand : women, virtue, and visual culture in early modern Italy (Rocco, Patricia B., 1967- , author.) Frost Library; N6921.B7 R63 2017

The color out of space (Barba, Rosa, 1972-, artist.) Frost Library; N6923.B2776 A4 2016

Giuseppe Penone matrice (Penone, Giuseppe, artist.) Frost Library; N6923.P38 A4 2017 x

Claudy Jongstra (Jongstra, Claudy, 1963-) Frost Library; N6953.J66 A4 2017 x

Joep van Liefland : Mastertape (Liefland, Joep van, 1966- artist.) Frost Library; N6953.L54 A4 2017

Cosmic shift : Russian contemporary art writing Frost Library; N6988 .C67 2017

The Mitki and the art of postmodern protest in Russia (Mihailovic, Alexandar, author.) Frost Library; N6996 .M54 2018

[Question mark] (Goldberg, Glenn, 1953-, author.) Frost Library; N70 .G614 2017

Images at work : the material culture of enchantment (Morgan, David, 1957-, author.) Frost Library; N71 .M67 2018

Making sense : cognition, computing, art, and embodiment (Penny, Simon, author.) Frost Library; N71 .P355 2017

More than meets the eye : what blindness brings to art (Kleege, Georgina, 1956-, author.) Frost Library; N71.8 .K59 2018

Frederic Amat_Zoótropo (Amat, Frederic, 1952-, artist.) Frost Library; N7113.A597 A4 2017

Thomas Hirschhorn : a new political understanding of art? (Braun, Christina, 1979- author.) Frost Library; N7153.H57 B7313 2018

Between matter and method : encounters in anthropology and art Frost Library; N72.A56 B48 2018

Feminist perspectives on art : contemporary outtakes Frost Library; N72.F45 F455 2018

Addressing the other woman : textual correspondences in feminist art and writing (Lamm, Kimberly, author.) Frost Library; N72.F45 L36 2018

A capsule aesthetic : feminist materialisms in new media art (Mondloch, Kate, author.) Frost Library; N72.F45 M66 2018

Biennials, Triennials, and documenta : the exhibitions that created contemporary art (Green, Charles, 1953-, author.) Frost Library; N72.G55 G74 2016

The art of resistance : painting by candlelight in Mao's China (Hawks, Shelley Drake, author.) Frost Library; N72.P6 H38 2017

Decolonizing culture : essays on the intersection of art and politics (Vikram, Anuradha, author.) Frost Library; N72.P6 V55 2017

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

Finding voice : a visual arts approach to engaging social change (Berman, Kim, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 B475 2017

Border spaces : visualizing the U.S.-Mexico frontera Frost Library; N72.S6 B58 2018

Curatorial activism : towards an ethics of curating (Reilly, Maura, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 R44 2018

Roman artists, patrons, and public consumption : familiar works reconsidered Frost Library; N72.S6 R64 2018

Supercommunity : diabolical togetherness beyond contemporary art Frost Library; N72.S6 S87 2017

Emily Jacir (Jacir, Emily, 1972-) Frost Library; N7279.J264 A4 2012

Efrat Natan Frost Library; N7279.N38 A4 2017

Persian Art : collecting the arts of Iran for the V & A (Carey, Moya, author.) Frost Library; N7280 .C37 2017

Peacock in the desert : the royal arts of Jodhpur, India Frost Library; N7307.R3 K37 2018 x