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.
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (1934 to present)
    Indexes more than 2,000 periodicals on archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation.
  • 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.

Kiyossōne to kinsei nihonga satogaeri ten Frost Library; N2627.A6 K49 1990

The London art schools : reforming the art world, 1960 to now Frost Library; N332.G753 L666 2015

Creativity class : art school and culture work in postsocialist China (Chumley, Lily, author.) Frost Library; N333.C6 C48 2016

Tate guide to modern art terms (Wilson, Simon, 1942-, author.) Frost Library; N34 .W55 2016

Nihon no bijutsukan to shashin korekushon (Matsumoto, Norihiko, 1936- 松本徳彦, 1936-) Frost Library; N3735 .M38 2002

Kyōto-shi Bijutsukan zōhin mokuroku 1993 Frost Library; N3750.K94 A55 1993 x

The 53rd annual Exhibition of Shōsō-in treasures = Shōsōin ten (Shōsōin (Nara-shi, Japan) 正倉院 (Nara-shi, Japan)) Frost Library; N3750.N36 A52 2001

Shiseidō Gyararī shichijūgonenshi : 1919-1994 Frost Library; N3750.T649 S55 1995

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, issuing body.) Frost Library; N394 .L68 2016

Today we should be thinking about Frost Library; N40 .T63 2015

On curating. 2, Paradigm shifts : interviews with fourteen international curators (Thea, Carolee, interviewer.) Frost Library; N408 .T543 2016

Radical museology, or, What's 'contemporary' in museums of contemporary art? (Bishop, Claire.) Frost Library; N410 .B57 2013

Pen to paper : artists' handwritten letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art (Archives of American Art, author.) Frost Library; N45 .A73 2016

The invention of the American art museum : from craft to Kulturgeschichte, 1870-1930 (Curran, Kathleen, 1955-, author.) Frost Library; N510 .C87 2016

Painting as medicine in early modern Rome : Giulio Mancini and the efficacy of art (Gage, Frances, 1965-, author.) Frost Library; N5273 .G26 2016

What is paleolithic art? : cave paintings and the dawn of human creativity (Clottes, Jean, author.) Frost Library; N5310 .C58513 2016

Art and rhetoric in Roman culture Frost Library; N5763 .A78 2014

Beyond boundaries : connecting visual cultures in the provinces of ancient Rome Frost Library; N5763 .B49 2016

The art of wonder : inspiration, creativity, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art Frost Library; N582.6 .A97 2015

Mobile autonomy : exercises in artists' self-organization Frost Library; N61 .M63 2015

Beauty and identity : Islamic art from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, creator.) Frost Library; N6263.L6 L64 2016 x

The challenge of the avant-garde Frost Library; N6350 .C48 1999

How pictures complete us : the beautiful, the sublime, and the divine (Crowther, Paul, author.) Frost Library; N6350 .C76 2016

Unfinished : thoughts left visible Frost Library; N6350 .U54 2016

Japonisumu : gensō no Nihon = Japonisme, représentations et imaginaries des européens (Mabuchi, Akiko. 馬淵明子.) Frost Library; N6450 .M33 1997

Hana no yōshiki : japonisumu kara āru nūvō e (Yoshimizu, Tsuneo, 1936- 由水常雄, 1936-) Frost Library; N6465.A7 Y68 1984

Gordon, Lozano, Ryman, Stanley Frost Library; N6487.C55 C53 1968 x

Industry and intelligence : contemporary art since 1820 (Gillick, Liam, 1964-, author.) Frost Library; N6490 .G485 2016

Futurist painting sculpture : (plastic dynamism) (Boccioni, Umberto, 1882-1916, author.) Frost Library; N6494.F8 B62513 2016

Participation in art and architecture : spaces of interaction and occupation Frost Library; N6494.I57 P37 2016

M+M : 7 Tage Frost Library; N6494.V53 M6 2015 x

I'm going to live the life I sing about in my song : how artists make and live lives of meaning (Reyes, Jen Delos, author.) Frost Library; N6496.8 .R49 2016

Contemporary installation art Frost Library; N6498.I56 C66 2015 x

Resistance performed Frost Library; N6502.5 .R47 2015

Against immediacy : video art and media populism (Kaizen, William, author.) Frost Library; N6512.5.V53 K35 2016

Cage, Grygar : chance operations & intention (Cage, John.) Frost Library; N6537.C29 A4 2015

Sarah Cain : the imaginary architecture of love (Cain, Sarah, 1979-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.C323 A4 2015

Calder Frost Library; N6537.C33 A4 2015 x

Bruce Conner : it's all true Frost Library; N6537.C65 A4 2016 x

Welcome to Painterland : Bruce Conner and the Rat Bastard Protective Association (Aukeman, Anastasia, author.) Frost Library; N6537.C65 A95 2016

Willem de Kooning nonstop : cherchez la femme (Krauss, Rosalind E., author.) Frost Library; N6537.D43 K73 2015

The essential Paul Laffoley : works from the Boston visionary cell Frost Library; N6537.L335 E87 2016 xx

Red tape : a new work (Levine, Les, 1935-) Frost Library; N6537.L452 A67 2016

Housing in New York : a brief history (Ligon, Glenn, 1960-, author.) Frost Library; N6537.L535 A35 2015

Brice Marden. (Marden, Brice, 1938-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.M364 A4 2016

Pop star series (Medlyn, Neal, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.M434 A4 2016

George Morrison : Anishinaabe expressionist artist (Vizenor, Gerald Robert, 1934-) Archives and Special Collections; N6537.M656 V59 2006

Feedmayonnaisetotuna (Paul, Jacob, artist, compiler.) Frost Library; N6537.P28 A65 2015

Becoming imperceptible, Adam Pendleton. Frost Library; N6537.P365 B44 2016

Ed Ruscha and the Great American West Frost Library; N6537.R87 A4 2016 xx

Wu Tsang : not in my language (Tsang, Wu, 1982-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.T73 A4 2015

The pencil of nature (Winters, Terry.) Frost Library; N6537.W5678 A4 2015

Andrew Wyeth, looking beyond (Monroe, Erin.) Frost Library; N6537.W86 A4 2012 xx

Our land (Brach, Paul, 1924-2007.) Archives and Special Collections; N6538.A4 B67 1990

Painting the gospel : Black public art and religion in Chicago (Pinder, Kymberly N., author.) Frost Library; N6538.N5 P48 2016

Picturing wellness. Frost Library; N6545.6 .P53 2016

Transference, tradition, technology : native new media exploring visual & digital culture Frost Library; N6549.5.A54 T73 2005

Elaine Ling (Ling, Elaine.) Frost Library; N6549.L56 A4 2015 xx

Michael Snow : sequences : a history of his art (Snow, Michael, 1929-, artist.) Frost Library; N6549.S6 A4 2015

Abraham Cruzvillegas : empty lot (Cruzvillegas, Abraham, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6559.C765 A4 2015

Armando Romero Frost Library; N6559.R66 A4 2015

Cuban art in the 20th century : cultural identity and the international avante garde Frost Library; N6603 .C83 2016

Court, country, city : British art and architecture, 1660-1735 Frost Library; N6766 .C68 2016

Modernism and memory : Rhoda Pritzker and the art of collecting Frost Library; N6768 .M635 2016 x

Art & language international : conceptual art between art worlds (Bailey, Robert, 1983-, author.) Frost Library; N6768.5.C63 B355 2016

Aubrey Beardsley : a catalogue raisonné (Zatlin, Linda Gertner, author.) Frost Library; N6797.B425 A4 2016 x

Gwen John (Foster, Alicia, author.) Frost Library; N6797.J555 F67 2015

Richard Long : time and space (Long, Richard, 1945-) Frost Library; N6797.L65 A4 2015

Pictorial atlas of a girl who cut a library into pieces = Obrazový atlas dívky, která rozřezala Frost Library; N6834.5.K62 A4 2015

The artist and his critic stripped bare : the correspondence of Marcel Duchamp and Robert Lebel Frost Library; N6853.D8 A3 2016

Playing with earth and sky : astronomy, geography, and the art of Marcel Duchamp (Housefield, James, author.) Frost Library; N6853.D8 H67 2016

Yves Klein : air architecture (Klein, Yves, 1928-1962.) Frost Library; N6853.K5 A4 2004

Unruly nature : the landscapes of Théodore Rousseau Frost Library; N6853.R684 A4 2016 x

Anselm Kiefer : the woodcuts Frost Library; N6888.K43 A4 2016

Gianni Colombo : the body and the space 1959-1980 (Colombo, Gianni, 1937-1993, artista.) Frost Library; N6923.C625 A4 2015

Exhibit Russia : the new international decade 1986-1996 Frost Library; N6988 .E974 2016

Unspoken spaces (Ólafur Elíasson, 1967-, artist.) Frost Library; N7053.O43 A4 2016

Lesser New York (Backström, Fia, 1970-, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N7093.B24 A72 2016

The architectural impulse Frost Library; N72.A75 A73 2015

Curating differently : feminisms, exhibitions and curatorial spaces Frost Library; N72.F45 C87 2016

The migrant image : the art and politics of documentary during global crisis (Demos, T. J.) Frost Library; N72.G55 D46 2013

Pink labor on golden streets : queer art practices Frost Library; N72.H64 P56 2015

Figures de dieux : construire le divin en image Frost Library; N72.R4 F54 2015

Structural intuitions : seeing shapes in art and science (Kemp, Martin.) Frost Library; N72.S3 K394 2016

Art beyond borders : artistic exchange in communist Europe (1945-1989) Frost Library; N72.S6 A723 2016

Practices of looking : an introduction to visual culture (Sturken, Marita, 1957-) Frost Library; N72.S6 S78 2009

Okakura Tenshin to Bosuton Bijutsukan = Okakura Tenshin and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Frost Library; N7336 .O434 1999

Shanghai modern, 1919-1945 Frost Library; N7347.S48 S53 2004

Ōhara Bijutsukan no 120-sen = 120 pieces of the Ohara Museum of Art. (Ōhara Bijutsukan. 大原美術館.) Frost Library; N7350.K87 A86 1994

A guide to Japanese art collections in the UK (Irvine, Gregory.) Frost Library; N7352 .I78 2004

Nara Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan meihin zuroku (Nara Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. 奈良国立博物館.) Frost Library; N7352 .N37 1980

Nara Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan no meihō : isseiki no kiseki : tokubetsuten (Nara Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. 奈良国立博物館.) Frost Library; N7352 .N37 1997

Nihon kokuhō ten : Bunkazai hogohō 50-nen kinen Frost Library; N7353 .N525 2000

Seiyō moderu to sentan e no shōdō : Taishōki no zen'eiteki bijutsu (Asano, Tōru, 1937- 淺野徹, 1937-) Frost Library; N7354 .A73 2000

Nara, trésors bouddhiques du Japon ancien Frost Library; N7357.N3 N27 1996

Silenced by history (Tomiyama, Taeko, 1921- 富山妙子, 1921-) Frost Library; N7359.T663 A4 1995

Miguk Bosŭt'on Misulgwan sojang Han'guk munhwajae = Korean art collection at the Museum of Fine Art Frost Library; N7360 .M53 2004

Sue Williamson : life and work (Williamson, Sue, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N7396.W55 A4 2015 x

Everywhen: the eternal present in indigenous art from Australia Frost Library; N7401 .E955 2016

Crossing cultures (Hood Museum of Art, author.) Frost Library; N7401 .H66 2012 x