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.
  • 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.

Essential guide Frost Library; N1250 .A673 2016

Visitor-centered exhibitions and edu-curation in art museums Frost Library; N435 .V57 2017

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

Small-Great Objects : Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas (Reynolds-Kaye, Jennifer, author.) Frost Library; N5267.A42 R49 2017

Cave art (David, Bruno, 1962-, author.) Frost Library; N5310 .D32 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

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

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

Power and protection : Islamic art and the supernatural (Leoni, Francesca, 1974-, author.) Frost Library; N6264.G7 O96 2016

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

Nature's experiments and the search for symbolist form (Morehead, Allison, author.) Frost Library; N6465.S9 M67 2017

Geijutsuka to no taiwa Frost Library; N6488.5.L36 G45 1998

Gendai bijutsu no shinwa Frost Library; N6488.5.S62 G46 1990

Historical dictionary of contemporary art (Morgan, Ann Lee, author.) Frost Library; N6490 .M6758 2017

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

The present is the form of all life : the time capsules of Ant Farm and LST Frost Library; N6494.C63 P74 2016

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

The artist's museum Frost Library; N6497 .A783 2016

No new kind of duck : would I know how to say what I do? Frost Library; N6497 .N65 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Judith Bernstein : rising (Bernstein, Judith, 1942- artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B467 J84 2016

Suchuwāto Divisu ten : jazu o aishi, Nyū Yōku o ikita = Stuart Davis : retrospective 1995 (Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964.) Frost Library; N6537.D345 A4 1995

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

Kim Dickey : words are leaves Frost Library; N6537.D53 A4 2016

Dan Flavin : Corners, barriers and corridors Frost Library; N6537.F55 A4 2016 x

Felix Gonzalez-Torres : specific objects without specific form Frost Library; N6537.G628 A4 2016

Roni Horn. Frost Library; N6537.H644 A4 2016

Jasper Johns : catalogue raisonné of painting and sculpture (Bernstein, Roberta, author.) Frost Library; N6537.J6 A4 2017 x

Nina Katchadourian : curiouser Frost Library; N6537.K297 A4 2017

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

Yes Ono Yōko ten = yes Yoko Ono Frost Library; N6537.O56 A4 2003

Robert Rauschenberg (Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.R27 A4 2016 x

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

Charles Sheeler : fashion, photography, and sculptural form Frost Library; N6537.S523 A4 2017

Fifty-three Works (Sietsema, Paul, 1968-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.S538 A4 2015 x

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

John Udvardy Frost Library; N6537.U36 A4 2016 x

Lumia : Thomas Wilfred and the art of light (Orgeman, Keely, author.) Frost Library; N6537.W55 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

Instill & inspire : the John & Vivian Hewitt collection of African-American art (Stanislaus, Grace C., author.) Frost Library; N6538.N5 I575 2017

Semantics of aesthetic judgements Frost Library; N66 .S46 2017

Ricardo Basbaum : diagrams, 1994-ongoing (Basbaum, Ricardo, artist.) Frost Library; N6659.B397 A4 2016 x

Lygia Pape : a multitude of forms Frost Library; N6659.P32 A4 2017

Contemporary art Colombia Frost Library; N6675.6 .C66 2016

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

Ways of worldmaking (Rivers, Ben, 1972-, artist.) Frost Library; N6770.R48 W39 2016

Damien Hirst (Hirst, Damien, artist.) Frost Library; N6797.H565 A4 2016

Isaac Julien : playtime & kapital Frost Library; N6797.J95 A4 2016

Eduardo Paolozzi (Paolozzi, Eduardo, 1924-2005, artist.) Frost Library; N6797.P25 A4 2017

Wīn gensōha ten katarogu. Frost Library; N6808.5.M3 W56 1992

Andore Masson to Roberuto Matta : Sorezore no uchū = Masson et Matta : les deux univers (Masson, André, 1896-1987.) Frost Library; N6853.M32 A4 1994

Matisse in the studio Frost Library; N6853.M33 A4 2017

Philippe Parreno : anywhen (Parreno, Philippe, 1964-, artist, author.) Frost Library; N6853.P3664 A4 2016

Laure Prouvost : we would be floating away from the dirty past (Prouvost, Laure, 1980-) Frost Library; N6853.P76 A4 2016

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

!Perla_Miseria! : Tina Bara & Alba D'Urbano Frost Library; N6888.B328 A4 2015 x

It has a golden yellow sun and an elderly grey moon : Ulla von Brandenburg (Brandenburg, Ulla von, 1974- artist.) Frost Library; N6888.B73 A4 2016 x

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

Otto Freundlich : cosmic communism (Freundlich, Otto, 1878-1943, artist.) Frost Library; N6888.F74 A4 2017

Adolph Menzel : the quest for reality (Busch, Werner, author.) Frost Library; N6888.M454 B8713 2017 x

Michelangelo & Sebastiano (Wivel, Matthias, 1975- author, curator.) Frost Library; N6923.B9 A4 2017

Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein : in search of the absolute Frost Library; N6923.G455 A4 2016

Dutch old masters from Budapest : highlights from the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum (Ember, Ildikó, author.) Frost Library; N6946 .E43 2016

Constant: Space + colour : from Cobra to New Babylon Frost Library; N6953.C57 C66 2016

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

Marianne Werefkin and the women artists in her circle Frost Library; N6999.W4 M375 2017

What does history know of nail-biting? (Torres, Francesc, 1948-, artist.) Frost Library; N7113.T64 A4 2016 xx

Ugo Rondinone : becoming soil (Rondinone, Ugo, 1963-) Frost Library; N7153.R61 A4 2016

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

Art and the global economy (Zarobell, John, author.) Frost Library; N72.G55 Z37 2017

Former West : art and the contemporary after 1989 Frost Library; N72.P6 F665 2016

FireSigns : a semiotic theory for graphic design (Skaggs, Steven, author.) Frost Library; N72.S46 S59 2017

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

SkypeLab 2015 (Eichinger, Henning, 1959-) Frost Library; N72.T4 E33 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

Nofshon = Resort (Meromi, Ohad, artist, interviewee. מרומי, אוהד.) Frost Library; N7279.M47 A4 2017

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

Thai art : currencies of the contemporary (Teh, David, author.) Frost Library; N7321 .T44 2017

Age of empires : art of the Qin and Han dynasties Frost Library; N7343.23 .A39 2017

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

Zhang Peili : record. repeat. Frost Library; N7349.Z4745 A4 2017

Zhang Peili : record. repeat. Frost Library; N7349.Z4746 A4 2017

Nihon kindai bijutsuten ; Kankoku Kokuritsu Chūō Hakubutsukan shozō = Japanese modern art collect (Kungnip Chungang Pangmulgwan (Korea) 國立中央博物館 (Korea)) Frost Library; N7355.4 .K85 2003

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

Awatsuji Hiroshi ten (Awatsuji, Hiroshi, 1929- 粟辻博, 1929-) Frost Library; N7359.A92 A4 2000

Yayoi Kusama : infinity mirrors Frost Library; N7359.K87 A4 2017