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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
  • 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 Full Text
    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.

Shakai to tsunagaru bijutsu shigaku : kin-gendai no akademizumu to media, goraku = Modern (Ōta, Tomoki, 1979- author. 太田智己, 1979- author.) Frost Library; N390.J3 O83 2015

The public in the picture Frost Library; N5613 .P83 2015

Body language in Hellenistic art and society (Anderson, Jane E. A. (Jane Elizabeth Ann), 1980-, author.) Frost Library; N5633 .A54 2015

Artists and signatures in ancient Greece (Hurwit, Jeffrey M., 1949-, author.) Frost Library; N5633 .H87 2015

Ink silk & gold : Islamic art from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Weinstein, Laura (Art museum curator), author.) Frost Library; N6263.B67 M879 2015

A needle walks into a haystack Frost Library; N6488.G7 L58 2014

Art Basel : year 45 Frost Library; N6488.S9 B352 2015

Art after the bomb : iconographies of trauma in late modern art (Davisson, Darrell D.) Frost Library; N6490 .D328 2009

On horizons : a critical reader in contemporary art Frost Library; N6490 .O485 2011

Utopian pulse : flares in the darkroom Frost Library; N6490 .U835 2015

Monumental propaganda Frost Library; N6494.C63 M66 1994

Romantischer Konzeptualismus = Romantic conceptualism Frost Library; N6494.C63 R663 2007

Small scale subversion : mail art & artistamps (Held, John, 1947-) Frost Library; N6494.M35 H452 2015

Global culture - local views : die Beiträge der Vortragsreihe artiparlando 2011 Frost Library; N6497 .G56 2014

Unsettled landscapes Frost Library; N6497 .U57 2014

A companion to American art Frost Library; N6505 .C643 2015

American artists against war, 1935-2010 (McCarthy, David, 1960-, author.) Frost Library; N6512 .M357 2015

The uncertain states of America reader Frost Library; N6512.7 .U63 2006

Leap Before You Look : Black Mountain College, 1933-1957 Frost Library; N6530.N8 L4 2015 x

Louise Bourgeois : I have been to hell and back (Bourgeois, Louise, 1911-2010.) Frost Library; N6537.B645 A4 2015

Scorched earth : Mark Bradford Frost Library; N6537.B6813 A4 2015

TR Ericsson, Crackle & drag (Ericsson, T. R., 1972- artist.) Frost Library; N6537.E755 A4 2015

Envisioning Howard Finster : the religion and art of a stranger from another world (Girardot, N. J., author.) Frost Library; N6537.F464 G57 2015

Ellen Gallagher (Gallagher, Ellen, 1965-, author.) Frost Library; N6537.G22 A4 2013

Rachel Harrison, G-L-O-R-I-A. (Harrison, Rachel, 1966-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.H3632 A4 2015

Roni Horn : the sensation of sadness at having slept through a shower of meteors (Sen, Aveek, author.) Frost Library; N6537.H644 A4 2015

Ray Johnson, North American networkers and dadazines (Steven Leiber (Gallery)) Archives and Special Collections; N6537.J63 S74 1995 x

Maya Lin (Lin, Maya Ying, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.L54 A4 2013 x

The cats of Mirikitani [videorecording] Frost Library; N6537.M5658 C38

Yoko Ono : one woman show, 1960-1971 (Ono, Yōko, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.O56 A4 2015

Mark Rothko : an essential reader Frost Library; N6537.R63 M37 2015

Super Indian (Scholder, Fritz, 1937-2005, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.S358 A4 2015

Richard Tuttle (Tuttle, Richard, 1941-) Frost Library; N6537.T8 A4 2014 x

Robert Watts : Flux Med : exhibition (Watts, Robert, 1923-1988.) Archives and Special Collections; N6537.W296 A4 2008

Whistler and the world (Colby College. Museum of Art host institution.) Frost Library; N6537.W4 A4 2015

Voices in concert Frost Library; N6538.M4 V65 2015 x

The visitor : living by numbers (Courchesne, Luc, 1952-) Frost Library; N6549.C68 A4 2002

Teresa Margolles and the Aesthetics of Death (Banwell, Julia, author.) Frost Library; N6559.M367 B35 2015

Michael Craig-Martin at Chatsworth. (Craig-Martin, Michael, 1941-) Frost Library; N6797.C733 A4 2014

With Gilbert & George in Moscow (Farson, Daniel, 1927-) Frost Library; N6797.G47 A4 1991

Mark Wallinger (O'Reilly, Sally, 1971-) Frost Library; N6797.W315 O74 2015

Rite of passage Frost Library; N6810.V5 R58 2014

Egon Schiele, Jenny Saville Frost Library; N6811.5.S34 A4 2014b xx

The Cube and the face : around a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti (Didi-Huberman, Georges, author.) Frost Library; N6853.G5 D53 2015

Annette Messager (Messager, Annette, 1943-) Frost Library; N6853.M44 A4 2014

Intersecting colors : Josef Albers and his contemporaries Frost Library; N6888.A5 A4 2015

Intersecting colors : Josef Albers and his contemporaries Archives and Special Collections; N6888.A5 A4 2015

Paul Klee : the visible and the legible (Bourneuf, Annie, author.) Frost Library; N6888.K55 B68 2015

Markus Wirthmann : äolische und andere Prozesse = Aeolian and other processes (Wirthmann, Markus, 1963-, artist.) Frost Library; N6888.W544 A4 2009

Da iḍā e piṅgalā a iḍā e iḍā o piṅgalā e piṅgalā (Cuoghi, Roberto, 1973-, author, artist.) Frost Library; N6923.C86 A4 2014 x

Vnutri kartiny : statʹi i dialogi o sovremennom iskusstve (Backstein, Joseph, author.) Frost Library; N6988 .B25 2015

Frozen dreams : contemporary art from Russia Frost Library; N6988 .F769 2011 x

The way of enthusiasts Frost Library; N6988.3 .W39 2013

Sborniki MANI : Moskovskiĭ arkhiv novogo iskusstva Frost Library; N6988.5.C62 S36 2010

About 2 [squares] (Lissitzky, El, 1890-1941, author.) Frost Library; N6988.5.S9 L57 2014 x

Angels of history : Moscow conceptualism and its influence (Backstein, Joseph.) Frost Library; N6997.M7 B336 2005

Moskauer Konzeptualismus Frost Library; N6997.M7 M674 2004

Timur Novikov : zero object Frost Library; N6999.N685 T55

Joachim Koester : of spirits and empty spaces Frost Library; N7023.K63 J63 2014

Melgaard + Munch : the end of it all has already happened (Melgaard, Bjarne.) Frost Library; N7073.M45 A4 2015

Sound speed marker : Teresa Hubbard (Hubbard, Teresa, 1965- artist.) Frost Library; N7153.H788 A4 2014 xx

Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1702-1789. Frost Library; N7153.L5 A4 2015 x

Dieter Roth : balle balle Knalle (Roth, Dieter, 1930-1998.) Frost Library; N7153.R67 A4 2015

The best surprise is no surprise Frost Library; N72.E53 B47 2006

Twenty years of MAKE magazine : back to the future of woman's art Frost Library; N72.F45 T84 2015

Picturing the closet : male secrecy and homosexual visibility in Britain (Janes, Dominic.) Frost Library; N72.H64 J36 2015

Brave new avant garde : essays on contemporary art and politics (Léger, Marc James, 1968- author.) Frost Library; N72.P6 L454 2012

Bad new days : art, criticism, emergency (Foster, Hal, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 F665 2015

Zonen der Ver-störung = Zones of disturbance Frost Library; N72.S6 Z66 1997

Artists as inventors, inventors as artists Frost Library; N72.T4 A784 2008

Marina Abramovic : 512 hours (Abramović, Marina, artist.) Frost Library; N7253.A25 M37 2014

NSK from Kapital to capital : Neue Slowenische Kunst, an event of the final decade of Yugoslavia Frost Library; N7255.S563 N48 2015

Tribute to Kojiro Tomita (Art Complex Museum (Duxbury, Mass.).) Frost Library; N7262 .A75 1990

Looking at patronage (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.) Frost Library; N7262 .A88 1989

Beyond the legacy (Lawton, Thomas, 1931-) Frost Library; N7262 .L34 1998

Stretching thoughts (Karam, Nadim, 1957- author, artist.) Frost Library; N7276.8.K37 A4 2014

Yael Bartana (Bartana, Yael, 1970-) Frost Library; N7279.B36 A4 2015 x

Maya Zack : the Shabbat Room (Zack, Maya, artist.) Frost Library; N7279.Z33 A4 2014 xx

Shirin Neshat : facing history Frost Library; N7289.N47 A4 2015

On the table (Ai, Weiwei, artist.) Frost Library; N7349.A5 A4 2014

Zhang Xiaogang. Frost Library; N7349.Z47458 A4 2013 xx

Japanese art motives, by Maude Rex Allen. (Allen, Maude Rex.) Frost Library; N7350 .A4 1917

Kokuhō Frost Library; N7353 .K58 xx

Miyako e no izanai (Kyōto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan compiler, host institution, issuing body. Kyōto Kokuritsu Hakubutsuka) Frost Library; N7353 .K96 2014

Takehisa Yumeji (Naoi, Nozomi, author.) Frost Library; N7359.T3495 A4 2015

Togil Laip'ŭch'ihi Gŭrasi minsok pangmulgwan sojang Han'guk munhwajae = Korean art collection, Gra Frost Library; N7362 .T634 2013

The BP exhibition : indigenous Australia enduring civilisation Frost Library; N7401 .B6 2015

Color in ancient and medieval East Asia Frost Library; N7432.7 .C64 2015

The Open Book Project Archives and Special Collections; N7433.3 .O646 2014

The Open Book Project Frost Library; N7433.3 .O646 2014

The abecedarium of the artist's death : 26 dangers for your career (Kone, Moussa, 1978- author, artist.) Frost Library; N7433.4.K657 A23 2014

Peripheral vision : Bell Labs, the S-C 4020, and the origins of computer art (Patterson, Zabet, author.) Frost Library; N7433.8 .P378 2015

Lawrence Alloway : critic and curator Frost Library; N7483.A45 L39 2015

Mariette and the science of the connoisseur in eighteenth-century Europe (Smentek, Kristel, author.) Frost Library; N7483.M3 S64 2014

Biko's ghost : the iconography of Black Consciousness (Hill, Shannen L., 1964- author.) Frost Library; N7628.B55 H55 2015

Picturing the apocalypse : the book of Revelation in the arts over two millennia (O'Hear, Natasha, 1980-, author.) Frost Library; N8038.5 .O35 2015

Faith, gender and the senses in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art (Benay, Erin E., author.) Frost Library; N8180 .B42 2015

Zukai Jiin meguri hikkei Frost Library; N8193.A4 J45 1981

Bukkyō bijutsu nyūmon Frost Library; N8193.A5 B87 1989

Bukkyō bijutsu no yorokobi = The pleasures of Buddhist art (Tajima, Mitsuru. 田島充.) Frost Library; N8193.J3 B7825 2014 x