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.

Shōsōin ten (Shōsōin (Nara-shi, Japan) 正倉院 (Nara-shi, Japan)) Frost Library; N3750.N36 A52 1989

Shōsōin ten : dai 67-kai = The 67th Annual Exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures Frost Library; N3750.N36 A52 2015

The 67th annual exhibition of Shōsō-in Treasures = Dai 67-kai Shōsōin ten. (Shōsōin (Nara-shi, Japan) current owner 正倉院 (Nara-shi, Japan) current owner) Frost Library; N3750.N36 A522 2015

The curatorial conundrum : what to study? what to research? what to practice? Frost Library; N408 .C877 2016

Harry Graf Kessler : Flaneur durch die Moderne : deutsch, english, francais Frost Library; N5267.K47 H37 2016

Imagining the Americas in Medici Florence (Markey, Lia, author.) Frost Library; N5273.2.M43 M37 2016

The story of art (Gombrich, E. H. (Ernst Hans), 1909-2001.) Frost Library; N5300 .G643 1995

Folk art and aging : life-story objects and their makers (Kay, Jon, author.) Frost Library; N5312 .K39 2016

Polis and personification in classical Athenian art (Smith, Amy Claire, 1966-) Frost Library; N5650 .S65 2011

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

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art (Zirpolo, Lilian H., author.) Frost Library; N6370 .Z57 2016

Information Frost Library; N6490 .I463 2016

Jewel City : art from San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exhibition Frost Library; N6493 1915 .J49 2015 x

Anicka Yi : 6,070,430K of digital spit (Yi, Anicka, 1971- artist.) Frost Library; N6494.C63 Y53 2015

Schwitters Miró Arp Frost Library; N6494.D3 S38 2016

Weather diary 3 [videorecording] (Kuchar, George, 1942-2011.) Frost Library; N6494.V53 K833

Berghain : Kunst im Klub = Berghain : art in the club Frost Library; N6497 .B47 2015 x

The ocean after nature Frost Library; N6497 .O275 2016

Extended temporalities : transient visions in museum and art Frost Library; N6498.V53 E98 2016

As essential as dreams : self-taught art from the collection of Stephanie and John Smither Frost Library; N6512.5.O87 E87 2016 xx

Explode Every Day : An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder Frost Library; N6512.75.W66 E97 2016

Southern accent : seeking the American South in contemporary art Frost Library; N6520 .S648 2016 x

Problems and provocations : Grand Arts 1995-2015 Frost Library; N6535.K36 P76 2016

Jay Bolotin (Bolotin, Jay, 1949-) Frost Library; N6537.B62 A4 2015

Contribution and collaboration : the work of Petra Andrejova-Molnár and her contemporaries (Burin, Katarina, 1975-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.B8736 A4 2016

William Merritt Chase : a modern master (Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.C464 A4 2016 x

Spencer Finch : the brain is wider than the sky (Finch, Spencer, 1962-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.F449 A4 2016 x

Eva Hesse : diaries (Hesse, Eva, 1936-1970, author.) Frost Library; N6537.H4 A2 2016

Robert Irwin : a conditional art (Simms, Matthew Thomas, author.) Frost Library; N6537.I64 S56 2016

Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch : inspiration and transformation (Ravenal, John B., 1959-, author.) Frost Library; N6537.J6 A4 2016 x

Mary Kelly Frost Library; N6537.K42 M37 2016

Sterling Ruby : Paris (Ruby, Sterling, 1972-, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.R777 A4 2016 x

Ed Ruscha : ribbon words (Ruscha, Edward, artist.) Frost Library; N6537.R87 A4 2016a xx

A parallel excavation : Duane Linklater & Tanya Lukin Linklater Frost Library; N6545.6 .P386 2016

Erin Shirreff (Shirreff, Erin, 1975-, artist.) Frost Library; N6549.S45 A4 2015

Grupo Proceso Pentágono : políticas de la intervención, 1969-1976-2015 Frost Library; N6555 .G78 2015

While Cuba waits : art from the nineties Frost Library; N6603 .W45 1999

Revolutionary horizons : art and polemics in 1950s Cuba (McEwen, Abigail, 1980-, author.) Frost Library; N6603.2 .M34 2016

Carmen Herrera : Lines of Sight (Miller, Dana, curator, author.) Frost Library; N6605.H48 A4 2016 x

Cildo Meireles (Meireles, Cildo, 1948-) Frost Library; N6659.M44 A4 2008

Artist and empire : facing Britain's imperial past Frost Library; N6764 .A795 2015

Lucian Freud's sketchbooks Frost Library; N6797.F77 A4 2016

Cornelia Parker : The Roof Garden Commission (Parker, Cornelia, 1956-, artist, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6797.P278 A4 2016

Moholy-Nagy : future present Frost Library; N6822.5.M63 A4 2016

A sum of destructions : Picasso's cultures & the creation of Cubism (Staller, Natasha Elena.) Frost Library; N6853.P5 S73 2001

William Forsythe : the fact of matter (Forsythe, William, 1949-, artist, choreographer, interviewee.) Frost Library; N6888.F67 A4 2016

Marshall Plan modernism : Italian postwar abstraction and the beginnings of autonomia (Mansoor, Jaleh, 1975-, author.) Frost Library; N6918 .M288 2016

Theo Van Doesburg : a new expression of life, art, and technology Frost Library; N6953.D57 A4 2016 x

My ogre book ; Shadow theater ; Midnight (Broodthaers, Marcel, author.) Frost Library; N6973.B66 A35 2016

Reductionism in art and brain science : bridging the two cultures (Kandel, Eric R., author.) Frost Library; N71 .K355 2016

Alberto Giacometti : a line through time (Milburn, Claudia, author.) Frost Library; N7153.G49 A4 2016

Da steht ein grosses JA vor mir : zu einer Arbeit von Margaret Marquardt (Stadler, Arnold.) Frost Library; N7153.M37 S73 2016

Concave thoughts : 357 digital drawings (Netzhammer, Yves, 1970-, artist.) Frost Library; N7153.N47 A4 2015

Court and cosmos : the great age of the Seljuqs Frost Library; N7163 .C68 2016 x

A strange business : a revolution in art, culture, and commerce in 19th century London (Hamilton, James, 1948-, author.) Frost Library; N72.B87 H36 2015

Kōgei to nashonarizumu no kindai : "Nihonteki na mono" no sōshutsu (Kida, Takuya 木田拓也.) Frost Library; N72.N38 K64 2014

Screen ecologies : art, media, and the environment in the Asia-Pacific region (Hjorth, Larissa, author.) Frost Library; N72.S6 H56 2016

Women, gender and art in Asia, c. 1500-1900 Frost Library; N72.S6 W65 2016

Reset modernity! Frost Library; N72.T4 R47 2016

Āsā Shiiku gifun no Yudaya eshi = Arthur Szyk (Sodei, Rinjirō, 1932- 袖井林二郎, 1932-) Frost Library; N7255.P63 S98735 2007

Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese art (Munsterberg, Hugo, 1916-1995.) Frost Library; N7340 .M78 1981

Emperors' treasures : Chinese art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei Frost Library; N7342 .E47 2016

Nihon bijutsu zenshū Frost Library; N7350 .N528 2012 x

Shinjuku Bijutsukan Zōhinshō. Frost Library; N7350 .S55 1988

Kyūshū kokuritsu hakubutsukan (Kyūshū Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. 九州国立博物館.) Frost Library; N7352 .K98 2016

Bi no kuni Nihon = Japan, country of beauty Frost Library; N7353 .B57 2015

Muromachi jidai no bijutsu : tokubetsuten Frost Library; N7353.4 .M86 1989

Muromachi jidai bijutsuten zuroku (Kyōto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. 京都国立博物館.) Frost Library; N7353.4 .M87 1968

Tokushū Yumeji ai to akogare Frost Library; N7359.T3495 T64 1975

Takehisa Yumeji (Takehisa, Yumeji, 1884-1934 竹久夢二, 1884-1934.) Frost Library; N7359.T3495 T642 1977

Black and white : cinema, politics and the arts in Zimbabwe (Piotrowska, Agnieszka, author.) Frost Library; N7396.6.R5 P56 2017

Yoruba art and language : seeking the African in African art (Abiodun, Rowland, author.) Frost Library; N7399.N5 A25 2014

Miriam Stannage : time framed (Kinsella, Lee, author.) Frost Library; N7405.S73 K56 2016

Art in the making : artists and their materials from the studio to crowdsourcing (Adamson, Glenn, author.) Frost Library; N7430 .A32 2016

Outsider art : visionary worlds and trauma (Wojcik, Daniel, author.) Frost Library; N7432.5.A78 W65 2016

Book of penumbra (Cooksey, Gabrielle, book artist, author.) Archives and Special Collections; N7433.4.C67 B66 2016

Oiseaux : 40 croquis gravés (Mutel, Didier, artist.) Archives and Special Collections; N7433.4.M89 O58 1990

Redheaded Peckerwood (Patterson, Christian, 1972-) Frost Library; N7433.4.P38 R43 2013

New tendencies : art at the threshold of the information revolution (1961-1978) (Medosch, Armin, author.) Frost Library; N7433.84.E85 M43 2016

Art history and emergency : crises in the visual arts and humanities Frost Library; N7480 .A74 2016

Kenneth Clark : life, art and civilisation (Stourton, James, author.) Frost Library; N7483.C55 S76 2016

Before pictures (Crimp, Douglas, author.) Frost Library; N7483.C75 A3 2016

Psychology, art, and antifascism : Ernst Kris, E. H. Gombrich, and the politics of caricature (Rose, Louis, author.) Frost Library; N7483.K75 R67 2016

Critiques in art (Rihani, Ameen Fares, 1876-1940.) Frost Library; N7483.R55 R55 1999

Beyond the fantastic : contemporary art criticism from Latin America Frost Library; N7485.L38 B49 1996

This is a portrait if I say so : identity in American art, 1912 to today (Goodyear, Anne Collins, curator, author.) Frost Library; N7593.3 .G66 2016

The face of Britain : a history of the nation through its portraits (Schama, Simon, author.) Frost Library; N7598 .S33 2016

Symmetry (Weyl, Hermann, 1885-1955, author.) Frost Library; N76 .W4 2016

The female body in the looking-glass : contemporary art, aesthetics and genderland (Sliwinska, Basia, author.) Frost Library; N7630 .S556 2016

Greek myths in Roman art and culture : imagery, values and identity in Italy, 50 BC-AD 250 (Newby, Zahra, author.) Frost Library; N7760 .N49 2016

The creation of Eve and Renaissance naturalism : visual theology and artistic invention (Greenstein, Jack Matthew, author.) Frost Library; N8110 .G69 2016

Onmatsuri to Kasuga Shinkō no bijutsu (Nara Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. 奈良国立博物館.) Frost Library; N8194.A3 N37 2015

Mickey Mouse : emblem of the American Spirit (Apgar, Garry, author.) Frost Library; N8224.M47 A64 2015

Rethinking place in South Asian and Islamic art, 1500-present Frost Library; N8236.P46 R48 2017

Slavery, geography and empire in nineteenth-century marine landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica (Nelson, Charmaine, author.) Frost Library; N8243.S576 N45 2016

Post-conflict performance, film and visual arts : cities of memory Frost Library; N8260 .P67 2016

Inoue Bukichi ten : Chōkoku no Mori Bijutsukan kaikan 25-shūnen kinen : my sky hole 94 mori (Inoue, Bukichi, 1930-1997. 井上武吉, 1930-1997.) Frost Library; NB1059.I56 A4 1994

Baule monkeys (Claessens, Bruno, 1983-, author.) Frost Library; NB1255.C85 C5513 2016

Nara jidai no Amida Nyoraizō to jōdo shinkō (Nakano, Satoshi (College teacher) 中野聰 (College teacher)) Frost Library; NB1912.A48 N35 2013

The face of the Buddha (Empson, William, 1906-1984, author.) Frost Library; NB1912.B83 E47 2016