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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei Frost Library; N6537.W28 A4 2015c

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

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

Armando Romero Frost Library; N6559.R66 A4 2015

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

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

George Lodge : artist naturalist Archives and Special Collections; N6797.L63 A4 1986

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

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

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

Lotte Reiniger : Filmstills = film stills (Reiniger, Lotte.) Frost Library; N6888.R45 A4 2015

In the courts of religious ladies : art, vision, and pleasure in Italian Renaissance convents (Periti, Giancarla, 1966-, author.) Frost Library; N6915 .P47 2016

Ofelias y Ulises = Ophelia and Ulysses Frost Library; N7108.6 .O33 2001

Bioart kitchen : art, feminism and technoscience (Kelley, Lindsay, author.) Frost Library; N72.B56 K455 2016

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

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

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

Kitano Tenmangū shinpōten : tokubetsu tenrankai Sugawara Michizane-kō 1100-nensai kinen Frost Library; N7353 .K554 2001

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

Rinpa : miyako o irodoru Frost Library; N7353.6.S64 R56 2015

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

Aida Makoto : tensai de gomennasai (Aida, Makoto, 1965- 会田誠, 1965-) Frost Library; N7359.A425 A4 2013

Hashiguchi Goyō : sōshoku e no jōnetsu (Hashiguchi, Goyō, 1881-1921, artist. 橋口五葉, 1881-1921, artist.) Frost Library; N7359.H37 A4 2015

Onchi Kōshirō ten = Onchi Koshiro (Onchi, Kōshirō, 1891-1955. 恩地孝四郎, 1891-1955.) Frost Library; N7359.O52 A4 2016

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

Chinoiserie (Jacobson, Dawn.) Frost Library; N7429 .J32 1993

The meeting of Eastern and Western art (Sullivan, Michael, 1916-2013.) Frost Library; N7429 .S93 1997

Art brut in America : the incursion of Jean Dubuffet Frost Library; N7432.5.A78 A7 2015

Artists' books : the book as a work of art 1963-2000 (Bury, Stephen, 1954-, author.) Frost Library; N7433.3 .B87 2015

Threads Talk Series Frost Library; N7433.3 .T476 2016

Water safety (Fessler, Ann.) Frost Library; N7433.4.F47 W38 1989

Half dead flowers Frost Library; N7433.4.H57 A4 2015 xx

Train wreck (Vitale, Marianne, 1973-) Frost Library; N7433.4.V58 T73 2015

Rafu : yōga nihonga Frost Library; N7573 .R34 1979 x

Art of the Amistad and the Portrait of Cinqué (Macaluso, Laura A., author.) Frost Library; N7628.C56 M33 2016

Women who read are dangerous (Bollmann, Stefan, 1958-, author.) Frost Library; N7632 .B6513 2016

C.F. Tunnicliffe Archives and Special Collections; N7665 .T868 1995

Charles F. Tunnicliffe, R.A. : the composition drawings Archives and Special Collections; N7665 .T87 1986

Busshari to hōju : Shaka o shitau kokoro Frost Library; N8193.2 .B87 2001

Preserving the dharma : Hōzan Tankai and Japanese Buddhist art of the early modern era (Rosenfield, John M., author.) Frost Library; N8193.A4 R67 2015

Hijiri to inja : sansui ni kokoro o sumasu hitobito : tokubetsuten Frost Library; N8193.J3 H55 1999

Kamakura Bukkyō : kōsō to sono bijutsu : tokubetsuten Frost Library; N8193.J3 K26 1993

Saidaiji ten : Kōshō Bosatsu Eison nanahyakunen onki kinen Frost Library; N8193.J3 S224 1990

Shōtoku Taishi ten = The Prince Shotoku exhibition Frost Library; N8193.J3 S578 2001

The art of horror : an illustrated history Frost Library; N8217.H68 A77 2015 x

Ludi naturae : Spiele der Natur in Kunst und Wissenschaft Frost Library; N8225.M58 L83 2011

Ophelia : sehnsucht, melancholie en doodsverlangen = Sehnsucht, melancholia and desire for death Frost Library; N8234.O64 O63 2009

American women artists, 1935-1970 : gender, culture, and politics Frost Library; N8354 .A644 2016

Color science and the visual arts : a guide for conservators, curators, and the curious (Berns, Roy S., 1954-, author.) Frost Library; N8560 .B47 2016

Kamakura : realism and spirituality in the sculpture of Japan Frost Library; NB1053.4 .K35 2016

Chinese label art, 1900-1976 (Cahan, Andrew S.) Frost Library; NC1002.L3 C35 2006

The Electric Pencil : drawings from inside State Hospital No. 3 (Deeds, Edward, 1908-1987, artist.) Frost Library; NC139.D43 A4 2016

Catalan cartoons a cultural and political history (McGlade, Rhiannon.) Frost Library; NC1636 .M34 2016

The design of dissent (Glaser, Milton.) Frost Library; NC1806.8 .G64 2006

Taishō Shōwa natsukashi no posutā. Frost Library; NC1807.J3 T34 2002

No words posters : one image is enough (Milani, Armando, 1940-) Frost Library; NC1815 .M55 2015

Bilderwelten (Hamburger, Jeffrey F., 1957-, author.) Frost Library; ND3151 .H36 2016 x

The prayer book of Ursula Begerin (Hamburger, Jeffrey F., 1957-, author.) Frost Library; ND3380.4.B87 H36 2015