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Selected Art History Books


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Selected Web Sites

  • Art History Resources on the Web
    Maintained by Chris Witcombe of Sweet Briar College, this award-winning site has exhaustive links to art history pages.
  • ArtSource

    "...a gathering point for networked resources on Art and Architecture. The content is diverse and includes pointers to resources around the net as well as original materials submitted by librarians, artists, and art historians, etc."
  • Artsy
    Beautifully designed, this site has descriptions and examples of work from over 25,000 artists, including many contemporary artists. Artsy relates artists to each other and to art historical movements and contemporary styles through the Art Genome Project. There is a commercial element to the site, but it does not detract from the content. Artsy is free but requires login.
  • Bibliography of the History of Art/International Bibliography of Art
    A comprehensive tool for Western art history research, provided by the Getty Research Institute.
  • Cooper Hewitt Museum
    The Cooper-Hewitt collection is international in scope, includes both historic and contemporary design, and includes one-of-a-kind and mass-produced items. The collection focuses on drawings, prints and graphic works; product design, textiles, and wall coverings.
  • Google Art Project
    A unique collaboration of over 150 acclaimed art museums in 40 countries. The search capabilities are very clunky and it is recommended to use the Search by Museum category to browse. Create and share your own "collections."
  • Guggenheim Museum – Online Collections
    Excellent resource for the study of international contemporary art and artists.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art -- Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    Outstanding resource for research on many art historical periods including ancient Egypt artifacts, Greek and Roman art, Byzantine, Renaissance, Asian and Central Asian art, 19th Century art movements, fashion, weaponry, and many other topics up to the early 20th century.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Online Collections
    Outstanding online collections from the Met. Categories include: Islamic Art, Decorative Arts, American Painting & Sculpture, European Painting, the Costume Institute, Drawings & Prints, Africa, Oceania & the Americas, Egyptian Art, Musical Instruments, and others.
  • Mother of All Art and Art History Links
    Developed by the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, Mother of All is an extensive set of links to research resources, image collections, online digital art, art schools, art departments, and art museums.
  • Museum of Art & Design (was American Craft Museum) Online Collections
    Fantastic resource for the study of American craft and its international influences, including ceramics, textile arts, jewelry, and domestic arts.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    Excellent resource for contemporary art, artists, and thematic exhibits.
  • Museum of Modern Art Online Learning
    Outstanding resource for research on modern art and its influences worldwide, up to the present.
  • The New Museum
    Excellent resource on contemporary art, artists, and cutting-edge thematic exhibits.
  • Smarthistory is a free and open, not-for-profit, art history textbook using multimedia to deliver unscripted conversations between art historians about the history of art.
  • Smithsonian Museum of American Art
    Excellent collection of material about art and artists in the US from multiple national collections housed at the Smithsonian Institute.
  • Tate Collection
    Beautifully designed online library of the Tate's collections covering art from 1500 to contemporary works. Searchable by artist name, genres, subject terms, with excellent images and descriptions.
  • The Timeline of Art History 
  • Whitney Museum of American Art Online Collections
    Excellent resource for research on contemporary art and artists in the US.

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Research databases

Image Resources

The sites below offer excellent images for research in art and art history and are especially good for illustrating a research paper or creating a class presentation.

African & Asian Visual Artists Archive -- A comprehensive archive of contemporary visual art by artists of African and Asian descent working in the UK since the post-war period. The archive houses over 6,000 slides of artworks and exhibitions, as well as publications and videos about and by artists.  There are over 200 individual artist folders, as well as curators, art historians, cultural critics and arts organization files.  

American Memory Project -- Created by the Library of Congress, American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.

Bridgeman Art Library -- Excellent image database containing images from over 8,000 collections and more than 29,000 artists, Bridgeman provides a central source of fine art and historical images for users. Based in London but focus is international in scope.

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) -- A well-designed site with focus on fashion, craft, 2D design, and contemporary artists working in the UK and internationally. Repository for many specail collections in the UK.

Web Gallery of Art -- WGA is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 11th to mid-19th centuries. Content focuses on the Renaissance period, the Medieval roots of the period and its evolution to Baroque and Rococo via Mannerism. More recently Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Realism were also included.

Cybermuse -- National Gallery of Canada's hosts its permanent collection of Canada's visual arts heritage. This virtual museum contains over 20,000 images of works of the Gallery's permanent collection as well as video and audio recordings of Canadian artists.

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