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Art Research

Page history last edited by The Beach Cybrarian 8 years, 10 months ago

Library Guide


Art History & Appreciation Research

This guide will introduce you to some of the different types of resources that can be used to conduct research for assignments in AM 100 (Visual analysis of an artwork ) , AM 101 (Research a historical movement) and AM 301 (Critical art analysis and image presentation ).


Locate Images of Artwork


ARTstor Digital Library (Marymount Library Database)

  • Browse the collections of art museums and galleries
  • Search for a specific kind of work using the Advanced Search (e.g. focus on a geographical location, art classification or date range)
  • Register your own account in order to create and save collections of images
  • Export images into Powerpoint presentations
  • Download images to use in class presentations (be sure to follow Copyright Fair Use requirements)


Camio (Marymount Library Database)

  • Digital versions of fine and decorative art from leading museums around the world.
  • Documents approximately 90,000 works of art


Google Art Project

  • Discover and view more than a thousand artworks from museums around the world
  • Zoom into images to view painting details (e.g. brush strokes, small details)
  • Explore museum floor plans and images
  • Google provides a helpful tutorial on using the site
  • Note:  images are prevented from being downloaded from this site


Browse an Art Gallery Online


Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)


Museum of Metropolitan Art (New York)

  • Browse the Collection Database to locate a work (among 130,000 online) created between the 14th and 20th century
  • Or you can search for a more specific kind of work using the Advanced Search (e.g. focus on a particular medium or date range)


National Gallery of Art (Washington)

  • Search the online collections by artist, title keywords, or by subject
  • Preserves, collects, and exhibits works of art on a national level in the United States; works to also foster public understanding of art


New York Public Library (NYPL) Digital Gallery

  • NYPL (yes, a Library) also has a great online collection that you can search for many digitized artworks
  • Types of works include vintage posters, rare prints, and photographs; you can also browse themed collections


Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington)

  • Search the Smithsonian online collections by artist name, or even by type of artwork (e.g. photograph or drawings)
  • Profiles American works in all media -- from painting and sculpture to film and media art, photographs, folk art, and contemporary craft



Find Background Information on an Artist /a Work / a Movement 

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works are a good place to begin if you need a short overview of your topic.


The Dictionary of Art

(Note: this is actually an encyclopedia and has good, in-depth entries)


REF N 31.D5 1996

The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists 


N 31 .M8 1997

Dictionary of Art Terms


N 33.L75 2003

Encyclopedia Britannica Online



Credo Reference

Cross-search more than 500 reference titles in e-book format including The Bloomsbury Guide to Art, Encyclopedia of American Folk Art, National Gallery Collection, The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists. 




American National Biography

Search for biographies on over 18,000 American men and women of significance.



Gale Biography in Context

Search for biographies on over 525,000 individuals around the globe






Find Books on an Artist / a Work / a Movement


Books are thorough, detailed, and in-depth. They are excellent introductory sources to use for exploring artists and art movements.


Search Tips!

  • Try searching by the artist's last name, by the time period in which they lived, or by the art movement with which they are associated. For example, you could search for "Picasso", but also by "Art 20th Century" or "Art Abstract". Then consult the book index to find pages specifically discussing Picasso.
  • Search by "Art Appreciation" to find materials that will help you with approaching works and forming your own opinions
  • Still having trouble? Don't give up -- ask a librarian who will show you ways to find better results


Marymount Library Catalog

Find books in the Marymount collection (over 24,000 titles)

We have many books on art and art appreciation.





Browse Books

Want to browse our art and photography collection? Try looking in these call number ranges in the library stacks. (location depends on call number)

N - Visual Arts (General)

NA - Architecture

NB - Sculpture

NC - Drawing, Design and Illustration

ND - Painting

NK - Decorative and Applied Arts, including Arts & Crafts, Interior Design, Ceramics, Costume, Metalwork, Textiles, and Woodworking

TR - Photography



Find Articles (Newspaper and Journal)


Your Library pays for access to specialized tools where you can find online articles (that typically are not available through Google). These tools are available from the Library’s web page. Click on “Find Articles" under the Research section.


Academic Search Premiere

Search more than 12,000 magazines, journals and newspapers to find research related to your topic.  Use the Advanced Search filters on the left-hand side of the results pages to help narrow your results. 

Access through the library's website under the link

"Find Articles"


National Newspaper Index

Search five major newspapers: Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.


Access through the library's website under the link

"Find Articles"

Newspaper Source

Search nearly 30 national and international newspapers, as well as more than 200 regional US newpsapers

Access through the library's website under the link

"Find Articles"



Recommended Websites


When you are doing research using Google or another search engine, you must always apply the criteria of credibility, quality, and currency.


Schools of Art -- Librarians' Internet Index

Browse different art movements and their representative artists using this online directory. Directories are assembled by editors who recommend the best websites on the Internet. You can also use the Search box to find websites on a specific artist / work / movement.




Art -- Google Directory

Browse art topics by subject. This is also a directory, so the websites are recommended by editors. You can also use the Search box to find websites on a specific artist / work / movement.




Citing Sources


Marymount Library Citation Guides: Available for MLA and APA citation styles

For help citing sources, contact your library or visit a librarian in-person.




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