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Art & Art History: Reference
Key databases and links for doing research in art and art history
What do you already know about the subject? Save time by first finding some basic, accurate information such as:
Spelling variations of an artist's name, or of a place (e.g., Greek v. Roman)
Time period(s), or dates of birth, death, activity, etc.
Dictionaries, biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, or other reference books are often a good place to find brief, authoritative information. Such basic tools often can lead you to other credible sources, such as articles or books that are cited in their bibliographies or footnotes.
Printed Reference Sources
Some key reference sources do not have an electronic version but are still available in printed volumes. [Call numbers refer to AFA Library Reference collection, unless noted otherwise.]
Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale (EAA) All entries in Italian. Seven base volumes, plus six supplements. Heavily illustrated, with extensive bibliographies. N31.E48 Reference
Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC). Mostly in French, but some entries in English, German, or Italian. Iconography or study of images of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman mythology. Part one contains bibliographies, with corresponding plates in part two. N7760 .L49 1981 Reference
Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture.The 'classic' survey of architectural history with hundreds of illustrated examples. NA200.F63 1996 Reference
Covers the past 150 years of international design, with succinct entries on major movements, key concepts, design terminology, ceramics, furniture, graphics, industrial design, interiors, fashion, and important design institutions.
Covers the full breadth of critical thought on art, culture, and society—from classical philosophy to contemporary critical theory—providing a comprehensive survey of major concepts, thinkers, and debates about the meaning, uses, and value of all the arts.
Combines a survey of the world's gardens with articles on a range of topics, such as garden visiting, horticulture, scientific issues, and the social history of gardens, as well as biographies of garden designers, nurserymen, and others.
Provides a wide range of technical information in a concise format, with over 800 biographical entries on photographers and others who have influenced photographic culture from 19th century to the present.
Provides in-depth coverage of Western Art with entries on artists and their works, styles and movements, art forms and art terms, combined with more modern methodologies, focused on patronage, taste, theory, and criticism, and the scientific examination of materials and techniques
Covers every period of Western architectural history, with biographical entries on leading historical architects, as well as subjects such as algorithmic design, digital architecture, and parametric design.
Covering Western art from the ancient Greeks to the present day, with entries on styles, movements, materials, techniques, museums, and galleries. Also includes biographical entries for artists, critics, collectors, dealers, and patrons, with places and full dates of birth and death.