Art and Artists

Welcome to the Art and Artists research guide! Start your art history research here.

1) Find Encyclopedia Chapter for an Overview

Search these two encyclopedia databases for overviews and basic information about your artist and/or artwork.

  • Also search for information about the artist's techniques, historical events that affected their work, etc.
  • Make sure to copy the draft MLA citation for each source. The CRW can help you perfect the citation. 
  • Oxford Art Online: search for your subject, then under "Modify Your Search," add a second subject, or choose "Article Title" to limit results.

2) Search for More Articles, Books, Videos

Then, find books, articles and documentary videos with the "Start Your Research" search box below. 

   Start Your Research Here: 

  • The "Start Your Research Here" search box, also found on the library home page, searches shallowly across 100 library book, article and video databases. 
  • Limit your search to E-books, Print Books, or Articles. 
    • For ebooks: you can download chapters as PDFs. 
    • For books, search for a broad topic: the artist's name, location or genre.
      • Examples:   Degas       Pyramids      Impressionism
      • When you find interesting books, write down the call numbers and find them from the shelves on the top floor.
      • Bring them to the Circulation Desk on the main floor.  Just show a photo ID to borrow books.
    • For articles from magazines and newspapers, click Advanced Search and add a second concept to narrow your search. 

      •  "Great Pyramid" AND Giza             Impressionism AND watercolor*
         Tutan* AND egypt                     Ramses AND Aswan         Degas AND ballet 
        "Venus of Willendorf"          "Snake Goddess"  AND Greece

      • Limit the search to peer-reviewed (scholarly) articles if wanted.
    • If you have questions about your research, email, or use the green chat box, during library open hours. 

Useful Books for This Assignment

The Gardener's textbook is on reserve on the top floor of the library and can be used within the library by checking it out with a photo ID. They are located near the Reference Desk. 

Circulating books are on the library shelves. You can borrow them with photo ID to bring home. Reference books must be used in the library. 

To Search for More Art Books

If you are searching for a particular artist, enter the artist’s name in the search box. More ideas are below. 

  • You can limit your search to print books. Log in to your library account to request to pick up a book at the circulation desk. 
  • Use “and” to find books covering two or more subjects: painting and war, for instance. 

Art History
Painting, Modern 20th century
Architecture United States
Art, Italian
Painting, Dutch
Art, Renaissance Italy
Persia (or, use: Iran History)
Painting History
Middle Ages
Modernism Art
Art, Greek History
Art, Egyptian
Art, Ancient Egypt
Biography Renaissance
Egypt Antiquities
Abstract Expressionism

Book about Mythology


Free E-books from Getty Publications

Symbolism and Composition

This well-known book lists the detailed lives of 2,565 saints: 

Butler, Alban, et al. Lives of the Saints. 
Call number: BX 4654 .B8 1956 Vol. 1-4. 

MLA Citation Guide, 9th ed.

MLA Guide 9th ed.

Scan this QR Code to access a FREE Citation Guide from the Center for Reading and Writing!

SUNY Adirondack's Art Collection

This database lists the works in the SUNY Adirondack campus art collection:

History of Art

Use the Oxford Art Online database above for well-researched information about the time period of your artist. In addition, these may be helpful also: 

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