This is the "Getting Started" page of the "ART 365: Contemporary Art" guide.
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ART 365: Contemporary Art  

Last Updated: Feb 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page


This guide lists some of the best resources for getting started with research in the arts.

If you have questions about art research, contact the librarian using the information on the right.

Sptizweg, Carl. The Bookworm. 1850. Oil on canvas. Georg Schäfer Museum, Schweinfurt. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 27 Dec. 2010.


Searching for Art Information

Books: To begin your research, look for books (and e-books and media) on your topic in Encore, the library catalog, and use the Map a Call Number box to find the location of your item in the Knowledge Center. If your book is unavailable, you can order it through Link+.

Articles: Search for articles on your topic by going to one or more of the research databases, such as Oxford Art Online, JSTOR, or Art Full Text. Save or email (to yourself) the articles that you find. If no full text of the article is available, click on the Find It button to find the article or to access ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan) to order a copy from another library.

Images: Search for images on your topic by using ARTstor, Oxford Art Online, or a website (such as a museum site). WIth ARTstor, you need to sign up for an account from an on-campus computer to download images. 

Tips for searching: When searching for information about an artist or a specific work of art, don't restrict yourself to searching only for information about the artist and the title of the work. You should also search for information about the:

  • subject
  • geographic area
  • medium
  • style
  • period
  • materials used

You will need information that helps you understand a work intelligently and place it in a meaningful context. Search terms like the following will be helpful in finding information:

  • portraiture
  • Dada
  • watercolor
  • street art

When writing about a work of art, consider how the components of the work help to transmit information and tell a story. What questons do you have about the work or the parts of a work? What sources of research might help you to better answer these questions?


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Ann Medaille
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Ann Medaille
Phone: 775-682-5600
Office: MIKC 217
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