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Art History & Appreciation: Home

This guide is designed to assist you in finding information on artists and/or the field of art/art history

New & Popular at the Library

A Chronology of Art

A fresh take on the history of art, using cultural timelines to reveal little-known connections and influences between artworks and artistic movements.

The Art of Spray Paint

A comprehensive guide of the world of spray paint that includes the process of each art form, as well as tricks of the trade from artists around the world.

Art of the Northern Renaissance

In this account, Stephanie Porras charts the fascinating story of art in northern Europe during the Renaissance period (c.1400-1570). She explains how artists and patrons from the Low Countries, France, England, and Germany, responded to an era of rapid political, social, economic and religious change, while redefining the status of art. Porras discusses not only paintings by artists from Jan van Eyck to Pieter Bruegel, but also sculpture, architecture, prints, metalwork, embroidery, tapestry and armor.

Pop Art and Design

"This book offers the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between art and design, which led to the creation of 'pop'. Challenging accepted boundaries and definitions, the authors seek out various commonalities and points of connection between these two exciting areas. Confronting the all-pervasive 'high art / low culture' divide, Pop Art and Design brings a fresh understanding of visual culture during the vibrant 1950s and 60s.


Digital images of arts, design, architecture, humanities, and history subjects.

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Art Research Strategy

To learn about art, you have to work with a variety of strategies. You can search by artist, title, subject, medium of the work, the style of the work, the period and place in which the work was made, or anything that the art itself references (could be another time or place). All of these strategies might not be relevant to your selected work of art and that's ok. 

I. Who made it? Search by the ARTIST'S NAME. Biographical information can be very helpful in understanding the context of the creation of the work.
II. What does it look like? Search the STYLE of the piece. Identify in a general art history book what the characteristics of this style were. Search articles for that type of style, perhaps in conjunction with your artist's name or the subject of the work.
III. When and where was it made? Search by the PERIOD and LOCATION.
IV. What is the work an image of or about? Search your SUBJECT from major general categories: portrait, nude, still life, landscape, religious, non-objective / abstract (no identifiable real thing), genre (scenes from everyday life) - IF APPLICABLE! Many decorative arts have no subject - a chair is a chair.
V. What's it made of? Search your MEDIUM starting with technique books and articles to learn about how your piece was made: oil, mixed-media, wood, acrylic, ink, types of photograph, what type/process of clay, etc.


Art Principles & Elements of Design: Think about these things when you're researching

The style - how they used the principles and elements of art - media (materials), and subject matter can all be clues to what people of a certain culture thought was important in their world and what they thought was beautiful. Use the vocabulary of formal analysis - line, color, texture, space, shape, rhythm, unity, balance, etc. - explain how the cultural context of a work is translated into visual art. 

principles of design.  elements of art















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