Archive for Art

Illustrated Book Covers

Those of us who enjoy books also enjoy the book covers that encompass them. Many of them are works of art in themselves and were created by artists of some renown. (Check out Edward Gorey’s book covers for other authors.) Almost 500 examples of illustrated book covers can be found here. And here is an extremely informative article of this subject accompanied by splendid reproductions of this special art form.


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How To Find Civil War Historical Markers and Monuments

There is no comprehensive site that lists every single memorial, but there are certain sites/publications that allow one access to thousands of them:  The Landscape of Civil War Commemoration( provides an interactive map leading to hundreds of sites; The Historical Marker Database can be searched by topic or state; Save Our Sculpture database (Smithsonian) can be searched by keyword or  designated topics; The Civil War: Search for Monuments is an incomplete but growing database from the National Parks Service; and the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center – Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy – is self-explanatory.


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Museum of Modern Art Online Exhibition Catalogs

This MOMA site allows access to over 3500 exhibition catalogs dating back to 1929. The masters of modern art – Picasso, Stella, Rothko, Miro, Calder are all represented here. You can search by year, keyword or type. As this is an ongoing project, the earlier exhibitions are present in their entirety; the more current ones are in the process of being mounted. Where available, the catalogs as well as the checklists and press releases are included.

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Interviews With African-American Artists

The Archives of American Art has a special collection on African-American Artists; it contains dozens of available oral interviews (with transcripts and audio excerpts) as well as digitized collections of major artists; for example, Romare Bearden (2000+ pages) and Palmer C Hayden (4000+ pages).

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Dictionary of Art Historians

This free, scholarly biographical database provides succinct biographical information on scholars of western art. The newer entries contain active links; the older ones do not, but that does not detract from the usability of this fine tool. This work ranges far and wide, offering biographies of those individuals who were only tangentially related to art history, such as Georges Duby. The search box is a simple one, but you can enter terms in it to limit your results. In addition, this database contains a substantial bibliography arranged under broad topics. Also, peruse An Outline of the History of Art History. We remember with fondness our meeting with the great Islamic art historian Richard Ettinghausen during his tenure at NYU and the Met.

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Online Art History Books

The Getty Research Portal allows access to almost 40,000 volumes of digitized art history texts from some of the world’s great research institutions. You can filter your results in any number of ways: type, name, place, or contributor (i.e., library). See how many books are here by James Rorimer, one of the most influential “Monuments Men“.

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Art Historians in the Digital World

This 2014 report from Ithaka, Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Art Historians focuses on five areas of inquiry: the research methods for digital art history will be different than other humanities fields; networking and digital collaboration among various institutions and stakeholders is still in a nascent stage; the lack of a centralized discovery architecture that inhibits systematic searching/research; the storage of digital images is far from uniform; and graduate students’ research skills need to be refined. More than seventy practitioners from diverse institutions were interviewed for this report. Another germane report is Transitioning to a Digital World: Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship from the Kress Foundation. Also, papers from the Digital World of Art History conferences are online as is a webcast version of American Art History and Digital Scholarship: New Avenues of Exploration from the Archives of American Art.

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