Reference books & e-resources are helpful. They . . .
- offer introductory information
- explain background of topic
- highlight key terms & dates
- assist with formulating a topic
- help to envision the path(s) your research can take
For most reference books on art, browse call number areas 700-709 of the print Reference Collection.
Click on the image or link to view the PrattCat record--this will help you determine a book's location & availability.
Click on the links below images to check on book availability.
Oxford Art Online allows you to search up to four art reference online resources at once. Use these e-reference resources to begin your research, as they will provide good introductory information for your topic. Additionally, they will provide information for art terms throughout the research process.
The Four Reference Resources Included in Oxford Art Online:
1. Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (1998)
“This encyclopedia surveys the full breadth of critical thought on art, culture, and society; it is a comprehensive survey of major concepts, thinkers, and debates about the meaning, uses, and value of all the arts – from painting and sculpture to literature, music, theater, dance, television, film, and popular culture. Of special interest are in-depth surveys of Western aesthetics and broad coverage of non-Western traditions and theories of art.” (Oxford Art Online)
2. Grove Art Online Dictionary (1996)
“Grove Art Online is today's foremost scholarly art encyclopedia covering all aspects of Western and non-Western visual art. It includes the full text of The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner (1996, 34 volumes) – the landmark reference work containing more than 45,000 articles (more than 21,000 biographies and 500,000 bibliographical citations) contributed by 6,700 scholars from 120 countries….Grove Art Online [since 2005] offers over 5,000 searchable and embedded art images, maps, and line drawings.” (Oxford Art Online)
3. The Oxford Companion to Western Art (2001)
“The Oxford Companion to Western Art contains more than 2,600 entries, and provides discriminating and reliable coverage of over 1,700 artists and their work. Articles give fresh treatment to topics of contemporary interest, including art movements, theory, and criticism. In addition to thorough regional and cultural surveys, this publication lists all relevant museums and galleries under the city of their location, such as Barcelona and Moscow. In Oxford Art Online, these entries are fully searchable and updated periodically with new death dates and corrections.” (Oxford Art Online)
4. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms
“The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms provides 1,800 entries on art terms, critical periods, and styles in the visual arts. The quick reference format includes materials, techniques, and foreign terms essential for navigating the current visual climate. Featuring clear definitions of movements and media, from Baroque to Minimalism, aquatint to raku, and canvas to Venetian glass, this publication provides succinct and accessible explanations of art terms.” (Oxford Art Online)