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Art Research Guide

This annotated guide to selected art reference sources in the Newton Gresham Library covers painting, drawing, graphic arts, and sculpture.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias of Artists' Biographies and Writings

Cummings, Paul.  Contemporary American Artists, 6th ed.  New York:  St. Martin's Press, 1994.  REF N 6512 .C854 1994

Contains entries on American artists, chiefly of the post-WWII era, with information on awards, collections, and exhibitions.

Dictionary of Artists.  14 vol.  Paris:  Gründ, 2006.  REF N 40 .D5213 2006

The first English-language edition of Emmanuel Bénézit's renowned Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, which was first published in 1911.  This updated and expanded edition provides biographical information on 175,000 artists and is especially useful for those researching lesser known or obscure individuals.

Dunford, Penny.  A Biographical Dictionary of Women Artists in Europe and America Since 1850.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.  REF N 6757 .D86 1990

Contains biographical sketches of several hundred American and European women artists, selectively illustrated with examples of their work.

Falk, Peter H.., ed.  Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975:  400 Years of Artists in America.  3 vol.  Madison:  Sound View Press, 1999.  REF N 6536 .W56 1999

Reprints and updates 25,000 entries from the American Art Annual, 1893-1933 and its four later volumes published under the title Who's Who in American Art, 1935-1947 (see entry below). 

Farris, Phoebe, ed.  Women Artists of Color:  A Bio-Critical Sourcebook to 20th Century Artists in the Americas.  Westport:  Greenwood Press, 1999.  REF N 8354 .W656 1999

Biographical essays, exhibition lists, statements, and bibliographic references for contemporary Native American, Latin American, African American, and Asian Pacific American women artists.

Fielding, Mantle.  Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, 2nd ed.  Poughkeepsie:  Apollo, 1986.  REF N 6536 .F5 1986

Contains biographical sketches of nearly 13,000 American artists.

Gaze, Delia, ed.  Dictionary of Women Artists.  2 vols.  Chicago:  Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.  REF N 8354 .D53 1997

Includes 600 biographical essays on woman artists.

Groce, George C. and David H. Wallace.  The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1957.  REF N 6535 .N4

Over 10,000 antebellum American artists are profiled.

Hillstrom, Laurie C. and Kevin Hillstrom, eds.  Contemporary Women Artists.  Detroit:  St. James Press, 1999.  REF N 8354 .C66 1999

Provides biographical details and information on exhibitions, collections, and publications for over 350 women artists and photographers of the 20th century. 

Marks, Claude. World Artists, 1950-1980. New York:  H.W. Wilson,1984.  REF N 6489 .M37 1987

________.  World Artists, 1980-1990. New York:  H.W. Wilson, 1991.  REF N 6489 .W67 1991

Biographical essays on artists active or influential in the post-1950 era.

Riggs, Thomas, ed.  St. James Guide to Black Artists.  Detroit:  Gale, 1997.  REF N 40 .S78 1997

Includes 400 biographical essays on painters, sculptors, and printmakers of African descent, primarily of the twentieth century.

Pendergast, Sara and Tom Pendergast, eds.  Contemporary Artists, 5th ed.  2 vol.  New York: St. James Press, 2002.  REF N 6490 .C6567 2002

Profiles over 800 international artists active in the post-1965 era.

Who's Who in American Art.  New York:  R.R. Bowker, [biennial].  REF N 6536 .W5

Profiles approximately 11,000 living North American artists, administrators, historians, educators, collectors, critics, curators, and dealers.  Entrants are indexed by profession and geographical location.  A cumulative necrology extending back to 1953 is included.

NOTE:  For biographical essays on artists, it is also worthwhile to consult American National Biography (REF E 176 .A43 1999) and Dictionary of American Biography (REF E 176.D56); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for British subjects (REF DA 28 .O95 2004); Dictionary of German Biography (REF CT 759 .D4813); and Current Biography Yearbook (REF CT 100 .C8) and Current Biography International Yearbook (REF CT 120 .C87) for subjects active after 1940.

Indexes of Artists' Biographies and Writings

Havlice, Patricia P.  Index to Artistic Biography.  2 vol.  Metuchen:  Scarecrow Press, 1973. REF N 40 .H38

Index to Artistic Biography.  First Supplement.  Metuchen:  Scarecrow Press, 1981.  REF N 40 .H38 Suppl. 1

Index to Artistic Biography.  Second Supplement.  2 vol.  Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 2002.  REF N 40 .H38 Suppl. 2

Havlice indexes sixty-four biographical works in ten languages in the main volumes; over  200 additional works are indexed in the supplements.

Robertson, Jack S.  Twentieth-Century Artists on Art:  An Index to Writings, Statements, and Interviews by Artists, Architects, and Designers, 2nd ed.  New York:  G.K. Hall, 1996.  REF NX 456 .R59 1996

Contains over 27,500 citations for 14,400 artists, which are keyed to 930 publications.


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