Art History

Of our databases, JSTOR is the best for art history research.  However, BEFORE searching here, it’s a good idea to build a thorough understanding of your topic (and a robust list of potential search terms) by reading reference and secondary sources in books, on the open web, and in AP Source,World History in Context, and/or Powersearch.
In Advanced Search, you can adjust where JSTOR looks for your search terms, use the “Near” operator to increase the relevancy of your results, or narrow your search by source type, date, or discipline. In regard to disciplines, you may wish to limit to…
  • Journals focused on specific art fields such as Architecture, Art/Art History, Arts, Film Studies, Music, or Performing Arts. Arts includes all listed previously except Film Studies.  Looking for jewelry?  Journals about decorative arts, such as The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Artscan be useful, as can search terms like goldwork, metalwork, silversmith, etc.
  • Journals focused on “Area Studies” such as African Studies, Asian Studies, British Studies, Irish Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, or Slavic Studies. There are three U.S. options: African American, American Indian, and American. Area Studies categories include relevant art journals.
  • Journals focused on Archaeology, Classical Studies, Philosophy, or Religion
  • Journals focused on Feminist & Women’s Studies
Among the journals in JSTOR’s backfiles are the following:
  • Asian Art journals such as Archives of Asian Art (since 1966), Ars Orientalis (since 1954), andBulletin of the Asia Institute (since 1987)
  • Greek/Roman Art journals such as Athenian Agora (since 1953), Corinth (since 1929), Hesperia(since 1932), Papers of the British School at Rome (since 1902)
  • BOMB – delivers the artist’s voice through in-depth interviews between visual artists, writers, composers, directors & architects. BOMB‘s mission is to reveal artists’ ideas, their thoughts and creative processes, as well as their progress, through carefully developed dialogues
  • Built Environment -crossing disciplines and providing global perspective, subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport.
  • Leonardo – founded in 1968 with the goal of becoming an international channel of communication for artists who use science and developing technologies in their work
  • Popular Music – international multi-disciplinary journal covering all aspects of the subject from the formation of social group identities through popular music, to the workings of the global music industry, or how particular pieces of music are put together

If you open the detail page for a journal, you can search for articles within all issues of just that journal. You can also do this by typing the journal name in the Publication field of Advanced Search.

Art History on the Open Web 

Book of Kells – Trinity College Dublin (high resolution considered second only to in-person viewing)
Digital Scriptorium – image database of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts
Illuminated Manuscripts from the British Library
Images from Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts (Morgan Library, NYC)
Mapping Gothic France – Interactive collaborative site from Columbia and Vassar
PBS site for Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
Universal Leonardo – fabulous site about Leonardo da Vinci

Sources for Old Masters Drawings

Renaissance Art tours


Thematic Essays

Medieval art (e.g. animals in medieval art)

Art, Politics, and Cultural Change


Books in the Library

741.60973 CUS – Agitate! Educate! Organize!: American Labor Posters
751.7 GAN – Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents
751.7 GAN – Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents
751.7 GUE – Guerilla Art
709.73 REA – Realizing the Impossible: Art against Authority
700.1 FOS – Recodings: Art, Spectacle, and Cultural Politics

Painting, Photography, Posters, and Street Art

Art and Politics of Arthur Szyk – exhibit, US Holocaust Museum
Art of Protest – campus social protest posters – 1960’s and 1970’s in California
Chilean Protest Murals – created during Pinochet’s rule (1973-90)
Poster Collections – annotated list from UPenn, incl. WPA, WW1, WW2, and other topics
Sign of the Times: The Popular Literature of Tahrir – protest signs, graffiti, and street art
South American Protest Art(Cornell U) – 1980’s and 1990’s; Ayacucho and Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; and Miami, FL
Sculpture, Objects, Ads, and Installations

Alfredo Jaar (Chile) – The Way It Is – An Aesthetics of Resistance
Advertising and Package Design -annotated list from UPenn

Architecture and Design

Architecture as Political Image – links between advertising, politics, and architecture
Making Architecture Politically – Umea University (Sweden)


Comic Books Plus Archive
Digital Comic Museum

Stage and Film

Interview with Anna Deavere Smith on PBS NOW from Aug. 2006


Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda, and Art – exhibit, British Library

Trends/Art Radar

Key words: trends, predictions, emerging, cutting edge, innovation, artist to watch
Leads: artists featured in Whitney Biennial and similar events, winners of Turner Prize (UK) and like awards, and whose work is exhibited at MoCAs and similar museums/galleries, as well as blog feeds from such sources
ArtScene (southern California)
ArtSpace – link set to show results for search: Artist to Watch
Contemporary Art Society’s (UK) Artist to Watch features
Themes in Art (MOCA-L.A.)

Handmade / Maker Revolution

Kindred in spirit to the slow food movement, the maker movement is one response to the mass-produced, disposable culture of our times. It combines art and design with engineering, robotics, science, and math, and uses a variety of materials, from clay and fabric to relatively new mediums like 3D printing.

Books in the Library

745.5 TAP – Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade
745.5068 CHA – Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online
745.5 LEV – Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
Photo by Luke Webb on