Finding Resources for Art Research

A scene from the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Flickr image/pinkcigarette

About this guide

    Students will discover recommended print and electronic resources for finding art criticism.
    Use the tabs above to navigate through the pages of this guide.

Need more help?

Have a question? Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, email, or chat for more help.Contact Us

Getting started

Find background information by looking up your artist or artwork in encyclopedias. In these books, you can quickly learn the birth and death dates of your artist, the spelling of the name, the school/style/genre of art they worked within, nationality, and other key information that will help in the rest of your search.

These excellent books can be found on the shelves behind the Reference Desk (ask a librarian for help if you need it):

This excellent online reference collection can be found on our database page or you can link to it here:

    Credo Reference. Credo includes many reference books, as well as videos, articles, and books. To access databases from off campus you will need to log-in with your pipeline account number and password.


Check out the library’s catalog to search the library’s entire collection for books about your artist and works created.

  • Start by typing in the search box (at the “books+” tab on the library website).
  • Type the name of the artist of the name of the artwork.
  • Add the word “criticism” or the word “biography” to find books on that topic.
  • Examine the results list you get and select a title.
  • Use the subject headings (shown in the image below) to find other similar books.


Search for articles in the databases linked below:

  • Academic Search Premier
    This is a database covering all subject but is extensive and may include criticism on your artist. Use an Advanced Search and type artist name in one search box and criticism in a second search box.
    Scholarly articles, including art criticism
  • Project MUSE
    Scholarly articles, including art criticism

Quality Art/Art History Internet Resources

To find art reproductions on the web, try an “Image Search” in Google or AltaVista

Analyzing Art

Along with your instructor’s advice, these library books will give you ideas on how you can analyze a work of art.

Paper Writing Assistance:

Consult these campus resources for help with writing and editing:
About SBCC’s Writing Center
The SBCC Learning Resource center writing tools online