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Artists and Artworks: A Step-by-Step Research Guide: Books

step-by-step guide to researching artists and artworks

Example Art Object at PMA

Landscape painting in the Post-Impressionist style

Mont Sainte-Victoire

Made in France, 1902-4

Paul Cézanne, French, 1839 - 1906

Oil on canvas
28 3/4 x 36 3/16 inches (73 x 91.9 cm)


The George W. Elkins Collection, 1936
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Art History Catalog

Online Art History Texts

Searching for Books Held by the TCNJ Library

Search Tips:

  • Use the search box ("Library Search") on the library's homepage to find books and other resources about an artist, movement, or era (e.g., Pre-Columbian).
  • You might obtain results by searching for the title of an artwork. Your research must continue even if you cannot find secondary analysis of a specific work.
  • Contextualizing your chosen artwork in relation to similar or related objects of the same style, period, location, or artist(s), is generally acceptable and achievable.
  • Use printed books. These are excellent sources of criticism about your artist (e.g., Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564 -- Criticism and interpretation). Exhibition catalogs (see below), primarily available in print, contain essays written by art historians and curators that analyze works on exhibit.

Below are several search terms that would work for the painting in the left-hand column:

  • Artist/Creator = Cezanne
  • Movement/Style/Period = Impressionism, Early 20th century, Landscape
  • Location/Region = France
  • Medium = Painting
  • Culture/Religion/Reign = French

In results lists, look for "catalogs" and "exhibitions" or try searching for those terms in the context of your artist:

Find Books In Other Libraries

Need more books on your topic?  Try the following...

  1. TCNJ Interlibrary Loan
    If you have identified a book currently unavailable or not held by TCNJ Library, our ILL service will attempt to quickly borrow a copy from another library on your behalf.

  2. WorldCat
    Search millions of items held by libraries around the world. Use our ILL service to request titles of interest.

  3. HathiTrust Digital Library
    Similar to Google Books but with a better user interface and search functionality

Guide Author

Profile Photo
David C. Murray
TCNJ Library,
Room 216