Studio Art Resources: Researching Artists

A basic introduction to information resources for visual artists.

Finding Books & Exhibition catalogs on Artists

The KU Library Catalog can be searched by artist's name to reveal various publications available on individuals.

To learn of books and exhibition catalogs published on an artist that are not owned by KU but available through Interlibrary Loan, search the database WorldCat.

Interviews & Statements

"Hearing" directly from the artist about his/her artwork can be an important step in understanding the work. The term "interviews" is a subject heading and can be combined with an artist's name when searching the Library Catalog. The Robertson volume (listed below) is a bibliography of citations to such interviews and statements. You can also find compilations of interviews in books or interviews may be included in journal articles that you find through indexes such as Art Index or Art Bibliographies:Modern

Artists' Biographies

Finding Articles on Artists

Journal articles on articles can be a rich source of information, especially for artists who are not well documented in books. A researcher has a choice of looking in a citation index that covers art magazines specifically and then using KULINK to locate the online or print version of the article OR starting with a general index that may cover many fewer art articles but immediately presents the online article. The choice may be made based on how thorough and how much time the researcher has available.

Suggested Art Indexes (citations only):

Suggested General Indexes (full text):

Some Biographical Dictionaries of Artists

There are literally hundreds of specialized dictionaries of artists. Some document artists who lived at a particular time or in a specific place; some record artists who worked in a particular medium or style. These can be found in the Library Catalog.

You can also use Oxford Art Online, AskArt (expecially good for American artists), or Design ProFILES (part of Designinform and especially good for craftspeople and designers.) 

Here are a few  examples of published dictionaries:

Writing about Art