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Art and Art History

Starting Your Search

Research in Art and Art History begins by identifying your topic, and the keywords that will help you find information on that topic. You can begin with an artist that interests you, search their name, and learn what techniques and resources inspired them, then use that information to learn more about those sources of inspiration. 

There are some tools you can use to narrow or focus your search, once you have found some useful keywords:

Quotation Marks

Using quotation marks will focus your search on a specific phrase in an exact order and keep words together that should not be seperated so for instance:

"Toulouse Lautrec"
"Le Chat Noir"


Boolean Operators 

You can connect words together or focus your search depending on your Boolean Operators (we will focus on AND and OR) 

Using AND gets you only results that contain BOTH words (the purple area of the Venn diagram). So it narrows results. 

"artist name" AND medium
Asian AND American 
place AND medium AND movement/theme


Using OR broadens the results so it is useful when searching for searching with synonyms or through complimentary results

Modern OR Contemporary retrieves results that cover both time periods 
Cold OR Flu (retrieves a variety of sniffly illnesses)

Quick Citation Resources in Art

Arts resources typically use MLA format. The MLA website provides examples of how to cite and how to structure a paper in this style. 

MLA  follows this format:

Book Resource

Mantel, Hilary. Wolf Hall. Picador, 2010.

The library can guide you to citation management software and resources to help you properly cite your sources.