HISTART R1B: Art Work: Authorship and Ownership

Researching Provenance

The Art History and Classics Library has a list of resources (both online and in print) for researching the provenance of art works.

Finding Recent Art Reviews

  • Access World News
    Newspapers are often a good place to find reviews of art and art exhibitions. Access World News provides full-text articles from over 600 U.S. and over 700 international sources.
  • Alt-Press Watch
    Indexes alternative, radical, and independent magazines, newspapers, and journals in North America. You can find some reviews of artsts and art exhibitions here. In Advanced Search, you can limit your search to reviews only.
  • Art Source (formerly Art Full Text)
    This art periodical index covers the fields of advertising art, antiques, archaeology, architecture, art history, city planning, decorative arts, crafts, film, folk art, graphic arts, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, motion pictures, museology, painting, photography, sculpture, television, textiles, and video. You can limit your search to reviews only on the advanced (default) search screen.
  • Factiva
    Has a business focus, but is actually a good place to find reviews and commentary on contemporary artists and art exhibitions. Indexes mainly newspapers and magazines (not scholarly journals) from around the world.
  • International Index to Performing Arts (IIPA)
    Not usually a good source for visual art reviews, but reviews of performance art can be found here. Indexes and abstracts over 250 scholarly and popular performing arts periodicals, documents, biographical profiles, conference papers, obituaries, interviews, discographies, and reviews. In Advanced Search, you can limit your search to reviews or exhibition reviews only.
  • ProQuest Newspapers
    Newspapers are often a good place to find reviews of art and art exhibitions. Includes New York Times (Historical with Index, 1851-2008, 1980-current). Los Angeles Times (Historical, 1881-1988, 1985-current). Wall Street Journal (Historical, 1889-1994, 1984-current). In Advanced Search, you can limit your search to reviews only.

More Resources

doe libraryCan't find an article database in this guide that's relevant for your topic? Use the Library's Article Databases by Subject page to find and search recommended databases for your subject area. Or try the general Find Articles page to see a complete listing of all article databases, including news databases and book and film review databases.

Finding Biographical and Background Info in OskiCat

OskiCat lets you know what books are available in the UC Berkeley Libraries. OskiCat does NOT index picture of magnifying glassarticles, but it's a good way to find out what books we have and which magazines and journals the Library subscribes to. To see if any books have been written about the artist you're researching, try searching their name as a subject (last name first).

From the Quick Search screen, choose the "Subject begins with..." option from the pulldown menu, then enter your artist's name, last name first (e.g., leonard, zoe). This will let you find books ABOUT Zoe Leonard. To find books both by and about Leonard, enter her name in the Keyword (default) search box. Either zoe leonard or leonard zoe wil work in Keyword search.

To find books that discuss and critique a given artist's works, use the Keyword search. Enter the artist's name plus the word criticism, like this: kara walker criticism and interpretation.

Online Biographical Sources

  • AskART
    Includes information for over 123,000 artists. International coverage. Entries for artists may include biographical information, images, exhibitions, and auction records. Includes separate directories of art museums and dealers.
  • Benezit Dictionary of Artists
    Over 190,000 entries on artists from antiquity to the present. Searchable via Oxford Art Online along with Grove Art Online, The Concise Dictionary of Art Terms, etc.
  • Biography Reference Bank
    Contains biographical information on approximately 500,000 individuals from antiquity to the present. Contains the full text of well-known biographical resources like Current Biography, the World Authors Series, Nobel Prize Winners, World Artists, World Film Directors and many other sources.
  • Biography.com
    Includes brief biographies of over 20,000 personalities. Based on the A&E Television Network series, Biography.
  • Grove Art Online
    Online version of the Grove Dictionary of Art. Includes biographical information on major artists, bibliographical references and links to images. (Part of the Oxford Art Online suite.)
  • Marquis Who's Who
    Features brief profiles on over 1.4 million individuals from all fields including government, business, science and technology, the arts, entertainment, and sports. Equivalent to the print versions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Business and Finance, and many other Who's Who volumes.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
    Includes more than 50,000 biographies of individuals who shaped the history of Great Britain and beyond. From the fourth century BC to the 2000s. Includes illustrations.
Last Update: February 12, 2014 12:44