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Art: Home

Research resources for the visual arts.

Arts Librarian

Margaret Ericson
Contact:
Bixler Art and Music Library, Rm 136
Bixler Art/Music Building
(207) 859-5662
margaret.ericson@colby.edu. Email me or make a research appointment.
Spring 2017 office hours: Monday 1-3 p.m., Wednesday, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
859-5662
Website / Blog Page
Social:Twitter Page

Artist and Context

Fig. 1. Charles Sheeler. Washday, Madrid, 1906, oil on panel. Colby College Museum of Art. Artstor

Charles Sheeler. Washday, Madrid.

  • What can we find out about the artist (Charles Sheeler, 1883-1965) and the work
    • ​Find background in an encyclopedic source, such as Oxford Art Online.
  • What can we discover about this work, in terms of the artistic elements, subject matter and choices made?
    • Start with CBBcat to find books on the artist, exhibition material, or artist statements to understand the artistic process.
  • Who were the artist's mentors, peers, contemporaries, critics? How did they impact the artist?
    • ​Use Oxford Art Online, or find books on the artist in CBBcat
  • List important keywords, phrases and subject headings to enable you to use library catalogs and article databases effectively.  
    • Map out a research strategy. Use Oxford Art Online, a book or relevant article help you identify the language and terminology pertinent to your topic, and combine terms into a search strategy associated with your topic or smaller aspects of your topic.
  • Consider the work in context with other works of its time, genre, region, style​.
    • FIND BOOKS (CBBcat) or JOURNAL ARTICLES (DATABASES) about the work in relation to style, historical period, social, religious or other cultural considerations that inform our understanding of the artist and the work.
    • Use article DATABASES, found on this guide, using concise, focused searches a particular aspect.
  • How might we view the work in a broader cultural or theoretical context?
    • Use CBBcat to compare various approaches to the artist, style or historical period. Use a scholarly articles database to focus on a particular aspect, or method.
  • What discourse emerges from the analysis of the formal artistic or contextual elements? Is there a scholarly conversation taking place between multiple sources to strengthen your approach to your research question.
    • Use more in depth resources such as WorldCat or research databases listed above. Use Google Books and Google Scholar to expand the interdisciplinary range of your search 
  • Locate images to further assess your artist's work, and compare with other artworks
    • Use image databases, such as ARTstor, to compile a corpus of artistic work.
  • Locate writings/statements by the artist to shed light on this piece.
    • Use the "Primary Sources" tab on this guide.
  • What  other primary sources can I find
    • ​Ask your Arts Librarian!

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