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Art - Art Hist

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NPL Home  /  Online Resources  /  Web Guides  /  Art  /  Art History


Art History - Art        



African Art

American Art

Ancient Art

Asian Art


European Art

Indian Art of the Americas

Islamic Art

Latin American


Modern and Contemporary







Art History Resources on the Web


Links to a variety of web sources about artists and stylistic periods. Includes commentary on specific works of art and many images. Arranged chronologically from prehistoric to 20th century. Worldwide coverage.




View works by over 16,000 artists. Research artists' biographies, art styles and movements, and materials and techniques. See the schedules, sample pieces, and criticism for current exhibits in U.S. museums and galleries. Find contact information for art appraisers, insurers, art shipping and handling, conservation, etc., browse current exhibits, or consult their alphabetical directory of galleries, museums, and auction houses in the U.S.


Art Through Time


"Art Through Time: A Global View, featuring thirteen half-hour programs, a guide, text, and other Web resources, takes a thematic approach to art history and appreciation. Rather than a linear chronology, the materials explore connections in Western and non-Western art, illuminating the breadth, complexity, and beauty of works produced around the world and at different periods of time. In each program focusing on a particular theme, a diverse group of leading experts, together with a living artist, contextualize and connect featured works from different cultures and eras. The Web site, guide, and text provide a variety of opportunities to learn more."


History of Art by History Link 101


Brief lessons on the art and architecture of various civilizations--African, prehistoric, Chinese, Greek, Mayan, Roman, and Mesopotamian.


Met Publications


“Five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.”


Mother of All Art History Links Pages


Links to art museums national and international, image collections and online art, fine art schools, and to a sampling of online exhibits. From the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.




"Smarthistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook." Browse by time period, style, artist, or theme. Includes videos and podcasts.


Voice of the Shuttle: Art History


A extensive directory of links to art history resources. Site appears to no longer be undergoing maintenance but some links still valuable. 


Web Gallery of Art


While primarily a collection of (over 11,600) digital reproductions of European paintings and sculptures created between 1150 and 1800 (Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods), this site also offers commentary on many of the works and brief biographies of the artists. Search by artist's name or take one of their "Guided Tours" to explore a particular period or genre.


Web Museum, Paris


Biographies and criticism of Western European and American artists. Also includes a glossary of painting styles.


WAAND (Women Artists Archives National Directory)


"An innovative web directory to U.S. archival collections of primary source materials by and about women visual artists active in the U.S. since 1945."


Writing about Art


A guide to writing compositions, reports, and term papers about art.


African Art


The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA)


Information about exhibitions, programs, and publications.


National Museum of African Art


Suggested reading, information, and images.


Timeline of African Art


A clickable timeline prepared by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thematic essays are also available.


Wonders of the African World


Explores African history and culture with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard University.



American Art


American Art


Thematic essays covering topics in North American art.


American Art at the Phillips Collection


A timeline, teaching resources, and a catalogue of works.


National Gallery of Art


Exhibitions and permanent collections at the National Gallery of Art.


Archives of American Art


Transcripts of interviews with artists, focus guides, online collections, and more.



Ancient Art


Art of the First Cities


Intended to accompany the exhibit "Art of the First Cities" that was shown at the Metropolitan Museum, this site presents examples of art from the region called the "cradle of civilization," an area stretching from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Iran and Central Asia to the Indus Valley. The site is divided into eight thematic sections.


Cleopatra: A Multimedia Guide to the Ancient World


"An interactive journey through the collection of ancient art at The Art Institute of Chicago." Offers close-up views of objects and related stories in audio. The site contains a timeline, a glossary that comes with an audio pronunciation guide, maps, and lesson plans. Features art from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Italy.


Exploring Ancient World Cultures


Navigate the site by scrolling through the pages or select a topic of interest from the links on the bottom of the page. Each section includes a chronology, essays, images, texts, and web links. The site is no longer live but can be accessed through archive.org. 


Old Stones


Featured here is ancient art in Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, Japan, and elsewhere. The materials include photographs, essays, timelines and additional links to related art history pages.


Asian Art


Asian and Near Eastern Art


From the Encyclopedia Smithsonian. Offers recommended reading lists, links, and information about the collection in the Freer and Sackler Galleries.


Asian Art


Thematic essays about various topics prepared by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Essays are available on Central and North, East, South and Southeast, and West Asia. 


Asian Art Museum of San Francisco


Features collection highlights, podcasts about selected objects, and information about exhibits.


Lost Treasures of Tibet


Focuses on restoration efforts for ancient Buddhist murals located in the monastery of Thubchen in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Mustang. Features an interactive tour of Mustang and clues about deciphering Buddha imagery.






An invaluable resource for information about North American artists. Search a particular artist to find images; biography; books and periodicals on the artist; and dealers, exhibits, and museums for the artist.  Some information is available only to subscribers, but you will find plenty for free.


National Museum of Women in the Arts: Artist Profiles


NMWA’s collection includes works by over 1,000 nationally and internationally renowned artists from the Renaissance until today. In-depth profiles of 100 women artists.


Self-Portraits by Women Artists


Article highlighting five remarkable self-portraits in the MoMA collection.


European Art


The Art Institute of Chicago: Education Resource Finder


Images and online resources from the museum's Impressionist and Postimpressionist collection.


The Atlas of Early Printing


"Depicts the spread of printing through Europe in the fifty years following the European refinement of the tools and process to make impressions from movable type cast in metal." View a map of Europe by year (1450-1500) to see locations of the spread of printing, universities, paper mills, fairs, and trade routes. Also includes material about 15th-century printing and an animated model of a printing press. From the University of Iowa Libraries.


Dahesh Museum of Art


An overview of the collection and information about recent acquisitions. Browse by collection or by artist. 


European Art


A collection of thematic essays from the Metropolitan Museum of Art covering ancient to modern time periods.


Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource


Offers "full record information and allows users to examine images in great detail. You can choose to browse the online collection, make simple searches or to interrogate the collection data using filtering tools." From the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.


Van Gogh Museum


Photos, videos, podcasts, and information about exhibitions.


State Hermitage Museum


Collections can be browsed online. Includes Western and Eastern European art as well as some Mongolian collections.


Indian Art of the Americas


Arts of the Americas


Ancient to modern arts of the Americas, with particular strengths in ancient North American, Andean, and Mesoamerican art. Prepared by the Art Institute of Chicago.


Art of the Americas


A collection of thematic essays from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Art of the Ancient Americas


Images and a collection interview from the Yale University Art Gallery.


National Museum of the American Indian


Information about the museum's collections and exhibitions.


Islamic Art


Arts of the Islamic World


A gallery guide, images, and information about the objects in the collection.


Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art


"Conceived as a companion to the Islamic galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Intended as a general introduction to Islamic art, it draws upon examples from the museum’s comprehensive collection, which includes works from an area extending from southern Spain to Central Asia, ranging in date from the seventh century up to the present day."


Islamic Art Network


Includes a photo archive, digitized books, a glossary, and articles.


Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World


Volumes one through sixteen of this journal are available in the ArchNet Digital Library. "Clicking on the 'year' column heading below will sort articles by volume. Volumes one through twelve are entitled Muqarnas: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture."


Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art


Istanbul's museum of Turkish and Islamic art from throughout the Ottoman Empire.


Latin American


Coleccion Cisneros


An exploration of Latin American art. Includes a glossary, bibliography, study guide, a collection of the artists' writings, interactive activities, and a timeline. Arranged by broad themes and indexed by artist and movement. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.


Latinx Art: Highlights


Selected items from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection of art by Latinx artists.




International Center of Medieval Art


Numerous online resources of both ongoing projects of the ICM, and websites about medieval art.


Medieval Art


A collection of thematic essays from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, filtered for 1000-1400 CE across the world.


Musée national du Moyen Âge


View tapestries, sculpture, and other items from the collection. Includes a description of the collection and an image gallery.


Modern and Contemporary


Contemporary Artists Index


An index to contemporary group exhibition catalogs by the Cleveland Institute of Art.


Digital Dada Library


Scanned Dada periodicals, leaflets, and ephemera from The University of Iowa Libraries.


Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Contemporary


Contemporary art collection from LA County Museum of Art. 




Examples, a timeline (1880 to 1940) and brief video introductions by the exhibit curator. Includes definitions of terms, photographs of artists and designers, and curatorial comments on modernism, antiques, and collecting. From The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


Online Picasso Project


This comprehensive resource includes a biography, art, writings, and more.


The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo


Features a brief biography, timeline, photos (including those with her husband Diego Rivera), images of her art, and transcripts of interviews with historians. Also includes teaching materials and links to related sites.




"The major modern & contemporary visual artists (up to 7000). The masters since 1900 are represented with their portrait and biography, with links to webresources to find anything you want to know about them, with images of their work, comprehensive biographies and articles, and if it exists, the artist 's personal website."




British Museum: Oceanic


Topics in Oceanic art include Polynesia and Melanesia. The sections offer online tours, an introduction, and related galleries.


National Gallery of Australia: Indigenous Art


Collection highlights, related exhibitions, and a link to "The Aboriginal Memorial" installation.




A collection of thematic essays from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Secrets of Easter Island


Information about the civilization and the megaliths on Easter Island.




The Cave of Lascaux


Take a virtual tour of the cave paintings at Lascaux, France and learn how the cave was discovered and why it was closed.


EuroPreArt Project


A database of European prehistoric art documentation with more than 800 records and 2700 images.


The Rock Art Foundation


Information about "the Native American rock art in the Lower Pecos region of Southwest Texas." Includes a gallery and frequently asked questions.







Select the census database to view images of Renaissance art and architecture.


Illuminating the Renaissance


A digital exhibition of Flemish illustrated manuscripts prepared by the Getty Museum.


Met Museum: Renaissance Art


Art, essays, and a chronology from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.



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