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Art: 60-206 Contemporary Visual Culture 1960-present: Home

Resources supporting the course

In This Guide

Resources online and in print supporting and expanding on resoures related to course 60-206 Contemporary Visual Culture 1960-present

Choose tabs above to link to key reference works, primary sources, anthologies, booklists, journals for art and visual cultural studies, databases, dissertations, images and media,  search tips and tips on citing and evaluating resources.

Research Best Practices: Searching for Artists and Their Work

Intrigue!  (Research is rarely ever well-achieved in a straight line)

Explore diverse resources to make the strongest case for the work of art you will be discussing in your final paper such as..

Artist's website
Primary materials (e.g. artists' writings)
Exhibition catalogs
Articles and reviews in journals and newspapers
Audio and/or visual resources
Dissertations and theses
Organizations (Archives/Libraries special collecitons;  Museums, Galleries, Dia Art Foundation, etc.)


Try to find monographs or critical monographs on your artist

  • Search for them in library catalogs such as Cameo and WorldCat at the very beginning of your research. It will more quickly put you on your way to understanding the history and context surrounding an artist's work.  Using the word "criticism" as part of your search may be helpful in some cases.
  • Google Books
  • Dissertations and Theses Global

Search all pertinent journal databases for reviews and articles

Log your keyword strategies when searching databases to minimize search replication in:

  • library catalogs (such as Cameo and WorldCat)
    See the Cameo and WorldCat Search Tips page in this guide.
  • article databases
  • search engines (such as Google)

Find high resolution images

  • CMU Libraries Visual Resources
  • Start with ARTstor

Evaluate resources

Identify the source and analyze content for authority, objectivity, accuracy, currency, and breadth

Not sure what artist or art work you want to research?

  • Consult pertinent book series and surveys such as the Documents of Contemporary Art series, and primary source material.
  • Location HUNT FA-REF (4th Floor Hunt Library)
    Start with browsing major exhibition catalogs and thematic reference works in the Arts Reference section on the 4th Floor
    It provides a microcosm of the library collection: N500 - N6000 containing major biennial/triennial exhibition catalogs (e.g. Whitney Biennial,  Documenta, Bienale di Venezia, Carnegie International, selected contemporary art history surveys, subject-specific surveys (e.g. installation art) and selected gallery or museum catalogs.

  • Browse this same call number range in the circulating stacks (STACKS-4, OVERSZQ, FOLIO)
  • Explore the stacks through the LC (Library of Congress) Classification System

  Hunt Library: Arts Guide: Library of Congress Classification
Library of Congress Classification (across disciplines)


  • Enjoy browsing the Current Journals section of Hunt Library 4th Floor

Back issues of journals in print on the 3rd floor of Hunt.
Many journals are also accessible electronically via the library's Journal Search.

Dia Art Foundation

Mission: " advancing, realizing, and preserving the vision of artists." Commissions artist projects, organizes exhibitions, realizes site-specific installations, and collects in-depth the work of a focused group of artists of the 1960s and 1970s.


Guy Debord. La Societe du Spectacle. Paris: Buchet/Chastel 1967. Title page and end page of the first edition owned by philosopher Pierre Ansart. Source: Situationniste Blog; for Hunt Library's 1994 edition travel to HUNT STACKS-2 HM291 .D413 1994



Related focused research guides
Art: Critical Studies
Art: Contemporary Artists Overview


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