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Drama: 54-171: Basic Design: 20th Century Visual Arts Practitioners: Best Practices

Best practices

How to Start Research on a Practitioner

  • Investigate a number of different resources to lend viability to your research.
  • Use scholarly resources along with reliable open-access web and popular resources
  • Artist's official website if available

Include: biography, autobiography, critical study, exhibition catalog, bio-bibliography, publications by the artist...

Search in...

Cameo (CMU Library catalog)
When you locate a desired title in the library stacks, browse the books around the same area to find other useful possibilities. Don't forget to look at the bibliographies in monographs you find.


Compilations of artists' writings, arts criticism etc. for example:
Stiles, Kristine., and Peter Howard Selz. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N6490 .T492 1996 and 2012 editions.

Prosyniuk, Joann. Modern Arts Criticism: A Biographical and Critical Guide to Painters, Sculptors, Photographers and Architects From the Beginning of the Modern Era to the Present. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N6489 .M63 1991

Google Books

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Search in:

Scholarly biographical dictionaries
Scholarly broad spectrum and specialized encyclopedias
Open access web: Wikipedia;  ArtCyclopedia; etc.How can you check if the information provided is viable?


Investigate Further

Search in:

Timelines to establish a wider context of events surrounding an artist's oeuvre.

Article databases for citations or full-text articles; interviews

Viable open-access web resources e.g. the artist's web site, gallery or museum sites, You Tube or Vimeo documentation

Primary source material, e.g. artist's website, original work in a gallery, museum, library or archive, interviews, performance documentation via library databases or viable You Tube or Vimeo sites.

Bibliographies, videographies or other referrals in any resources you find that might help you locate other resources.

Browse the stacks:

Library of Congress

Library of Congress Classification

Hunt Library
Arts Guide: Library of Congress Classification









Mo Dawley, Art and Drama Librarian

Contact Info:
Hunt Library
Arts Library and Special Collections
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Theatre Design Research Guide
Drama Research Guide