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Art History Research Guide: Images and Videos

This guide will help you find books, articles, images, and other information about varied art history topics: artists, works of art, concepts, movements.

Image Collections for Teaching and Research


Leslie Jones, Dachshund drinking from water glass, 1937, Boston Public Library

Artstor (subscription database)
A digital library of over two million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.

Art and Architecture in Video (subscription database)
Streaming videos on art and architecture topics.

Art Project - Google Cultural Institute
Images from nearly 800 museums and cultural organizations

The Arts in Kanopy Streaming Video (subscription database)
Diverse and impressive selection of documentaries, feature films, and experimental works.

Artsy
Free website with over 350,000 images from galleries, museum collections, foundation, artist estates, art fairs, and auctions.

Digital Public Library of America
With over 13 million images, DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History 
The Met's comprehensive art history timeline

Underground & Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels, vols. 1 & 2 (subscription database)
Primary source database focused on adult comic and graphic novels. 

Wikimedia Commons
A database of 31,706,972 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Over 15 millioin photographs, historical prints, posters, cartoons, documentary drawings, fine prints, and architectural and engineering designs.

 

Image Gallery

Tipu's Tiger

'Tipu's Tiger', about 1793, Mysore, India. Museum no 2545 (IS). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fragment of a Queen's Face

New Kingdom, Amarna Period; Dynasty 18; reign of Akhenaten; ca. 1353–1336 B.C.; From Egypt; Probably from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten); 26.7.1396

George Stubbs, Water Spaniel, 1769

Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection cropped to image, recto, unframed

Headdress Ornament

1st–7th century, Colombia, Calima (Yotoco), Gold, Accession Number: 1991.419.40

Online Image Collections

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Encyclopedic museum, hundreds of thousands of images online

Studio Museum
Harlem museum showcasing contemporary African American artists

Brooklyn Museum
Art from all periods, particularly strong Egyptian collection

Museum of Modern Art
Definitive modern art museum, large online collection

New-York Historical Society
Art and cultural heritage spanning centuries of New York history

Brooklyn Historical Society
Photographs and artifacts from the borough's history

Whitney Museum
Modern and contemporary art

El Museo del Barrio
Art of Latin America

Guggenheim Museum
Modern and contemporary art in Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic building

Museum of the City of New York
Massive collection of art, photographs, and objects from the city's history

Tenement Museum
Dedicated to documenting life of the poor on the Lower East Side

New Museum
Contemporary art exhibitions, digital art projects available online

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design history, thousands of images online

American Museum of Natural History
Photos, videos, objects, and specimens for studying the natural world

Staten Island Museum
Art, natural science, and archives

Frick Collection
Western painting, sculpture, and decorative arts

Neue Galerie
Modern Austrian and German art

Museum of the Moving Image
The history of cinema

Morgan Library and Museum
Drawings, prints, rare books, and manuscripts throughout history

Museum of Arts and Design
Museum dedicated to design and craft history

Rubin Museum of Art
Art from Asia, particularly the Himalayan region

Asia Society
Art and cultural heritage from across Asia

New York Botanical Garden
Explore plant science and conservation

Noguchi Museum 
Art and artifacts from Isamu Noguchi's career

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Exhibits and preserves LGBTQ art and queer culture

   

 

 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Tens of thousands of images from California's largest museum

Art Institute of Chicago
Covers all periods and all cultures

Cleveland Museum of Art
Wonderful collection, especially Chinese art
Walters Art Museum (Baltimore)
Fantastic collection of ancient art through the 19th century
Yale Digital Collections
Images from the Yale Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, and other excellent Yale collections
 

SFMOMA
Modern and contemporary art in San Francisco

Detroit Institute of Arts
Encyclopedic collections, check out images of Diego Rivera's murals of Detroit industry

National Gallery of Art
Ancient to contemporary art

Getty Museum
Part of the massive Getty complex in Los Angeles

 

Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Strong collection with a dedicated center for Latin American art
Menil Collection
Modern and contemporary art, African art, Oceania, Russian icons, etc. Incredible museum!

Indianapolis Museum of Art
Modern art, African art, gardens, and architecture.

Smithsonian Institute
Millions of images from SI's art, science, and culture collections
Dallas Museum of Art
Over 23,000 objects spanning 5,000 years
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Ancient Egypt to conteporary art, one of the largest collections in the U.S.

 

 

Rijksmuseum
Dutch national collection: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and other Northern European Masters

British Museum
The spoils of Empire in one museum

Berlin State Museums
15 museums covering all periods, styles, and cultures

Victoria & Albert Museum
Premier museum for design and decorative arts

Louvre
French museum, think Mona Lisa
Tate
London museums dedicated to British art and international contemporary art

Statens Museum for Kunst
National Gallery of Denmark: many images available online without any restrictions

Qatar Digital Library
Modern life and culture in the Persian Gulf region
Netherlands Institute for Art History
Major European research center for art history

 

 

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Hanging, ca. 1800, Morocco, Metropolitan Museum of Art


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