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Art History Research Guide: Books

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

Find art books in the library

Books with background information about artists and art history topoics can be found in the reference section of the LaGuardia Library. These are on the shelves to the left of the reference desk. There are also select books on individual artists in this section. 

Most of the other art and art history related books are in the general collection. Browse the following sections based on a book's call number:

N Visual arts 
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing; Design; Illustration
ND Painting
NE Print media
NK Decorative arts
NX Arts in general
TP Chemical technology (includes some ceramics/pottery)
TR Photography
TT Handicrafts; Arts and crafts

Art History Books

Types of Books

Exhibition Catalogs 

  • Document museum and gallery shows
  • Group exhibitions contextualize artists and objects by time, place and/or topic
  • Best source for high-quality images
  • Usually include artist biographies, curatorial essays, artist interviews and/or writings, and career chronologies. 
  • Look for "Exhibitions" as part of the subject heading. Museums are often listed as the publishers

Artist Monographs

  • Books by or about artists published independent of any exhibition.
  • Consists of reproductions of works of art by a single artist, as opposed to surveys of art from multiple artists.
  • Usually, include writings that analyze or provide context for an artist and his/her work. 
  • Include biographical information and discusses the artist's influences and process
  • Often include interviews and/or career chronologies

Thematic Monographs

  • A collection of essays offering differing opinions, thoughts, and insights on one theme, artist movement, or artists' oeuvre.
  • Covers a number of different artists.
  • Tend to have editors and not a single author.


Library Media Resources Center
LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue, room E101
Long Island City, NY 11101
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