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Art: Canadian Art, Art History & Photography: Getting Started

This guide is intended to provide guidance for students researching in the area of Canadian Art History and Photography.

WHY reference sources?

REFERENCE SOURCES (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, manuals, bibliographies, etc.) are a great place to start your research.  They provide general introductions to a wide variety of topics, can explain unfamiliar concepts, or help identify references for further research. There are a wide variety of general and subject specific reference sources that will provide information on a variety of topics within Canadian Art.

WHY books and exhibition catalogues?

BOOKS tend to provide in-depth information on somewhat broad topics.  They are excellent sources for researching:

  • art movements and genres (e.g. Automatism, FastWurms and Group of Seven)
  • art materials and techniques (e.g., wood and ink)
  • art periods or styles (e.g., 19th century and 21st century)
  • art of specific geographical areas or cultures (e.g., Prairie, Alberta and Native Art)
  • artists (e.g. Will Gorlitz)

EXHIBITION CATALOGUES are a great place to go for contemporary and retrospective information about local, regional and national artists and exhibitions.

WHY articles in newspapers, magazines and journals?

ARTICLES  in newspapers, magazines and journals tend to provide in-depth information on specific topics and are a great place to research both contemporary and retrospective topics in Canadian Art.  Remember that if your instructor has asked for scholarly, refereed or peer reviewed sources, you will not be able to use an article from a newspaper or magazine.

Emily Carr - Kitwancool

Library of Congress Classifications

N 6540 - N 6549  Art History - Canada

NA 740 - NA 749   Architecture - Canada

NB 240 - NB 249   Sculpture - Canada

NC 141 - NC 143   Drawing - Canada

ND 240 - ND 249   Painting - Canada

NE 541 - NE 543   Printmaking - Canada

NK 841 - NK 843   Decorative arts - Canada  

NX Arts in general

TR Photography