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Modern Art: Overviews

See the American Art research guide for contemporary and  modern American art resources.

Overviews & Encyclopedias

Specialized encyclopedias

There are many specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries covering specific aspects of modern art.  Some are stand-alone publications while others are briefer and found in monographs or catalogs.  Use the following search strategy to quickly check for any related to your topic: [your keyword] and (encyclopedia* or dictionar*).  

For example:     keyword = surrealis* and (encyclopedia* or dictionar*)

Generate additional keywords by browsing Related Subjects under subject headings like Art Modern 20th century.   Subjects headings are controlled vocabulary and used consistently throughout many databases including OBIS.  Once identified they can be recombined for customized results.   

Fact Checking: Dates, Names, Places


Search OBIS

Find books, e-books, videos, scores, and recordings at Oberlin by title, author, subject, keyword, or other options. 

More useful OBIS Subjects

Broad subject headings

Art, Modern
Modernism (Art)
Art, Modern -- 20th century
[or 21st century]

Specific movements, styles, genre:
Impressionism (Art)
Neo-impressionism (Art)

Additional subjects for 49 movements, styles and concepts related to modern art


Make a research appointment with the Art Librarian.
Chat with an Oberlin College librarian.
Review our other Research Guides.
Researching an object in the Allen Museum? See our AMAM research guide.

Barb Prior, Librarian

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Barbara Prior
Clarence Ward Art Library
Allen Art Building
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