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See the American Art research guide for contemporary and modern American art resources.
Overviews & Encyclopedias
Art Since 1900 by
Introduces key theoretical approaches to modern and contemporary art. Although the 2016 edition is non-circulating there are several earlier editions may be borrowed.
Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art
Covers the painting, sculpture, and graphic art of all the major movements and styles of the twentieth-century. The context is covered as well, such as schools, galleries, exhibitions as well as the art market (collectors, critics, dealers and patrons) and techniques.
Grove Art Online
Most comprehensive art encyclopedia available in English; useful for scholarly overviews and excellent bibliographies.
Routledge encyclopedia of modernism
Interdisciplinary review of the Modernist period covering Literature, Architecture, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre, Film, and Intellectual Currents.
Styles, Schools and Movements by
Publication Date: 2011
Art in the modern era is defined by its styles, schools, and movements.
Essays, in rough chronological order, cover the late 19thc to the 21st, introducing the major developments in Western painting, sculpture, architecture, and design. A foldout timeline corresponds art with historical events. One hundred of the 300 essays include major international collections and suggestions for further reading. The 1,000+ artists, architects, designers, impresarios, critics, collectors, and champions of modern art mentioned in the essays are indexed.
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.
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 -- 20th century [or 21st century]
Specific movements, styles, genre:
Additional subjects for 49 movements, styles and concepts related to modern art
Fact Checking: Dates, Names, Places
Librarian / Research Help
Contact:Barb Prior (she/her)
Clarence Ward Art Library
Top Floor, Venturi Art Building
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