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Modern Art (N. America & W. Europe): Catalogs

Catalogues Raisonnés

catalogues raisonné is a comprehensive list of an artist's work. Entries typically include a reproduction, the date,  medium, current location, technical description, a list of exhibitions and scholarly writings.  Use catalogues raisonnés to compare works over time, trace recurring subjects, styles or deviations in the work of an artist.  Keep in mind:

  • Not every artist has a catalogue raisonné.
  • The art library does not own every catalogue raisonné. We have them for artists taught and researched at Oberlin with a particular focus on artists represented in the Allen Memorial Art Museum collection.
  • Catalogues raisonnés go by different names, including critical catalogues, complete works, Gesamtwerk, and œuvre complète.  Follow this link for an OBIS search with all of these terms; then select Modify/Limit Search, enter a distinctive part of your artist's name, and then Search. If we have a catalogue raisonné for your artist it should be in the resulting list. 


Exhibition catalogs

Exhibition catalogs document temporary museum or gallery exhibitions; their essays are written by experts for an intelligent, although uninformed, audience.  Exhibition catalogs are also useful for their bibliographies, illustrations, descriptions, and basic information about particular artworks.  

To find any exhibition catalog do a keyword search for the artist with and the truncated word exhibit* . 

        For example kirchner and exhibit*

To find a specific exhibition catalog do a keyword search for the artist and the name of the museum or gallery.    

        For example moma and pollock

Book catalogs