This is the "Periods and History of Art" page of the "Arts - Visual" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
Whether you're browsing for the sake of discovery or have a specific research goal, the Library's collection offers a rich variety of materials on the visual arts. Below you will also find links to local art resources and worthwhile web sites.
Last Updated: May 23, 2014 URL: Print Hot Topic RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Periods and History of Art Print Page

Periods of Art

Art Deco 

Art Deco Ornament
Art Deco is a style in the decorative arts that influenced design and architecture, and is particularly associated with mass-produced domestic goods. It emerged in Europe in the 1920s and continued through the 1930s, achieving greatest popularity in the USA and France. Art Deco pulls together aspects of abstraction and cubism to create a deliberately modern style, which was originally called Jazz Modern. Its features include angular, geometrical patterns and bright colours, and the use of materials such as enamel, chrome, glass, and plastic. In Britain Art Deco style is found in the work of pottery designers Susie Cooper and Clarice Cliff, the industrial designer Douglas Scott, and the architect Giles Gilbert Scott, who designed Battersea Power Station (1932-34) with an art deco interior. Read more...
art nouveau example
Art Nouveau is a decorative style in the visual arts, interior design, and architecture that flourished from 1890 to 1910. Art Nouveau is characterized   by organic, sinuous patterns and ornamentations based usually on twisting plant forms. In England, it appears in the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley; in Scotland, in the interior and exterior designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh; in France, in the glass of René Lalique and the posters of Alphonse Mucha; and in the USA, in the lamps and metalwork of Louis Comfort Tiffany.   Read More...
Claude Monet Painting in His Garden at Argente… A movement in painting that originated in France in the 1860s and had enormous influence in European and North American painting in the late 19th century. The Impressionists wanted to depict real life, to paint straight from nature, and to capture the changing effects of light. The term was first used abusively to describe Claude Monet's painting Impression: Sunrise (1872). The other leading Impressionists included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir , and Alfred Sisley, but only Monet remained devoted to Impressionist ideas throughout his career.  Learn More..
To veiw more periods of art as well as biographies of major artists visit Credo Reference Art Topic Pages. Each topic provides an overview as wll as magazine articles, websites, images and books for further reading.

Great Art Resources

  • American Art Timeline
    The widely renowned Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. has created this informative timeline on American art. An analysis of the artwork and biographical information on the artist are provided.
  • Art & Architecture Thesaurus  
  • Art History Resources on the Web
    A gateway to resources on art history from ancient times to the present day.
  • ARTchive
    This site contains over 2,000 scanned images of art by renowned artists plus information on art history, theory and criticism.
  • ARTcyclopedia
    An index to the online exhibits of thousands of major artists searchable by artist's name, nationality, gender, associated movement, medium, and subject of art.
  • Artlex - Art Dictionary
    Concise definitions for terms used in visual culture, along with thousands of images, pronunciation notes, and cross-references.
  • Smarthistory
    A multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook.
  • Timeline of Art History
    The Timeline of Art History is a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection.

Also see

Antiques and Collectibles
by Stacie Schwartz - Last Updated May 8, 2014
Wonder if the item is worth money? Want to help your kids get smart about collecting things? The Antique and Collectibles guide provides resources to research to selling your item and helping your kids get on the right track.
44 views this year
Music & Musicians
by Lauren Stokes - Last Updated May 12, 2014
Looking for free music, information about a musician or the history of music? This guide provides great library music resources including 5 free song downloads every week with your library card.
223 views this year

Visual Art and History

The Storm that Swept Mexico: Revolutionary Art
Grades 9-12 | Video | Visual Art and History
Explore the Mexican Muralist Movement and consider the role of art as social commentary using this video resource from Latino Public Broadcasting.


Always Available eBooks

Cover Art
Arts and Humanities Through the Eras - Edward Bleiberg
Call Number: Always Available eBooks
Publication Date: 2004-10-15
Profiling milestones and movements in the arts, literature, music and religion from a specific period, each volume in this set helps students and researchers understand the various disciplines of the humanities in relation to each other, as well as to history and culture. An overview of the period and a chronology of major world events begin each volume.

Cover Art
Critical Terms for Art History
Call Number: Always Avaailable ebook
"Art" has always been contested terrain, whether the object in question is a medieval tapestry or Duchamp's Fountain. But questions about the categories of "art" and "art history" acquired increased urgency during the 1970s, when new developments in critical theory and other intellectual projects dramatically transformed the discipline. The first edition of Critical Terms for Art History both mapped and contributed to those transformations, offering a spirited reassessment of the field's methods and terminology.

Art history as a field has kept pace with debates over globalization and other social and political issues in recent years, making a second edition of this book not just timely, but crucial. Like its predecessor, this new edition consists of essays that cover a wide variety of "loaded" terms in the history of art, from sign to meaning, ritual to commodity. Each essay explains and comments on a single term, discussing the issues the term raises and putting the term into practice as an interpretive framework for a specific work of art. For example, Richard Shiff discusses "Originality" in Vija Celmins's To Fix the Image in Memory, a work made of eleven pairs of stones, each consisting of one "original" stone and one painted bronze replica.

In addition to the twenty-two original essays, this edition includes nine new ones-performance, style, memory/monument, body, beauty, ugliness, identity, visual culture/visual studies, and social history of art-as well as new introductory material. All help expand the book's scope while retaining its central goal of stimulating discussion of theoretical issues in art history and making that discussion accessible to both beginning students and senior scholars.

Cover Art
Design Since 1900
Call Number: Always Available eBooks
Publication Date: 2004
This comprehensive guide embraces all aspects of modern design: graphics, products, interiors, furniture and industrial and architectural design.

Guy Julier examines not only the work of important designers worldwide, but also the many dramatic changes that have influenced design and its uses since 1900. Thus political and ideological concepts such as feminism and green design are defined and explained, as are technological advances, new materials and techniques, and influential movements in modern culture. The text incorporates extensive cross-referencing and full bibliographical notes.

Guy Julier, Professor of Design at Leeds Metropolitan University, is author of New Spanish Design and The Culture of Design and a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Visual Culture.

Cover Art
Medieval Art - Leslie Ross
Call Number: Always Available eBook
Publication Date: 1996-11-30
This dictionary focuses on the medieval period and the distinctive ways in which the subjects and symbols referenced in the work evolved and developed during the Middle Ages. It provides an overview of the evolution, development, popularity, and transformations that took place in medieval artistic iconography.

Cover Art
Pocket Guide Narrative
Call Number: Always Available eBooks
Familiarizes the modern viewer with some of the best or most intriguing examples of Western narrative painting.

Cover Art
Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms - Edward Lucie-Smith
Call Number: Always Available ebook
Publication Date: 2004-02-23
An essential reference work embracing the vast vocabulary of art in all its forms

• Covers painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, the decorative, applied and graphic arts from all periods throughout the world up to the present day: there is even a table of the dynasties of Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, China, India and Japan
• This new edition features entries connected with the use of computer technology in the art world and includes today’s influential groups and tendencies

Cover Art
The Bloomsbury Guide to Art
Call Number: Always Available eBook
Publication Date: 1996
The Bloomsbury Guide to Art is one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive surveys of the history of art and architecture available today. It is an invaluable reference source and provides a fascinating insight into the origins and significance of the work of Western artists and architects

It includes tightly-focused entries on: individual artists (eg Salvador Dali); art, architecture and design terminology (eg Gothic); countries and their cultural significance (eg Art in France); theoretical concepts (eg formalism); and mythological and religious subjects and symbols (eg Christ). There are also contextualized entries on important individual works of art (eg The Haywain).

The Bloomsbury Guide to Art is the most wide-ranging and easy-to-use single-volume guide available. Fully cross-referenced throughout, this is the only general guide to art that you will ever need.

Cover Art
The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of British Art - David Bindman
Call Number: Always Available ebook
Publication Date: 1988-10-01
This essential companion is the only book on British Art to cover every period from the Anglo-Saxons to the present day, and every significant medium, from painting, sculpture and printmaking to medieval goldsmiths' work and stained glass.

• Up to date information on hundreds of artists, from Blake to Bacon and Constable to Kauffmann
• In-depth coverage of general topics such as schools, concepts, techniques, institutions, patronage and art criticism
• Comprehensive cross-referencing, full bibliographies, and a gazetteer of collections of British art around the world

Cover Art
The Thames and Hudson Encyclopedia of Impressionism - Bernard Denvir
Call Number: Always Available ebook
Publication Date: 1990-06-01
Here, in a single, concise volume, is all that the art lover and the student will ever want to know about what is undoubtedly the most popular and significant event in the history of painting. Many entries cover not only the lives and careers of the main participants - painters (eg Monet), critics (eg Zola), patrons, dealers and collectors, as well as writers and musicians - but also techniques, prices and localities, while a wealth of information on the cultural, social and political background helps to set Impressionism in context.



For students, when you landed on this page a survey window opened.

We would appreciate your response to the one question survey after you have completed your task.

Thank you.


Loading  Loading...