James H. Thomason Library

Art 257

History of Women in Art

Reference Sources

Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Self Portrait with Two Pupils, 1785, Metropolitan

Museum of Art. ARTstor Image Database

  Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Art Images
  Style Guides
Locating Books
    PASCAL Catalog
    WorldCat & I.L.L.
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Journal Finder
  Key Journals
Web Sites
  General Sites
  Women's Art Associations
Get Help

denotes recommended resource

Reference Sources:    
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias   back to top

Bloomsbury Guide to Art [CREDO Reference], Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd., 1996.
Survey of the history of art and architecture providing a fascinating insight into the origins and significance of the work of Western artists and architects.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2003.
Succinct and accessible explanations of terms used in the wide variety of visual media that makes up the art world.


Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 703 D561D [34 vols]
Covers all aspects of the visual arts worldwide throughout time.

A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2003.
Broad coverage of painting, sculpture, and graphic art, encompassing all the major movements and styles of the twentieth-century, including entries on art schools, galleries, exhibitions, prizes, terms, techniques, collectors, critics, dealers and patrons.

Encyclopedia of American Folk Art [CREDO Reference], Routledge, 2004.
A comprehensive, scholarly study of this aspect of American history and culture. Generously illustrated with both black and white and full-color photos, this A-Z encyclopedia covers every aspect of American folk art, encompassing not only painting, but also sculpture, basketry, ceramics, quilts, furniture, toys, beadwork, and more, including both famous and lesser-known genres.

Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World, Facts on File, 2008.

Main Level, Reference:  R 909.07 En19E2 [4 vols]

"Comprehensive A-Z coverage spanning time from the fall of Rome in 476 to the start of the Renaissance in 1500. Each entry includes a discussion of the topic from the perspective of the following centers of civilization: Africa, The Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and The Islamic World." Related entries include art, adornment, architecture, gender structures and roles, occupations, and textiles and needlework.

The Oxford Companion to Western Art [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2003.
In-depth coverage of Westrern Art with entries on artists and their works, styles and movements, art forms and art terms, combined with more modern methodologies, focused on patronage, taste, theory, and criticism, and the scientific examination of materials and techniques.

The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms [CREDO Reference], Thames and Hudson, 2003.
eReference book covering painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, the decorative, applied and graphic arts from all periods throughout the world up to the present day.


Biography   back to top

Gale Biography in Context   [Thomson/Gale]

Search by name, occupation, nationality, gender or ethnicity and dates of birth or death, OR you can browse categories from Actors - World Explorers. Includes information from reference works, articles, photographs, and more.

Contemporary Artists, St. James Press, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 709.22 C767C [2 vols]
Detailed personal and professional information on 850 artists-both established masters and emerging figures on the international scene. Modern painters, sculptors and graphic and performance artists are included.

The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2004. Based on the highly praised Oxford Dictionary of Art, this is an authoritative and up-to-date guide to Western Art from ancient Greece to the present day. Encounter artists ranging from Polyclitus of Argos to Andy Warhol, as well as younger contemporary artists.



The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists - Ian Chilvers

Dictionary of Women Artists, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997.
Main Level, Reference: R 709.22 D561D [2 vols]
Includes the finest scholarship on women in art from the Middle Ages to the present day, in countries throughout Europe as well as America and Australia.

North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary, Garland Publishing, 1995.
Main Level, Reference: R 709.22 N811N
A comprehensive source on women artists in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico during the last century.

The Prestel Dictionary of Art and Artists in the 20th Century, Prestel, 2000.
Main Level, Reference: R 709.04003 P926P
An authoritative and up-to-date guide through the maze of twentieth-century art. Including artists, movements, photographers, techniques, styles, and turn-of-the-century precursors, The Prestel Dictionary of Art and Artists in the 20th Century draws on the expertise of over forty outstanding art historians to give a comprehensive picture and interpretation of the artistic century.

St. James Guide to Black Artists, St. James Press, 1997.
Main Level, Reference: R 709.22 Sa22S

St. James Guide to Hispanic Artists: Profiles of Latino and Latin American Artists, St. James Press, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 704.0638 Sa22S

St. James Guide to Native North American Artists, St. James Press, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 704.0397 Sa22S

Art Images   back to top

Artcyclopedia [John Malyon]
Their mission is to become the definitive and most effective guide to museum-quality fine art on the Internet by providing a comprehensive index of every artist represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources while claiming to be "the fastest way to search the Net for information about fine artists."

Initiated at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the ARTstor Digital Library is comprised of approximately 300,000 digital images of visual material from different time-periods, cultures, and disciplines derived from several source collections that are the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars.  These source collections include The Carnegie Arts of the U. S., The Huntington Archive of Asian Art, The Illustrated Bartsch, The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive, and The Museum of Modern Art (New York) Architecture and Design Collection. ARTstor provides a wide range of visual materials for educational and scholarly use, and broader access to images of important art, architecture, design and archeological objects.

Bridgeman Art Library Archive [CREDO Reference], Bridgeman Art Library, 2008.
An outstanding archive of images drawn from collections throughout the world. Every subject, concept, style and medium is represented, from the masterpieces of national museums to the hidden treasures of private collections. Fine art as well as design, antiques, maps, architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics, anthropological artifacts and many others are featured in the collection.

Art Resources on the Web: Image Databases [Cornish College of the Arts]
A list of additional image databases on the web.

CAMIO (Catalog of Art Museum Images Online) [OCLC]

Contains fine art and decorative art from pre-history through contemporary works. All content is rights-cleared for educational use in the classroom or to illustrate papers, Web projects and other assignments.

Web Gallery of Art
A virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 12th to mid-19th centuries, this site intended to be a free resource of art history primarily for students and teachers. It is a private initiative not related to any museums or art institutions, and not supported financially by any state or corporate sponsors while striving to use authentic literature and advice from professionals, to ensure the quality and authenticity of the content.

Style Guides   back to top

PC Writing Center

The Presbyterian College Writing Center in Neville Hall 206 offers one-on-one writing conferences on papers at any point in the writing process. A tutor can help you get started, form a thesis, organize and develop your ideas, integrate and cite sources, and learn to recognize and
correct errors in grammar and punctuation.


Locating Books


Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Guerilla Girls [as AUTHOR]

  Mendieta, Ana [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to women artists:
African American Women Artists
Feminism and Art
  Women Artists
  • Materials relevant to the study of women artists may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:
  African American Women Artists-Washington Metropolitan Area-Exhibitions  
  Feminism And Art-Periodicals
  Women Artists-Italy-History-16th Century-Exhibitions

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • If you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use, try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
feminism AND art

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(women OR female) AND image*

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
print* = print, prints, printing, printmaking

Beware truncating short words art* = article, arthritis

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases


PASCAL Catalog  

PASCAL Catalog

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat & I.L.L.  


A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in the PASCAL Catalog.

Interlibrary Loan

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check here for instructions.

Locating Articles:  
Article Databases back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Academic Search Complete   [EBSCOhost] 
Scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.

Gale Biography in Context [Thomson/Gale]
Includes links to "magazine articles" on person searched. Click on the tab.

Arts & Sciences Collections I, II, & III contain an archive of over 350 full-text journals which are searchable through JSTOR or accessible through Journal Finder, which provides full-text articles in Thomason Library's electronic databases. The collections include journals in art, architecture, economics, film, folklore, history, performing arts, political science, religion, sociology, humanities, mathematics, and statistics. 

Journal Finder   back to top

Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals,

magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject.

When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.

Key Journals back to top

Artforum International
An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of film, books, and music; and an international arts calendar. For collectors and curators of contemporary art and general audiences with an interest in art.

American Art
A peer-reviewed journal dedicated to exploring all aspects of the nation's visual heritage from colonial to contemporary times. Through a broad interdisciplinary approach, American Art provides an understanding not only of specific artists and art objects, but also of the cultural factors that have shaped American art over three centuries of national experience. The fine arts are the journal's primary focus, but its scope encompasses all aspects of the nation's visual culture, including popular culture, public art, film, electronic multimedia, and decorative arts and crafts. American Art embraces all methods of investigation to explore America's rich and diverse artistic legacy. Formerly known (until 1991) as Smithsonian Studies in American Art.

American Art Review
Chronicles the emergence and growth of American painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and decorative arts with authority and historical insight.

Art Journal
Journal arranged thematically under a guest editor including articles by and about artists, exhibition reviews, book reviews and lists of books and catalogues received.

Feminist Studies
Commited to publishing an interdisciplinary body of feminist knowledge, in multiple genres (research, criticism, commentaries, creative work), that views the intersection of gender with racial identity, sexual orientation, economic means, geographical location, and physical ability as the touchstone for its intellectual analysis.

Gender and Society
Journal covering theory and research in the study of gender as a primary social category and its relationship to social order; emphasizes the study of gender and feminist scholarship.

Title ceased publication [1990-93 only]. Articles and thematic issues devoted to the examination of art and politics from a feminist perspective aimed at fostering a change in the meaning of art.

Scholar and Feminist Online
A free, independent web journal published by the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society
An academic journal featuring international issues in wome.'s studies. Articles engage gender, race, culture, class, sexuality, and or national issues.

Winterthur Portfolio
An interdisciplinary journal committed to fostering knowledge of the American past by publishing articles on the arts in America and the historical context within which they developed. The term "Arts" is used in its broadest sense to include all the products of human ingenuity that satisfy functional, aesthetic, or symbolic needs. Contributions cover such diverse fields as art history, architectural history, decorative arts, material culture, American studies, literature, folk studies, cultural geography, ethnology, anthropology, archaeology, and history. The range of subjects covered includes artists and artisans, architecture and landscape design, technology and trade, fashion and folkways, style and taste, customs and habits, manners and rituals - all relating to how people make and use objects to create or sustain environments.

Woman's Art Journal
For those interested in women artists and issues related to women in all areas of the visual arts. Published semiannually in May and November, each issue features between five and seven original scholarly articles and ten to fifteen book reviews. Subjects covered range from antiquity to postmodern debates.

Web Sites
General Sites

ArtCyclopedia: Women Artists
List of over 850 women artists by time period.

National Museum of Women in the Arts [NMWA]
This museum, located in Washington, DC, is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the contributions of women artists. Web site has information on current and past exhibitions, museum collection, calendar of museum events, and library & research center. Search the collection here.

Smart History [Beth Harris, Ph.D. and Steven Zucker, Ph.D.]
An interactive, multi-media art history book, covering artistic movements from ancient cultures through the present. This project was begun in 2005 by two professors by creating a blog featuring free audio guides in the form of podcasts for use in The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Soon after, the audio files were embedded in their online survey courses. The response from their students was so positive that they created a multi-media survey of art history web-book. Included are audios and videos about works of art found in standard art history survey texts, files organized stylistically and chronologically, and text and still images.

Women Artists in History [Wendy Russ]
A project to list women artists whose work has stood the test of time or of historical interest through the centuries from medieval to contemporary.

Women Artists: Self-Portraits and Representations of Womanhood from the Medieval Period to the Present [California State Polytechnic University, Pomona]
A collection of short biographies, with enlargeable thumbnail portraits, of women artists from the medieval period up to the early 20th century. Each entry finishes with a short list of references used in constructing the biographical outline. It also links to other sites on female artists.

Women and Art Sites [Women's Studies Section, Association of College & Research Libraries]
A selective, annotated list of links with information on women in the visual arts.
Individual women artists' web pages are not listed, although sites with lists of such links are included. Includes links to collections, galleries, museums, exhibitions, organizations, and more.

Women's Art Associations

back to top

American Women Artists [AWA]
American Women Artists is dedicated to the inspiration, celebration, and encouragement of Women in the Arts. Membership is open to women artists from the United States, Canada and Mexico, supporting representational artists who work in the fields of drawing, painting and sculpture.

National Association of Women Artists [NAWA, Ney York City]
The oldest professional women's fine arts organization in the United States, continually providing a forum for women artists to share ideas and exhibit their work.

Women's Caucus for Art [College Art Association]
A national member organization unique in its multi-disciplinary, multicultural membership of artists, art historians, students, educators, and museum professionals.

WSS Links: Membership Organizations [Women's Studies Section, Association of College and Research Libraries]

Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Sara Rowe 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437



Mon - Thurs: 8:30 am - 10 pm

Friday: 8:30 am - 5 pm

Sunday: 1:30 pm - 10 pm

Personal appointments also available.

Copyright © 2008 by Presbyterian College • 503 South Broad Street • Clinton, South Carolina 29325 • 1-864-833-2820