James H. Thomason Library

ART 458

Special Topics/Design II: Color Theory

Reference Sources

Ocean Park #6. Richard Diebenkorn (1968).
ARTstor Image Database.

  Handbooks, Companions
  Circulating Books
  Biographical Sources
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Journal Finder
Image Databases/Resources
**   Subscription Databases
      Web Sites

denotes recommended resource

Reference Sources:    
Dictionaries   back to top

The Color Compendium. Augustine Hope, Margaret Walch. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990.

Main Level, Reference: R 701.8 H771C

Contemporary Artists. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, eds. St. James Press, 2002. 

Main Level, Reference: R 709.22 C767C (2 volumes).

The Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists [Oxford Reference Online]  Ann Lee Morgan, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Searchable online resource with 945 alphabetically-arranged entries offering an insightful and informative view of America's artistic heritage. This biographical and critical guide to American art from colonial times to contemporary postmodernism provides readers with a wealth of factual detail and perceptive analysis of America's leading painters. Prominent sculptors and photographers are also covered as well as contemporary installation artists. The dictionary also provides entries on notable American institutions, organizations, schools, techniques, styles, and movements, while examining important individuals connected to the art scene.--From title screen.

The Oxford Dictionary of Art [Oxford Reference Online].  Ian Chilvers.  Oxford University Press, 2004,  3rd ed. 
Also available in print:
Main Level, Reference: R 703.21 Ox2O

The Prestel Dictionary of Art and Artists in the 20th Century.  Prestel Verlag Pub., 2000.  

Main Level, Reference:  R 709.04003 P926P

Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers.  Alan and Isabella Livingston. Thames & Hudson, 2003.  

Main Level, Reference: R 741.603 L762T


Encyclopedias   back to top

The Design Encyclopedia. Mel Byars  Wiley, c1994.  

Main Level, Reference: R 745.44403 B99D

A Dictionary of Modern Design [Oxford Reference Online] Jonathan M. Woodham.  Oxford University Press, 2004, c2005.

Summary: From Art Nouveau to Postmodernism, Benetton to Frank Lloyd Wright, this fascinating dictionary covers the past 150 years of international design, with accessible and succinct entries on ceramics, furniture, graphics, industrial design, interiors, and fashion. Designers and manufacturers feature in a range of biographical entries, and the dictionary's international focus takes in major movements, key concepts, design terminology, and important design institutions, museums, and heritage sites. 

The Dictionary of Art (aka Grove Dictionary of Art). 34 volumes.  Jane Turner, editor.  Grove's Dictionaries, 1996.   Although titled "Dictionary," this 34-volume set is encyclopedic in scope.
Main Level, Reference: R 703 D561D [34 vols]

The Encyclopedia of Visual Art.  Sir Lawrence Gowing, editor. Prentice-Hall, 1983 (2 volumes).

Main Level, Reference: R 709 En19E

The Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art. edited by Gerald W.R. Ward
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.   

Main Level, Reference: R 702.8 G919G 

Handbooks, Companions    back to top

Art in the Modern Era: A Guide to Styles, Schools & Movements 1860 to the present
Amy Dempsey Harry N. Abrams, 2002.

 Main Level, Reference: R 709.04003 D399A

The Color Compendium. Augustine Hope and Margaret Walch. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990.

Main Level, Reference: R 701.8 H771C

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Art. Harold Osborne. ed. Oxford University Press, 1984.  

Main Level, Reference:  R 709.04 Ox2O Includes biographical entries as well as brief summaries of terms, concepts, movements. 

The Oxford Companion to Western Art
. [Oxford Reference Online]  Hugh Brigstocke, editor.  Oxford University Press, 2004.

This online version provides in-depth coverage of Western 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. Critical appreciation and factual information on over 1700 artists from classical times to the 20th century are included with 49 feature articles covering a broad spectrum of topics from art history and its methods to wall painting.

 Circulating Books.
  back to top

Listed below are a few selected titles from the Library's circulating collection.
Use Thomcat to search for books on specific artists or movements.

The Color Book.
Wendon Blake ; paintings by Ferdinand Petrie. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1981.  Lower Level, Circulating Collection: 752 B581C

Color Theory and It's Application in Art and Design.
George A. Agoston. Springer-Verlag Pub., 1979.  

Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 535.6 Ag75C

Light and Color in the Italian Renaissance Theory of Art.
Moshe Barasch. New York University Press, 1978. 

Lower Level, Circulating Collection: 759.5 B231L

The New Art of Color: The Writings of Robert and Sonia Delaunay. Edited and with an introd. by Arthur A. Cohen ; translated by David Shapiro and Arthur A. Cohen. Viking Press, 1978. Lower Level, Circulating Collection: 752 D375N

The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat. Martin Kemp. Yale University Press, 1990.

Lower Level, Circulating Collection: 750.18 K32S

Biographical Sources

  back to top

Gale Biography in Context [Gale/Cengage Learning].

World Artists, 1950-1980. Claude Marks.  H.W. Wilson Co., 1984.
Main Level, Reference
R 709.22 M342W

Contemporary Artists. 
Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, eds. St. James Press, 2002.   

Main Level, Reference:  R 709.22 C767C [2 vols]

The Dictionary of Art. Jane Turner, editor. Grove's Dictionaries, 1996. 34 volumes. 

Main Level, Reference: R 703 D561D


Dictionary of Women Artists.  Delia Gaze, ed. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997.

Main Level, Reference: R 709.22 D561D [2 vols]

North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century : A Biographical Dictionary.  Jules Heller and Nancy G. Heller, eds.  Garland Pub., 1995. 

Main Level, Reference:  R 709.22 N811N

St. James Guide to Hispanic Artists : Profiles of Latino and Latin American Artists . Thomas Riggs, ed.   St. James Press, 2002.  

Main Level, Reference: R 704.0368 Sa22

Locating Books  
THOMCAT   back to top


Use THOMCAT, the library's online catalog, to locate print books and eBooks available through Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.


  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name.
    NOTE: Thomcat records for exhibition catalogs will usually list artist in "author" field.  

  Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944   [as AUTHOR]

  Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944 [as SUBJECT]
  Albers, Anni  [as SUBJECT]
   Albers, Anni  (as AUTHOR)
  Rothko, Mark [as SUBJECT]
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to Color and Art
             Color in art
                Visual perception
             Painting -- Technique
                Color prints, Japanese

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

  • Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. 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

Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
color* =
color, colors, colored, coloring, etc.

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
AND theory

· Use OR between synonyms/related terms/alternate spellings to expand your search
color OR colour

When using AND/OR operators in the same search,
group OR those terms with parentheses ( )
 color* AND (complementary OR harmony)

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

PASCAL Catalog   back to top

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, 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.   back to top

WorldCat [FirstSearch, OCLC]
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 PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries.  Use this service to borrow books and to request copies of journal articles not available through our collections. Check link for instructions.

Locating Articles   back to top
Article Databases  

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.

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. JSTOR is a journal archive with complete runs of journals up to three years ago. Current issues are not available in JSTOR, but may be in other databases.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  Current and recent volumes of 111 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

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.

Image Databases   back to top
Subscription Databases 
(can be used on campus without login; off-campus access requires username/password (use PC printing account login)

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.




Top left: Edgar Degas, Before the Race. Oil on panel, ca.1882. ARTstor Image Database.     
Top right: Hans Hofmann, Image of Cape Cod: The Pond Country, Wellfleet. 1961. Oil on canvas. CAMIO database.

Lower left: No.203 (oil on canvas). Mark Rothko, 1954. ARTstor Image Database. 

Lower right:  Red Vineyard at Arles. Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Oil on canvas. ARTstor Image Database. 


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 artefacts and many others are featured in the collection." (from database descripton).

CAMIO (Catalog of Art Museum Images Online).

OCLC's Catalog of Art Museum Images Online — is a growing online collection documenting works of art from around the world, representing the collections of prominent museums. CAMIO highlights the creative output of cultures around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times, and covering the complete range

of expressive forms. (from database description)

 Right: Paris and Vicinity. Susana Sierra. 1960. oil on canvas.  

 Image source: CAMIO (Catalog of Art Images Online).

Web Sites (available free from any location)   back to top

.  The Fine Art search engine. Over 1200 arts sites indexed plus more than 32,000 links to an estimated 100,000 works by 7,500 renowned artists (as of Jan.2006).
Provides references to sites on the World Wide Web where artists' works can be viewed online, including museum sites, image archives, and other online resources.

ArtSource. "...a gathering point for networked resources on Art and Architecture. The content is diverse and includes pointers to resources around the net as well as original materials submitted by librarians, artists, and art historians, etc. This site is intended to be selective, rather than comprehensive. For help in locating specific art-related information the *BEST* source of information is your local art librarian...keep in mind that while there is a tremendous amount of information available here, not everything is available via the Web!" [from the Artsource site].

Color, Vision, and Art  Information and visualizations concerning the science of vision, light, and color.

Josef and Annie Albers Foundation  Includes image galleries, bibliography, etc.


Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Sara Rowe 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437



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