James H. Thomason Library

ARTH 450: Rethinking Primitivism  
Reference Sources

Mask. Poro Society. Dan (W. Africa) 19th/20th Century. Wood & vegetable fibers.

Image source: ARTstor Image Database

  Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Art Images
  Style Guides
Locating Books
  PASCAL Catalog
  WorldCat & Interlibrary Loan
  Books on Reserve (at Circulation Desk)
  eBook Collections
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Journal Finder
  Key Journals
Web Sites
  General Sites
Get Help

denotes recommended resource

Reference Sources:    
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias   back to top

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.

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.


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.

Use this resource's audio feature for pronunciation of names of persons, places, art terms, etc.


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.

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.

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


Art Images   back to top

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.


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."

Art Resources on the Web [Cornish College of the Arts]
List of major art sites, museums, galleries, competitions, exhibitions, image sites, associations, as well as sites dealing with major art formats or mediums.

Bruce Frank Primitive Art Gallery  Bruce Frank Primitive Art Gallery offers one of the most diverse collection of fine antique and tribal art from Oceanic, Indonesian, African, Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asian and Philippines cultures [from web site].

Hamill Gallery of Tribal Art   Hamill Gallery devotes16,000 square feet to an ever-growing collection of traditional African art. Our exhibition space is divided between two floors with an additional two floors required to accommodate an inventory of about 40,000 objects. About half of these are on the website.[from web site].

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.

Yale University Art Gallery   View examples from various collections, including African Art  and Art of the Ancient Americas

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   back to top


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: 

[as AUTHOR] Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954

  [as SUBJECT] Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  
   [as SUBJECT] Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings.
Primitivism in art
  Primitivism in art -- United States
Art, Modern -- 20th century


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

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
primitiv* = primitive, primitivism

Use caution when truncating short words!!!

art* = art, artists -- but also retrieves: article, arthurian, arthritis, arteriosclerosis

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
primitiv* AND art

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group "OR" terms with parentheses:

primitiv* AND (art OR artists OR painting*)

                   (naïve OR folk) AND (painting OR art)


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 & Interlibrary Loan    


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)

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

Books on Reserve Shelf (at Circulation Desk)    

Gone Primitive: Save Intellects, Modern Lives. Marianna Torgovnick. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness : Backgrounds and Criticisms. Leonard F. Dean, editor. Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall, 1960.

Primitivism in Modern Art. Robert Goldwater. Cambridge, MA : Belknap Press, 1986.

Representation : Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Stuart Hall, editor. London: SAGE Pub., 1997

The Anthropology of Art : A Reader.  Howard Morphy and Morgan Perkins, editors.

Wild Men in the Middle Ages: A Study in Art, Sentiment, and Demonology. New York, Octagon Books, 1970

The New Golden Land: European Images of America from the Discoveries to the Present Time. Hugh Honor. New York : Pantheon Books, 1975.



ebrary [ProQuest]

Collection of over 70,000 ebooks, covering a variety of disciplines.

Right: Covers for: 

Osogbo and the Art of Heritage: Monuments, Deities, and Money. Peter Probst. Indiana U. Press, 2011.

Primitivist Modernism : Black Culture and the Origins of Transatlantic Modernism. Sieglinde Lemke.  Oxford University Press, 1998


EBSCO eBook Academic Collection

Collection of approximately 70,000 ebooks, covering a variety of disciplines.


Right: Cover for Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress. Shelly Errington, U. of California Press, 1998.

EBSCO eBook Collection

Collection of over 11,000 ebooks, covering a variety of disciplines.  Over 8,000 of the titles have been published since 2005.

Right: Cover for:

Cross-Cultural Issues in Art : Frames for Understanding. Steven Leuthold. Routledge Press, 2011.

Art and Religion in Africa. Rosalind Hackett. Continuum International Publishing, 1998.

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. 

Academic Search Complete

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 "academic articles,"  and "magazine articles," as entries from encyclopedias and other reference books.

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. 

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Journal Finder   back to top


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.

Library article databases are inter-connected by Journal Finder, which will lead you to the full-text of an article when available.

Key Journals   back to top


African Arts

Art Bulletin

Art History

Art Journal

Burlington Magazine



Get Help   back to top
Stop by the
Reference Desk

Sara Rowe 833-8313
Dan Lee 833-8437


Hours: 8.30 am - 10 pm for research questions & assistance. Personal appointments also available.
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