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Art History

Topics/Course Guides

Resource Guide on Singapore History

Have you ever wondered how early Singapore is like? Or are you looking for images or information on buildings or things that are lost in Singapore? Here is a list of recommended resources that you may look into:   Books Independence : the history of graphic design in...

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These books represent a sampling of portraiture. Browse both historical and contemporary portraits. Discover portrait paintings, sculptures, and photography!

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Renaissance Art

A quick introductory guide on Renaissance art containing lists of survey titles, influential artists, and museums with substantial collections on renaissance art.

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Acknowledging sources

This guide is designed to give you an introduction to acknowledging sources. It provides links to other guides that will give you step-by-step instructions and guidelines to follow for specific citation styles.

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Course guide for DD1004: Asian Art History

This guide was created for DD1004 Introduction to Art Histories II – Asian Art History for Semester 2 AY2016/17 in consultation with Asst Professor Sujatha Meegama. It introduces useful information resources and key information skills. Compiled by Phoebe Lim.

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Copyright and art images

This brief guide is an introduction to copyright and art images. It is intended to present basic concepts and provide resources for further information. Read on to find out why the image below is my intellectual property, and what that means!

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Feel free to contact the library for your Research needs such as:

  1. Enquiries about library resources
  2. Requests for new resources
  3. Library orientation & tours
  4. Instructional classes
  5. Research Assistance

Contact Info:
Tel: (65) 6790 5776
Whatsapp: (65) 8395 0629

Advisory and Consultation:
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NTU Library Homepage

Selected Resources


Books are useful resources for art history. They may contain overviews, cover broad topics, or provide images. You can browse or search the library collection for books.

Browsing the collection

We have a unique collection at ADML that focuses on art. It is organized according to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC).  Use the following LCC subclasses for quick browsing among the stacks for specific art topics.

Search Terms LC Class
Visual arts N
Architecture NA
Sculpture NB
Drawing, Design, Illustration NC
Painting ND
Print media NE
Decorative arts NK
Arts in general NX

Searching for books

The Library Catalogue is the best place to start when searching for books. You can look for books using a keyword, subject or title for example. If you want to optimize your search, contact me or see these tips.

Selected book lists by subject

Here are some examples of books on specific art history subjects. Try using these lists or search the library catalogue by subject to find books on a particular topic.

Art criticism – Authorship

Art criticism

Visual sociology

Feminism and art

East Asian art

Asian art

Southeast Asian art

South Asian art

Art and globalization

Thematic book display lists

The library regularly exhibits a thematic book display. Here are the book displays related to art and art history.

The art of studying art: Survival guide for new students

Post no bill or Post-Graffiti?

“Illuminations”: Bibliography and further resources



The library also displays exhibits from artists from time to time, along with displays of related books. The related books are listed here.

Monochrome Realism Art Exhibition : Realistic Pencil Artworks by Sachin Kamnath

Recommended books

Here are lists of books that I have found useful on various art history subjects.

Surveys of art history

Art history writing and methodology

Our library doesn’t have a particular book? Recommend it!

For Students: email to us at with as many details about the item as possible – Title, Author/editor, Place of publication, Publisher or producer, Date of publication, ISBN, Edition and Price.

For Staff: use Staff Link. Under Resource Request — Library Services — Book Recommendation.

Refer to New Title Recommendation for more details.


E-books or electronic books are the digital version of print books, designed to be read on a personal computer with internet connection or on an e-book reader.

Browsing by E-book providers

The major providers of e-books on Art are listed below and organized alphabetically. Click on the titles to access. You may be asked to login with your NTU network username and password.

  1. Oxford Reference Online
  2. E-book collection

My Picks

  1. The Oxford dictionary of art
  2. The concise Oxford dictionary of art and artists
  3. The Oxford companion to western art

Looking for a specific e-book title?

You can look for specific e-book titles at the Library Catalogue. Follow the instructions at the E-books Page.

Reference Works

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are useful information tools for art history. They are especially useful when you are starting out on a research topic. They offer a good overview of a particular art period or art movement. They also give concise biography of a particular artist you are looking at and often there will be a list of helpful references that you can use in your research work.

Reference Guides

Artist Biographies

  1. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists Call No.: N33.C744
  2. The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists Call No.: N33.T366H
  3. The Yale Dictionary of art and artists Call No.: N33.L284
  4. The Grove Dictionary of Art. From Monet to Cezanne: late 19th-century French Artists Call No.: N6847.G883


  1. Atlas of world art Call No.: N5300.A881
  2. Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art Call No.: N7560.H177
  3. The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques Call No.: N33.L937
  4. The artist’s handbook of materials and techniques Call No.: ND1500.M468


  1. Artwords: a glossary of contemporary art theory Call No.: N71.P298
  2. Dictionary of South and Southeast Asian art Call No.: N7300.C495 2006
  3. Dictionary of women artists Call No.: N8354.D554 V1 & V2
  4. Encyclopedia of twentieth-century photography Call No.: TR642.E56 V1
  5. Encyclopedia of comparative iconography : themes depicted in works of art Call No.: N7560.E56 V1 & V2
  6. The Hotei encyclopedia of Japanese woodblock prints Call No.: NE1310.H832 V1 & V2
  7. Looking at photographs: a guide to technical terms Call No.: TR9.B181
  8. Looking at prints, drawings, and watercolours: a guide to technical terms Call No.: N33.G619
  9. The Grove encyclopedia of classical art and architecture Call No.: N5610.G883 V1 & V2

Generally, databases allow you to search for documents from various sources by specifying indexed fields such as author/artist, title, subject, publisher and etc. They are updated frequently and the contents are therefore more current compared to books. Content of databases may contain journal articles, news, statistics, images and etc. For other subject areas and the most comprehensive listing of all databases subscribed by NTU Library, please visit our Database webpage.

Core databases

Click on the database titles to access the database. You may be asked to login with your NTU network account and password. Oxford Art Online is an online encyclopedia that covers all areas of Western and non-Western art. It contains over 45,000 articles contributed by over 6000 scholars in their fields from 120 countries. It also includes images from renowned art institutions and organizations namely the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bridgeman Art Library, the British Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). [Read on…].

CAMIO online (OCLC’s Catalog of Art Museum Images Online) is an image database documenting works of art from eminent museums around the world. The online collections include prehistoric to contemporary times covering a wide area of artistic representations including prints, photographs, drawings, paintings, architecture, etc. [Read on…].

Films is an online film library that curates and streams films from Asia and the Pacific that are culturally and historically significant. The best way to access the collection is via the Library Catalogue. You can retrieve a list of all films available in our subscription here.

Related databases

JSTOR (Journal Storage) provides full-text searches of digitized back issues of several hundred well-known journals. It is an online journal storage that allows you to look up art or art-related subjects by using a keyword search or by simply browsing the discipline (i.e. Art and Art History) or title or publisher (of journals). [Read on…].

Project MUSE also provides full text, subscription access to current content from scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Again it is possible to browse the journals by discipline or subject headings for articles.


Journals are known as periodicals or serials because they are published on a regular and recurring basis. They are a good source of scholarly articles and industry news. The Library subscribes to many journals in print and online.


You can search for a specific E-Journal or search and discover E-Journals.

There are several ways to search for E-Journals:

  1. If you are familiar with a specific provider, you can access their E-Journals by searching the Index.
  2. If you know the title of the journal you are looking for you can search the alphabetical A-Z list.
  3. You can search for journals by subject, e.g. “fine arts”.
  4. You can search by keyword within journal title, subject, publisher and others.

Print Journals

We also have print copies of many journals at ADM Library. Current periodicals are located beside the E-Payment kiosk (turn right once you enter ADM Library) and older issues are located beside the Course Reserves shelves.

You can search for print journals using the Library Catalogue. To find relevant print journals in the library catalogue, do an Advanced Search . Choose “Journals” as the format and search by subject or title.

Important Note: You cannot search for individual article titles using the library catalogue. You can only search for the journal titles.

A sample of art journals in ADM Library

American Art Review covers the following;
  • American painting
  • American drawing
  • American printmaking
  • American sculpture
  • American decorative arts

Art Calendar is a business magazine for visual artists that cover the following areas;

  • Art marketing
  • Art Law
  • Exhibition presentation
  • Communication skills
  • Sales techniques
  • Listings on fellowships, grants, festivals, etc

This magazine focuses on art news mainly in Asia. Countries includes;

  • India, China
  • Singapore, Malaysia
  • New Zealand, Australia
  • Thailand, Indonesia
  • Cambodia, Vietnam
  • Japan, South Korea

A scholarly journal that explores the following topics in visual arts such as;

  • Art practice and production
  • Art history
  • Visual studies
  • Theory
  • Art criticism

View its electronic version.

Art in America is a contemporary art journal that looks into current art practices in the United States.

  • Feature articles
  • Art reviews
  • Book reviews by art critics/specialists in their field of interest.

View its electronic version.

Artforum is an international monthly magazine specializing in contemporary art.

  • Articles/reviews of contemporary art
  • Book reviews
  • Columns on cinema and popular culture

ArtAsiaPacific is a magazine covering contemporary visual culture from Asia, the Pacific and Middle East.

  • Feature articles
    • artists,
    • art events
    • exhibition reviews
    • film and book reviews.
  • “Where I Work” series of articles (featuring artist and their studio/ workspace)

ARTnews covers both contemporary artists and old masters. Its content includes profiles of collectors, museum directors and scholars.It is circulated worldwide with a readership of 200 000 in 123 countries.Coverage includes information on art issues and trends and events that are having an impact on the international art world.N6480.M689
Modern Painters focuses on contemporary art and culture in film, architecture, books, dance and design.It offers insights and analysis by reporting on important events and trends in the art and cultural worlds to “both readers steeped in the art world and those just entering it.”N8.R69
Oriental Art Magazine mainly publishes articles on Asian art and antiques from China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia.Also included are articles on the art of the great Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.N11.A784
The Art Bulletin publishes high quality scholarly articles and critical reviews in all areas and periods of the history of art and takes on a variety of methodological approaches, from the historical to the theoretical.
Back issues may be read online in JSTOR.N6761.B862
The British Art Journal publishes original research on British art of all periods.
Art-historical research covered by the journal includes the following;

  • Painting and the graphic arts
  • Books and publishing
  • Sculpture
  • Architecture
  • Decorative arts
  • History of dress

Yishu is a leading journal on Chinese contemporary art and culture aiming to invoke “dialogue and debate” among its readers.The journal provides academic articles on the following

  • Topical matters
  • Critical commentary of conferences
  • Exhibitions and books in the Chinese art field

The Library’s audio-visual (AV) collection includes short films, feature films, and documentaries in a variety of formats. AV materials can be borrowed to watch at home or using the library’s facilities. AV Reserves can be borrowed for 4 hours and viewed in the library.

You can search for AV using an advanced search of the library catalogue.

Select “Audio-Visuals” as the format and search by subject, title, author or others. You may also select “Art, Design & Media Library” and search only with the ADM Library collection.

A sample of art documentaries in ADM Library

Here are a few samples of art documentaries, please click on the titles to check availability in the Library.

Series Title: The Private Life of a Masterpiece

This BBC award-winning series is filled with fascinating stories about the famous works of art featured, their influence and how they came to have a life of their own in the modern world.

“Every episode in this series has been unpretentious, informative and hugely entertaining.. superb television about great art.”~The Times

  1. Renaissance Masterpieces
    • Botticelli “La Primavera”
    • Paolo Uccello “The Battle of San Romano”
    • Piero Della Francesca “The Resurrection”

    Call No.: N72.5.P961r

  2. Seventeenth century masters
    • Rembrandt van Rijn “Night Watch”
    • Johannes Vermeer “The Art of Painting”
    • Diego Velasquez “Robeby Venus”

    Call No.: N72.5.P961S

  3. Impressionism and the Post Impressionism
    • Auguste Renoir “Dance at the Moulin De La Galette”
    • Vincent Van Gogh “Sunflowers”
    • Georges Seurat “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”

    Call No.: N72.5.P961m

  4. Masterpieces of sculpture
    • Michelangelo “David”
    • Edgar Degas “The little dancer aged 14”
    • Auguste Rodin “The kiss”

    Call No.: NB1142.M423

The Nude in Art (Disc 1 and 2)

“Continuing Tim Marlow’s thoughtful history of the nude in art with a trip to Florence and a quick study of the Renaissance. It’s basic stuff but not stupid and it’s a joy to see a program on art that is both intelligent and intelligible. Marlow has talent, which helps.” ~Time Out

Call No.: N7572.N964

The Great Artists

“Art historian Tim Marlow comfortably hosts this 14-part introduction to the world’s most acclaimed artists. In the sampled, Leonardo, Marlow travels to Florence and Milan to trace the career of painter and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Carefully analyzing The Annunciation, the host contrasts flaws in perspective with the painting’s precise natural details. The Last Supper, Mona Lisa, and St. John the Baptist are similarly examined for composition, painting techniques, and use of light. Da Vinci’s work as mapmaker, anatomist, and military planner are also discussed, as are controversies surrounding his life. Nice location footage and insightful commentary stand out in these solid introductions for high-school and public library collections. Other series titles similarly profile El Greco, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and others.”~ BOOKLIST

Call No.: ND35.G786

A sample of artist bio-pics in NTU Library


DVD Description
“Andy Garcia brings to life artistic genius Amedeo Modigliani’s story of tragic love, rivalry and excess in the midst of art history’s golden age when greats like Picasso, Rivera, Cocteau and Modigliani held court in the salons of post-WWI Paris.”

Call No.: PN1995.9.A76M692

Girl with a pearl earring

DVD Description
“Girl with a pearl earring unravels the mystery behind one of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer’s greatest and most enigmatic paintings. Seventeen-year-old Griet is forced by family tragedy to become a maid for the Vermeer family. As intimacy grows between master and servant, disruption and jealousy spread within the ordered household and beyond, fuelling a scandal which threatens to ruin them all.”

Call No.: PS3553.H4367G525

Lust for life (on Vincent van Gogh)

DVD Description

“…. Kirk Douglas gives a fierce portrayal as the artist torn between the joyous inspiration of his genius and the dark desperation of his tormented mind. .. Directed by Vincente Minnelli and saturated with the hues of Van Gogh’s sea, field and sky, Lust for Life captures the ecstasy of art. And the agony of one man’s life.”

Call No.: ND653.G7L972 2006


DVD Description
“Jeff Wright [is] absolutely brilliant in the role of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the young American painter whose brief life spanned the explosion of money and fame that colored the art world in the 1980’s ..”

Call No.: ND237.B2763B316B

Edvard Munch

DVD Description
“Famously described by Ingmar Bergman as a ‘work of genius’, Peter Watkins’ multi-faceted masterpiece is more than just a bio-pic of the iconic Norwegian Expressionist painter. Focusing initially on Munch’s formative years in late 19th Century Kristiania (now Oslo), Watkins uses his trademark style to create a vivid picture of the emotional, political and social upheavals that would have an effect on his art.”

Call No.: N7073.M8E24


DVD Description
“… POLLOCK is a beautifully crafted, stunning drama about the legendary American painted Jackson Pollock.

Fellow artists and lovers, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner are at the center of New York’s 1940s art scene .. Pollock creates work that makes him the first internationally-famous modern painted in America. But with fame and fortune comes a volatile temper and severe self-doubt …”

Call No.: ND237.P73P776p

Surviving Picasso

DVD Description
“Canvas, color, metal, ceramics. The century’s leading artist commanded them all. But what about the legendary Pablo Picasso’s other great passion? … in this masterful movie told from the viewpoint of Picasso’s longtime mistress and mother of his children Claude and Paloma. …”

Call No.: N6853.P5S963

Web Resources

A list of websites of world famous museums, art galleries, art institutions and organizations.

Web directories

  1. Art History Resources is a web directory created by the art historian and professor, Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe. Witcombe is a prolific author of books, text books, journal articles, and more. The directory was put together in 1995, but is regularly updated. It’s not the most beautiful of websites; however, it offers a comprehensive overview of art history internet sources. It links to research resources and museum websites among other things.
  2. Voice of the Shuttle is a well-known humanities web directory created by Professor Alan Liu. Also created in 1995, the page on art contains links for various discipline-specific art topics. It links to various university and art association websites which you might not come across otherwise.
  3. Artcyclopedia is a digital image directory. You can search an artwork by title or artist and find out where it is held around the world. Once you know where an artwork is currently located, you can look it up on a museum website or publication.

Online sources of images

  1. Museum websites are good sources of images as they usually provide authoritative descriptions of the original artwork. Museum websites also provide detailed information about copyright and licensing. For western art history, the National Gallery, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre are some good examples.
  2. Wikimedia Commons is a database of media files. Its art images are accompanied by descriptions of the original artwork and copyright details of the image. Often the image will be accompanied by a link which will lead to the website of the museum where the original artwork is held.
  3. CAMIO (Catalog of Art Museum Images Online) is a subscribed database which NTU staff and students can access. It has close to 100 thousand art images from leading museums including the Victoria & Albert, the Frick, and the Whitney.

Asian Art Resources

  1. Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asian Arts @ NAFA An online bilingual database on Southeast Asian Arts resource compiled by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts funded by the Tanoto Foundation.
  2. is a unique online platform that connects the people of Asia and Europe through Arts and Culture.

Virtual Tours of some of the world’s greatest museum and art galleries

  1. British Museum, London, UK
  2. Louvre Museum, Paris, France
  3. Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK

Learning about art from some of the best art institutions or art organisation

  1. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA
  2. National Art Gallery, London, UK
  3. Smarthistory

Reserve / RBR titles / Red-spot books & videos are the recommended textbooks & videos for your course modules selected by your lecturers.

Accessing the Reserves Collection

Reserve book titles for Art, Design & Media are located in the Reserves shelves behind the Service Desk of the Art, Design & Media Library. They are each marked for two hours loan. Borrow them with your student card at the Service Desk. Please do return them on time as overdue fines are set at S$0.50 per hour.

Reserved AV materials are marked as “Circulates for 4 hours only” in the Library Catalogue as shown below. You may borrow these AV materials at the AV reserves shelves and view them at the viewing facilities of Art, Design & Media (ADM) Library.
Searching for Reserves

You can retrieve Reserves titles via their Course Codes from the Library Catalogue.

  1. Go to the Library Catalogue:
  2. Select Reserves from the first drop-down menu from left-hand side
  3. Key in the course code
  4. Click Search

A list of reserve books & audio-visual materials is also available at the Reserves shelves.

Student Works

Access ADM Final Year Project Reports in our digital repository, which is also called “DR-NTU”.  On the Library homepage, click on NTU Theses & FYPs to access students’ reports. Log in with your NTU network user name and password to view the full text.

View its Collection Page of ADM Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI), as shown below. Enter your search terms and click Go. Or browse by author, title, subject and date.

Staff Publications

The publications of NTU faculty consisting of journal articles and conference papers are available in the Digital Repository, DR-NTU (Open Access). This collection is searchable in Google.

ADM Staff Papers

Access the ADM staff papers.

Many publishers allow self archiving of publications in institutional repositories. Refer to the copyright policies and archiving guidelines from Sherpa Romeo for submitting articles in DR-NTU (Open Access).

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