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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Art and Artists: Modern Art

Resources on Art History and Art Museums in NYC, based on the course offerings in the Art and Music Department at John Jay College, by Ellen Belcher

Modern Art Subject Headings and Keywords

The Lloyd Sealy Library has many books, mainly ebooks on Modern, Post Modern & Contemporary Art and Artists. Try searching the CUNY+ Catalog on these subject headings Art, Modern -- 20th century -- History * Art, Modern -- 20th century * Art, Modern -- 19th century * Art, Modern -- 21st century

Finding Articles on Modern Art

Try searching the following library databases - you may need to click on the icon:Find it! Search for full text.  A new window will open to find the actual article - we might not have access to all journals indexed in these databases.

Journal Article Indexes

Academic Search Complete  Access to articles from magazines and peer-reviewed journals, as well as books, conference papers and proceedings, and educational reports from almost all academic areas of study. Alternate access via library barcode Access: CUNY.

America: History and Life Index and some fulltext to journal articles and reviews on the history and culture of the United States and Canada. Access: John Jay

Art Abstracts  Index to articles in leading periodicals in the Arts from 1984 to the present. Alternate access via library barcode Access: CUNY

Humanities Source  Articles in all aspects of the humanities including art, literature, music and philosophy, with access dating back to 1907. Alternate access via library barcode Access: CUNY

Specialized Encyclopedia Articles

Gale Virtual Reference Library Hundreds of specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical directories and other reference books in a wide variety of subject fields including art, music and world cultures.Alternate access via library barcode Access: CUNY

Oxford Art Online Access to the entire text of the 34 vol. Dictionary of Art from Grove, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, with updates and links to images. Alternate access via library barcode Access: CUNY

Oxford Reference Online Premium Over 200 reference books from Oxford University Press, including language dictionaries, and reference works in art, science, classics, business, history, law, literature, medicine, geography, performing arts, philosophy, and social science. Alternate access via library barcode Access: CUNY

Very Short Introductions Short but authoritative introductions to  topics  written by authors who are experts in their field. These short introductions cover a range of subjects in the arts and humanities, law, medicine and health, science and mathematics and  the social sciences. Access: John Jay

Art Resources from the Mid Twentieth Century

Art Resources from the Mid-20th Century

from the website:

This collaborative project between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, presents digitized highlights from the personal libraries of Hilla Rebay and Juliana Force, the museums respective inaugural directors.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art have each played a key role in shaping New York’s vital cultural landscape, contributing significantly to the history of art and culture in the United States. Both founded in the 1930s, these museums were also each initially led by women—the Guggenheim, then the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, by Hilla Rebay and the Whitney by Juliana Force—who served as inaugural directors. Each woman acquired a considerable library during her tenure, collecting materials ranging from the uncommon (gallery announcements from New York and beyond, as well as rare and unusual periodicals and books) to the required reading of the day (exhibition catalogs and major monographs on contemporary artists). These important resources influenced the two women, who in turn influenced the vision and development of their respective institutions, which remain integral to the city’s cultural life today.

Working in partnership to make Rebay and Force’s personal libraries more widely available, the Guggenheim Library and Whitney Library digitized key material from each. The digitized selections, which are displayed together on the Internet Archive to highlight their commonalities and differences, are of special interest to curators, art historians, and other researchers and scholars, including those focusing on museum studies, women’s studies, and the history of New York City.

Digitized publications from both libraries can be found on the Art Resources Project Page at the Internet Archive with highlights from Hilla Rebay’s collection shown below.

Collections of Art Books, Digitally available for Free

MetPublications From the website: MetPublications is a portal to the Met's comprehensive book and online publishing program with close to 700 titles published from 1964 to the present. MetPublications includes a description and table of contents for most titles, as well as information about the authors, reviews, awards, and links to related Met titles by author and by theme. Current titles that are in-print may be previewed and fully searched online, with a link to purchase the book.  Collections.

Guggenheim Museum Publications - Over a thousand publications by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are now freely available on the Internet Archive.

Getty Institute Publications Virtual Library Free digital backlist titles from the Getty Publications Archives.

Brooklyn Museum publications on HathiTrust Library - read more about the project on the Brooklyn Museum BlogL

Los Angeles County Museum of Art Reading Room  from the website:The Reading Room is a special corner of dedicated to catalogues and brochures of exhibitions past. These are out-of-print, hard-to-find publications available here in full for free. From a unique set of publications focused on the Southern California art scene to rare books about German Expressionism, modern art, Southeast Asian art, and more, the catalogues and brochures here reflect the depth and breadth of LACMA’s collection and exhibition history.

NYC Museums - Modern Art

The Brooklyn Museum Has an extensive collection and many exhibitions of Contemporary art, and also schedules many artist talks and happenings on their first Saturdays when admission is free.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) is on 5th avenue between 80th - 84th streets. They have an extensive collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. Admission is always pay-what-you-wish, including the temporary Met Breuer, in the former building of the Whitney Museum. Hundreds of their Met Publications, including exhibition catalogs are now freely available online.

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is between 54th and 53rd street & 5th and 6th Avenues - they have recently made thousands of images of their collection freely available online. Admission is free on friday nights.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is downtown in the "Meatpacking District" - you can browse many images from their collections online by artist last name.


Galleries - New York Art Beat maintains a listing of gallery openings and ongoing exhbititions.

Web Resources on Modern Art

A section of Freely Available web resources on Modern Art.

The Art Story  aims to sort through all the noise of the art world and shed light on modern and contemporary art. Every one of our topic pages is meant to be an analysis that would convince the most ardent skeptic in the value of the particular artist, movement, or idea.

Blouin ArtInfo Blog

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has recently created a fair use policy to images of his artwork. 

Paul Klee's Bauhaus Notebooks As describe by ArtInfo The notebooks of Paul Klee, all 3,900 pages that the Swiss-German artist used to teach art at Bauhaus, from 1921 to 1931, are online. The original documents, save eight pages, are held at Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Germany.

Reference Books on Modern Art - A selection

Artspoke: a guide to modern ideas, movements, and buzzwords, 1848-1944. Reference - N6447 .A85 1993

The Routledge companion to postmodernism. Reference - B831.2 .R68 2005

Librarian Author of this Guide

Ellen Belcher's picture
Ellen Belcher
Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

899 Tenth Ave

New York City 10019