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Fine Arts

Fine Arts Reference Books

Reference sources or introductory art history books are a great way to begin researching your topic.

Check out our recommended books below, or browse the reference shelves in the library (located on the 2nd floor opposite the reference desk).

Art: A Brief History

Balances formal analysis with contextual art history. By treating the visual arts as one part of a vibrant cultural landscape (which also includes politics, religion, and economics) it shows the central role that art and architecture have played in human history.

The Story of Art

The Story of Art is one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written. It has been a bestseller for over four decades with readers of all ages and backgrounds attracted by the simplicity and clarity of writing,

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This classic art history has sold more than two million copies since it was first published in 1926. It surveys the entire span of Western art from prehistory to the present and overviews significant areas of non-Western art.

A World of Art

A World of Art fosters critical thinking and visual literacy skills to understand art from around the globe.

The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists

Covering Western art from the ancient Greeks to the present day, this dictionary contains clear and concise biographies and entries on styles and movements.

International Dictionary of Art and Artists

A two-volume work covering works of art and artists. This volume includes entries for 500 artists from Western Europe and the Americas from the Renaissance to the present day.

Finding Art Books

Art Shelves

Try browsing shelves with the following call numbers to find Art books:

N - Fine Arts

NA- Architecture

NB- Sculpture

NC- Drawing, Design Illustration

ND- Painting

NE- Print Media

NK- Decorative Arts

NX- General Arts


For more information on how to find books in the library, check out our handy tutorial, Introduction to Library Research.

Other Libraries

Can't find the book you need in the library?

Don't give up! If SFC Library does not have a book you need, you may be able to access the book from other libraries or institutions. Check out our introduction to Interlibrary Loan in order to access books from other libraries.