Most art history students have had to tackle an assignment that requires researching a contemporary artist. Quickly, it becomes clear that the research of contemporary artists involves a different research process than more seasoned artists. The resources that students would normally access first, such as catalogue raisonnés or retrospective exhibition catalogues, most likely do not exist yet. So, what sources are available to researchers of contemporary art and how does a contemporary more »
Charles Loring Elliott (born Scipio, NY, 1812; died Albany, NY, 1868) At the time of his death, Charles Loring Elliott was one of the most well-known American portrait painters of the mid-19th century. The artist vertical file at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery (AAPG) Library contains several contemporaneous multi-page eulogies and/or reminiscences on Elliott’s life and career. In 1867, Henry Tuckerman claimed that Elliott had painted almost 700 portraits – a truly prolific life’s work if indeed true.
Aluminum Ladder Co., Aluminum Ladders, 1939. The Libraries is a big contributor to the Smithsonian Collections Search Center, which is developing into a one-stop-searching center for the public for collections held in the Smithsonian’s libraries, archives and museum collections. This fast-growing Collections Search Center is hosted by the Smithsonian’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, and currently contains 2.3 million records with 280,000 online media such as images, sound files, videos, and online collections. Through the Smithsonian Collections Search Center the Libraries provides access to its print and electronic holdings of books, serials, rare books and manuscripts. Libraries collections are particularly strong in natural history, tropical biology and Chesapeake Bay area ecology; anthropology, American and African American history and culture; postal, horticulture, and garden history; the history of science and technology; aerospace history; astronomy and planetary sciences; African, American Asian, contemporary, and design and decorative art; conservation science, and museum studies. The Libraries has recently added access, through the Collections Search Center, to its art and artists files as well as its trade literature more »