Created 2006
Author: Library Services

How do I find biographical information about an artist?

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In addition to reviewing the resources listed below, we also suggest searching for biographical dictionaries that cover artistic subgroups such as women artists, African-American artists, Japanese artists, French sculptors, British watercolor artists, etc.

All of the following sources are available at the Research Library. If you are interested in using this material onsite, read about Access Policy and Reader Privileges.

Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. 37 vols. Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1907–1950.

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs de Tous les Temps et de Tous les Pays. 14 vols. Paris: Gründ, 1999.

Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide. Phoenix: Gordon’s Art Reference, 1986 –.

Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art, 1564–1975: 400 Years of Artists in America. 3 vols. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.

Freitag, Wolfgang M., ed. Art Books: A Basic Bibliography of Monographs on Artists, 2nd ed. New York: Garland, 1997.

Gaze, Delia, ed. Dictionary of Women Artists. 2 vols. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.

Havlice, Patricia Pate. Index to Artistic Biography. 5 vols. Metuchen, NJ and Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1973–2002.

Mallett, Daniel Trowbridge. Mallett's Index of Artists, International-Biographical: Including Painters, Sculptors, Illustrators, Engravers and Etchers of the Past and the Present. 2 vols. New York: Peter Smith, 1935–1940.

McNeil, Barbara, ed. Artist Biographies Master Index. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986.

Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art artists files [microform]. Alexandria, Va. : Chadwyck-Healey, 1986

New York Public Library. The artists file [microform]. Alexandria, VA : Chadwyck-Healey, [1987-1989]

Opitz, Glenn B., ed. Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, 2nd ed. Poughkeepsie, NY: Apollo, 1986.

Petteys, Chris. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.

Turner, Jane, ed. The Dictionary of Art. 34 vols. New York: Grove, 1996.

Who's Who in American Art. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who (biennial).

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Regional Sources for Southern California

Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California, 1786–1940, 3rd ed. 2 vols. Sacramento: Crocker Art Museum, 2002.

Kolb, Edward L. A Biographical Index to California & Western Artists: A Handbook Providing Reference to over 50 Books and Exhibition Catalogs as Biographical Sources. Lawndale, CA: Old Master Gallery Press, 1983.

Publications in [Southern] California Art, 1–7. Los Angeles: Dustin Publications, 1984–2000.

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Selected Internet Resources

Getty Research Institute, Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)
For additional citation information regarding an artist:
Click on "Help"
Click on "How to Read the Full Record Display"
Scroll down to the "Sources and Contributors" section

Getty Research Institute
Lists subscription databases, available to registered readers in the library and to Getty staff, and selected public Web sites.
Art and Architecture Databases and Resources
Biographical Information Databases and Resources