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Resources on African-American Artists and Photographers: Encyclopedias

A guide to major sources of information for researching African-American artists and photographers

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Encyclopedias & Specialized Reference Books




The Dictionary of Art
Despite its title, this multivolume reference work is really an encyclopedia. Monumental in scope, it is the largest and most comprehensive reference work on the visual arts that has ever been published. Don't start any research on art without checking this source. It is also available online in Oxford Art Online.
Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
Though their names are exactly the same, these are two different encyclopedias.  They contain useful articles about significant people, organizations, publications, and artistic creations of the Harlem Renaissance. They can be very helpful in providing background information on the artists of this period.
Harlem Renaissance; a Gale Critical Companion, Vol. I
Part of a three-volume set devoted to study of the Harlem Renaissance, this first volume contains a large section on "The Visual Arts during the Harlem Renaissance." It provides a good critical overview of the movement, as well as lengthy excerpts from critical writings on many of the major artists of the period.
The Black Artist in America: An Index to Reproductions 
Besides listing many books and periodicals in which one can find reproductions of art works by black American artists, this book also tells where to find additional information about the artists.


Humanities Librarian

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Leanna Goodwater
University Library
Santa Clara University
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Santa Clara, CA 95053