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Resources on African-American Artists and Photographers: Biographical Resources

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

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Reference Books on Artists & Photographers


St. James Guide to Black Artists 
This book contains biographical information, as well as brief critical essays, on nearly four hundred prominent black artists, mostly of the twentieth century, though a small number of important nineteenth-century artists are included, too. Although most of the artists are from the United States, artists from Africa and other parts of the world are also included.
African Americans in the Visual Arts
Twentieth-Century African-American Writers and Artists
Women Artists of Color: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook to 20th Century Artists in the Americas
Articles in these books provide biographical information and critical assessment of African Americans prominent in the arts. The first book covers African Americans active in the past as well as today in all the visual arts, including photography and film. The second book covers prominent African-American writers, painters, sculptors, and musicians of the twentieth century. The third book provides similar articles about twentieth-century women artists from traditionally underrepresented ethnic groups; a section is devoted to African-American women artists.
Who's Who in American Art
Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975 
The first book, which is issued every two years, provides directory information for thousands of living American artists, while the second contains brief articles on deceased artists from 400 years of American art.
Black Photographers, 1840-1940: An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography
Illustrated Bio-Bibliography of Black Photographers, 1940-1988 
These two books offer brief articles about African-American photographers.  Particularly noteworthy are the many reproductions of their photographs that are included at the back of each book.
Contemporary Photographers 
This book provides background on the lives and careers of the world's most prominent and influential photographers who are still living or who have died in the recent past. Most articles are illustrated with a representative photo by the artist.
Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists
This unique encyclopedia offers extensive coverage of the life and work of American folk artists of the twentieth century. Each article is accompanied by a color photo of one or more of the artist's works.

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Leanna Goodwater
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