Images and Documents of Art and Culture
The directory below provides links to online archives, exhibition spaces, museums, and community centers that have public image resources related to a range of geographically and ethnically diverse groups. Images and documents relating to social, political, and sexual identity are included as well.
The following categories of art and culture are represented:
- African and African American Art
- Caribbean Art
- Native American, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous Peoples Art
- Asian Art
- Ancient Studies
- Latin American, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, and Chicano/Latino
- Women's and Feminist Art
- Middle Eastern and Islamic Arts
- AIDS Epidemic
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, located in Harlem and part of the New York Public Library, contains materials on global African and African diasporic experiences. Digital Schomburg offers an extensive collection of resources, including digitized books, images and illustrations, online exhibitions, audio and video resources, and links to databases and primary-source collections, such as the Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers and the abolitionist papers.
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art
The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) has an exhibition space in Brooklyn, New York, and also holds satellite exhibitions. The museum’s website contains information in video format (via MoCADA TV) and documentation of its exhibitions, along with links to outside organizations, archives, and resources.
African American Women Artists: A Selected Annotated Bibliography
This brief annotated bibliography, compiled by the Smithsonian Institution, is useful for preliminary research. Most included titles were published from the 1970s to the late 1980s.
Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute
Based in New York, the Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute promotes the cultures of people of African descent. The organization works with artists, educators, schoolchildren, and researchers, offering workshops, school programs, exhibitions and public programs.
The daily blog Repeating Islands is an excellent resource for Caribbean art, literature, and culture. Its contributors post information on exhibitions, publications, and conferences, as well as calls for papers.
National Museum of the American Indian
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian has two locations: on the Mall in Washington, DC, and in lower Manhattan. In Washington, researchers have access to archives of objects, photographs, film and video, and papers. The museum’s Online Collections Search offers a selection of objects and photographs from its holdings.
Asia Art Archive
The Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong is a comprehensive library and archive with primary- and secondary-source materials. The physical archive is accessible to the public free of charge, as is its online catalogue. The core collection consists of material on contemporary art from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan but is expanding to cover activity in South Asia. The material is organized into the following major categories: exhibition catalogues, monographs, reference books, periodicals, audio-visuals, AAA files, invitation cards, leaflets, and clippings.
Waseda University Library Ukiyo-e Research Database
Waseda University in Japan offers an extensive digital resource containing a wide variety of materials on ukiyo-e (woodblock) prints. It includes an array of databases, images, art books, and web exhibitions from around the world.
Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art
Online collection of more than 40,000 images from the Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art. Includes ancient Egypt, ancient Near East, Islamic, and East and Southeast Asian art.
Art Images for College Teaching (AICT)
Free images with a focus on ancient and medieval time periods. Hosted by the University of Michigan.
Resources in Art and Architecture on the Web: Archaeology and Ancient World
Massive directory of high quality art resources on the web.
Resources in Art and Architecture on the Web: Medieval and Byzantine Art
Massive directory of high quality art resources on the web.
WorldImages is an internationally recognized database that provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage, and includes visual imagery of ancient World Art.
Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art
A project of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and its research institute, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas, Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art offers ten thousand primary-source materials, available free of charge. Included are writings and correspondence by artists, texts published in newspapers, and period journals by artists, critics, and scholars.
El Museo del Barrio Permanent Collection Online
El Museo del Barrio’s online database, containing over five hundred images drawn from its holdings in Caribbean, Latin American, and US Latino art, is divided into four areas: modern and contemporary art, graphics, popular traditions, and Precolumbian/Taino. This user-friendly searchable database contains well-written introductions to each section; downloadable essays on objects and artists accompany approximately one-third of the images.
Social and Public Art Resource Center
Founded in 1976 by the muralist Judith F. Baca, the painter Christina Schlesinger, and the filmmaker Donna Deitch, the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) is a Los Angeles–based arts center that produces, preserves, and conducts educational programs about community-based public artworks. SPARC espouses public art as an organizing tool for addressing contemporary issues, fostering cross-cultural understanding, and promoting civic dialogue. The website contains images and introductory texts on community murals produced in California from 1976 to the present.
Women’s Caucus for Art
The Women’s Caucus for Art, a CAA affiliated society, is a national organization with a multidisciplinary, multicultural membership drawn from professionals across the visual arts. It has thirty-three local chapters and offers exhibitions, publications, a monthly email bulletin, a newsletter, and regional and national conferences.
An affiliated society of CAA, ArtTable is an organization for professional women in the visual arts, focusing on visibility and diversity. Through programs and publications, ArtTable supports women in the arts at all stages of their careers.
Women’s Action Coalition Records, 1989–2003
This PDF indexes the New York Public Library’s holdings of the records of the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC), a feminist direct-action organization founded in 1992 to fight discrimination against women. The documents include administrative files, committee files, subject files, photographs, printed material, and video recordings, as well as posters, placards, banners, and props used during protest demonstrations.
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Housed in the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is an exhibition and education facility dedicated to the past, present, and future of feminist art. The center’s mission is to raise awareness of feminism’s cultural contributions, to educate new generations about the meaning of feminist art, to maintain a dynamic and welcoming learning facility, and to present feminism in an approachable and relevant way. The Sackler Center’s website contains a feminist timeline, a feminist art database, and a comprehensive image bank and study guide for The Dinner Party (1974–79) by Judy Chicago, which the center holds in its permanent collection.
Queer Caucus for Art
The Queer Caucus for Art, a CAA affiliated society, nurtures and encourages the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, theory, criticism, and studio practice in the arts. Through its various activities, the group fosters better communication and understanding among its members, academic communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, and the public at large. Activities include a newsletter and conference panels.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center
Located in Manhattan, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center offers artistic, literary, theatrical, and film programs in addition to advocacy, health, and education programs. It houses the largest library of LGBT books and is home to the National Archive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History.
Queer Cultural Center
Located in San Francisco, the Queer Cultural Center, founded in 1993, presents and documents works from the diverse LGBT community. It holds the annual National Queer Arts Festival (a month-long event), and its website contains online exhibitions, documentation of past events, information on public programs, and other events of interest.
Queer Arts Resource
Queer Arts Resource has produced more than fifty exhibitions since 1996 focusing on queer artistic expression. The website contains archives of exhibitions, art-historical information, and the work of individual artists along with biographical information, external links, and a wide range of relevant resources.
Visual AIDS is a contemporary arts organization dedicated to HIV prevention and AIDS awareness through producing and presenting art projects. It preserves the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS epidemic. The organization also sponsors artist talks, panel discussions, activism, happenings, performances, and the annual international event, Day Without Art. The website contains online exhibitions and archived materials, descriptions of ongoing projects, publications, and a blog.
National Center for Creative Aging
The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) advocates understanding and fosters the relationship between creative expression and the quality of life of older people. The organization hosts webinars, publishes links to research and symposia, and provides information on its own programs with older adults.
VSA, the International Organization on Arts and Disability
A group affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, VSA offers extensive arts, cultural, and education programs, conducts research and advocacy, and stages exhibitions. The VSA’s website is comprehensive and includes an online listing of artists, part of the VSA Artists Registry that includes over 1,600 visual, performing, and literary artists with disabilities. The Resource section contains information on a large selection of publications, guides, and other resources dealing with arts, education, and disabilities.
Art Beyond Sight
A project of the organization Art Education for the Blind, Art Beyond Sight provides a range of materials for museum educators, classroom teachers, and artists. The website contains free training materials and resources, access to model projects and curricula, a weekly blog, and a link to Project Access, the National Database of Accessible Cultural Institutions.