The Newberry’s art-related resources can be found throughout the Newberry’s core collections. This includes calligraphy, book and paper arts, photography, paintings, prints, illustrations, woodblocks, type specimens, and original type designs.
You can use this research guide for information on Searching the Catalog, General Art Reference Sources, Searching for Modern Manuscript Collections, Art-Related Journals, Highlights from the Newberry Library Collections, Digital Resources, and Collections at Other Local Institutions.
To find art-related materials in the Newberry’s collections, you can search by Subject in our Primo VE catalog using the “Advanced Search” function to the right of the search bar. Select “Subject” in the drop-down menu of search features in place of “Any field,” then copy-and-paste one of the following subject headings:
Art (use the See Also notes for a list of narrower terms)
Caricatures and Cartoons
Indian Art (use the See Also notes for a list of narrower terms)
You may also search by specific artist, photographer, or genre.
Results can be filtered by Material Type, Language, Date, Author, Title, etc. prior to searching by using the drop-down menus in the search panel. If your search produces too many options, you can also narrow results using the faceted options on the left-hand side, under the heading “Refine your results.” Clicking on one of these filter terms or the box to their left will limit results to only those that fit this criterion, while clicking on the red box to the right of the term will exclude those results.
For those items listed as on the 3rd floor Reference shelves, you might also consider looking at the call numbers around those books, since there should be materials dealing with similar topics nearby. All items with a “Ref” call number can be viewed on the open shelves on the 3rd floor. General and Special Collections items must be retrieved by staff. For more information about searching in our online catalog, please see our Guide to Primo VE.
Chamberlin, Mary W. Guide to Art Reference Books. Chicago: American Library Association, 1969. Call Number: Ref Z5931 .C45.
Critical Terms for Art History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Call Number: Ref N34 .C75 1996.
The Dictionary of Art. New York: Grove, 1996. Call Number: Ref N31 .D5 1996.
Dictionary of Women Artists. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997. Call Number: Ref N8354 .D53 1997.
The Oxford Companion to Art. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970. Call Number: Ref N33 .O9.
To find Modern Manuscript collections related to visual arts go to the Modern Manuscripts and Archives search page and use the “Browse by Topic” function or search by the name of the artist in the search bar.
The Newberry has a rich collection of 19th- and early 20th-century journals and periodicals. To find art-related journals in the Newberry’s collections, you can search by the subject heading “Art—Periodicals” or for a specific title in our catalog.
The following is a sampling of art-related journals in the collection:
Architectural Record began publication in 1891 by Clinton W. Sweet, who also published the Real Estate Record and Builders’ Guide. Sweet and Frederick Warren Dodge soon formed a partnership. Dodge published an information service for builders and architects, originally in Boston and expanded to New York with the partnership
Brush and Pencil was the official journal of the Brush and Pencil Club in Chicago. It was a well-illustrated review of contemporary American painting and sculpture, with occasional articles on the decorative and applied arts and work by foreign artists. It also contained a monthly round-up of art news, together with book reviews and exhibition reports. The first editor of Brush and Pencil was Charles Francis Browne (1859-1920), an instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago and one of the founders of the Club.
A monthly journal devoted to architecture, construction, decoration, and furnishings in the West.
The Arts Club of Chicago was incorporated in 1916. Its objectives, according to the mission drafted at its inaugural meeting, are “to encourage higher standards of art, maintain galleries for that purpose; and to promote the mutual acquaintance of art lovers and art workers.” Since its inception, the Arts Club has been a pioneering force in modern and avant-garde art exhibitions, performances, lectures, and events in Chicago.
Ayer Art Collection
The Ayer collection, focused on the history of the Indians of North American contains over 20 collections of original artwork. Includes works by E.A. Burbank, Seth Eastman, and George Catlin. Much of the material is not catalogued; for more information, consult the Ayer Art Binder located in the 3rd floor checklist area of the Reference Department. Some images are available online as part of the Edward E. Ayer Digital Collection.
The Curt Teich Company was founded by Curt Otto Teich (1877-1974), who immigrated to the United States from Lobenstein, Germany in 1896. The core collection consists of over 360,000 images, from 1898 to 1978, relating to more than 10,000 towns and cities primarily in the United States and Canada, and more than 115 other foreign countries. Original production materials exist for about 110,000 postcards, dating from 1926 to approximately 1960.
GPA Healy Portraits
George P. A. Healy was one of the most prolific and popular portrait painters of the 19th century. Born 1813 in Boston, Massachusetts, Healy began painting at age 16 and at the age of 17 set up his own studio. The Newberry has 41 of his paintings, donated by the artist in 1887. Most of the works can be found on display throughout the building. The Newberry holds some letters by Healy, as well as information about the paintings. For more information, consult the GPA Healy Binder located in the 3rd floor checklist area of the Reference Department.
Artist, illustrator, reporter, editorial cartoonist, and adventurer who traveled the world from the 1890’s through the 1930’s, both for his own pleasure and to report on events for the Chicago Record and the Chicago Tribune newspapers. He was The Chicago Tribune’s editorial cartoonist from 1903-1946, and won a Pulitzer Prize for one of the cartoons in 1931.
The Newberry offers a number of digital Resources including online exhibitions, classroom resources, and digital collections. These resources showcase digital images of materials from the Newberry’s collection, as well as providing background information and context for these materials. Most of the databases at the Newberry are subscription databases; therefore access is available to registered readers only within the library building. Those listed with an “*” below are free databases, and access is available outside of the Library.
American Indian Histories and Cultures: A deep and wide ranging selection of visual and textual resources related to Native American culture and history drawn from the Newberry’s rich collections.
*Curt Teich Postcard Archives Digital Collection: Primarily a database for the physical items in the CTPAC, this digital collection features more than 400,000 catalog records and 15,000 images for individual postcards. Search for keywords, artists, titles, or production numbers of interest, or browse by U.S. state, decade of creation, CTPAC sub-collection, or topical category. The Digital Collection does not include records for all items in the CTPAC
Saskia Digital Image Archive: This collection contains 30,000 digital images of paintings, sculpture, and architecture, including images from many important collections: the Prado, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Uffizi, and the Louvre, as well as archaeological sites in Greece, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt.
For a comprehensive list of all our databases, visit our Databases webpage.
The Ryerson and Burnham Archives of the Art Institute of Chicago collect artists’ and architects’ papers that complement and extend the permanent collections of the museum’s curatorial departments. These collections contain a wide range of media, including correspondence, published and unpublished writings, scrapbooks, architectural drawings and prints, business papers, photographs, slides, audio recordings, films, video, and ephemera. In addition, the Institutional Archives document the institution’s corporate history, including the papers of many important curators, teachers, and administrators.
Ryerson & Burnham Archives
Allerton Building, Ryerson Library, 111 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
Art Institute of Chicago Institutional Archives
Allerton Building, Ryerson Library, 111 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603