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Art & Design Research Guide

A guide to library resources on art and design
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Libby Wheeles
Thomas Jefferson Library
University of Missouri - St. Louis
(314) 516-7281

This guide offers an introduction to Art & Design resources at UMSL Libraries. Use this guide for help with:

  • Searching using Discover@UMSL, the library's main search tool for books, articles, and more
  • Locating reference texts for background information
  • Finding and navigating art & design databases
  • Finding and using images for classwork/research
  • Citations

Please contact a librarian using the online chat or by emailing/scheduling an appointment.

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What's New?

Extra Bold

Part textbook and part comic book, zine, manifesto, survival guide, and self-help manual, Extra Bold is filled with stories and ideas that don't show up in other career books or design overviews.

Design after Capitalism

How design can transcend the logics, structures, and subjectivities of capitalism: a framework, theoretical grounding, and practical principles. The designed things, experiences, and symbols that we use to perceive, understand, and perform our everyday lives are much more than just props. They directly shape how we live. In Design after Capitalism, Matthew Wizinsky argues that the world of industrial capitalism that gave birth to modern design has been dramatically transformed. Design today needs to reorient itself toward deliberate transitions of everyday politics, social relations, and economies.

Art Activism for an Anticolonial Future

Analyzing the confluence between coloniality and activist art, Art Activism for an Anticolonial Future argues that there is much to gain from approaching contemporary politically committed art practices from the angle of anticolonial, postcolonial, and decolonial struggles. These struggles inspired a vast yet underexplored set of ideas about art and cultural practices and did so decades before the acceptance of radical artistic practices by mainstream art institutions.

Inventing Indigenism

One of the outstanding painters of the nineteenth century, Francisco Laso (1823-1869) set out to give visual form to modern Peru. His solemn and still paintings of indigenous subjects were part of a larger project, spurred by writers and intellectuals actively crafting a nation in the aftermath of independence from Spain. In this book, at once an innovative account of modern indigenism and the first major monograph on Laso, Natalia Majluf explores the rise of the image of the Indian in literature and visual culture.

Value in Art: Manet and the Slave Trade

Art historian Henry M. Sayre traces the origins of the term "value" in art criticism, revealing the politics that define Manet's art. How did art critics come to speak of light and dark as, respectively, "high in value" and "low in value"? Sayre traces the origin of this usage to one of art history's most famous and racially charged paintings, Édouard Manet's Olympia. Art critics once described light and dark in painting in terms of musical metaphor--higher and lower tones, notes, and scales. Sayre shows that it was Émile Zola who introduced the new "law of values" in an 1867 essay on Manet. Unpacking the intricate contexts of Zola's essay and of several related paintings by Manet, Sayre argues that Zola's usage of value was intentionally double coded--an economic metaphor for the political economy of slavery.

Pop Art and Beyond

Pop Art and Beyond foregrounds the roles of gender, race, and class in encounters with Pop during the Long Sixties. It casts an inclusive look at the intersectional complexities of difference in Pop at a moment that gave rise to a plethora of radical social movements and identity politics. While this book introduces revelatory non-canonical artists into the Pop context or amplifies the careers of others, it is not limited to the confines of fine art. Chapters explore the intersecting variables of oppression and liberation in rituals of youth subcultures as well as practices across media with Pop sources and parallels ranging from Native American objects, Harlem advertisements, and Cordel literature, to stand-up comedy, music, fashion, and design.