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ARTH 200 World Art History I

Useful resources for study of world art and architecture from prehistoric times through the fifteenth century.

Writing in Art History

The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers helpful information on writing strategies for art history, including essays and museum title cards.

Art Objects on the Heilbrun Timeline

Panel with Cusped Arches

Panel. Wood (cedar), carved and painted. 14th century Morocco. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher and Rogers Fund, by exchange, 1985 (Accession number: 1985.241) On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 457

Art History Resources Online

General Web Resources on Your Topic

What is a Primary Source

An actual work of art, whether a painting or a building, is a primary source. A primary source is "first-hand" information, sources as close as possible to the origin of the information or idea under study. Primary sources are contrasted with secondary sources, works that provide analysis, commentary, or criticism on the primary source. In historical studies, primary sources include written works, recordings, or other source of information from people who were participants or direct witnesses to the events in question. Examples of commonly used primary sources include memoirs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts.

Books written by the artist, such as a journal/diary/autobiography/letters are examples of primary sources.  Newspaper and magazine articles written by someone who attended an opening or a talk by an artist would be primary sources.  Books and articles written by friends and associates during the artist's lifetime would also be primary sources.