Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Online Resources

Library staff have prepared these online guides especially for our patrons. These resources, provided by authoritative institutions, organizations, and authors, offer valuable information on the artists, periods, styles, and cultures represented in SAM's collections. You can also find answers to many questions about other art objects below.

For useful resources concerning the conservation/preservation of artworks and provenance research, visit Conservation Resources and Provenance.​​

General Art History

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Resource compiled by the Metropolitan Museum of Art that connects works of art, maps, and thematic essays to different time periods. The timeline extends back to 8000 B.C.

Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America
A project of the Frick Collection, this directory can help you locate primary sources on American collectors, dealers, and more, including the repositories where the sources are located. Information is continually collected and updated.

Provides access to different works of art by artist name, artistic movement, and more. Includes links to art museums worldwide that allow online viewing of some of the art in their collections.

ArtLex Art Dictionary
Defines more than 3,600 art-related terms. Includes information on creating citations, term pronunciation, links to additional resources, and more.

Art Guide
A collection of Internet resources on art history provided by You can search by subject, time period, or institution. Another service provided by is the option to search a virtual international catalogue on art history,

Art Through Time: A Global View
Thirteen half-hour programs, a guide, text, and other web resources take a thematic approach to art history and appreciation. Rather than a linear chronology, the materials explore connections in Western and non-Western art, illuminating the breadth, complexity, and beauty of works produced around the world and at different periods of time.
An extensive online collection of articles and blogs on fine and applied arts excluding contemporary art. It includes entries in over 50 categories.

Dictionary of Art Historians
Biographical dictionary of art historians and other people who have made significant contributions to Western art history. Includes a searchable database that provides background and citation information.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian—Art & Design
Access to the great variety of museums and collections within the Smithsonian. Categories are listed in the Collections Search Center.

Mother of All Art and Art History Links Pages
Provides access to a variety of art history resources. The pages, created by the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, provide links for topics that include art history departments, resources for visual collections and image collections, and online art.

World Art
The WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE project. Over 75,000 images are available for use by nonprofit educational organizations. The images reflect all aspects of visual imagery. Some areas of the WorldImages portfolio include cities, the natural world, and people and portraits.

WWW Virtual Library History of Art
Collection of art history links compiled for those interested in art with a focus on the study of art history. This site is sponsored by CHart, the Computers and History of Art Group.​

African Art

African Art at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s African art collection.

African Art on the Internet
Compiled by the Stanford University libraries, this collection of resources explores various aspects of African art. Includes information on culture and art, music, reparations, and more.

African Studies—Art and Archaeology
Collection of resources compiled by the Columbia University libraries. Includes links to websites, suggested reading lists, and museum collections and exhibitions.

African Voices
Permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History that includes insightful information on African history. The Learning Center section provides links to additional sources on museums and artists.

National Museum of African Art
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum provides access to virtual exhibits as well as the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives. Online research tools are available from the Warren M. Robbins Library.

University of Washington African Studies Program
The homepage for this program, part of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, has an upcoming events calendar that includes African music and dance performances. The Resources for Teachers link provides web resources and teaching resources from other universities.

American Art

American Art at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s American art collection.

A Sense of Place: American Art and the Seattle Art Museum
This article about SAM's American Art Department, was written by curator Patricia Junker for the Magazine Antique's November 2009 edition. It provides important history about the collection, and illuminates highlights.

American Folk Art Museum
Online image gallery highlights works of art from the museum’s collection including early portraits, furniture, sculptures, and more. Each image is accompanied by descriptive information about the work, its history, and the artist.

Amon Carter Museum: An American Collection
A broad spectrum of American art comprises the collection at the Carter Museum. Its holdings include works dating back to the early 19th century.

Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America
A project of the Frick Collection, this directory can help you locate primary sources on American collectors, dealers, and more, including the repositories where the sources are located. Information is continually collected and updated.

Archives of American Art
The Smithsonian archives provide access to over 16 million documents—including letters, photographs, sketches, and more—that offer detailed information on American art and its movements. Many collections are available online.
Provides biographical and bibliographical information on American artists through a search-by-name feature. Password required for auction information. Full access is available in library reading rooms.

National Gallery of Art: American Painting
Drawing from the National Gallery's collection, this site provides a nice historical overview of American painting and links to selected online tours, in-depth studies, and a streaming slideshow on some of America's most important painters.

National Portr​​ait Gallery
Part of the Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery provides online access to some of its collection. Website tools include a collections search, audio podcasts, and the museum’s blog, facetoface.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Online exhibitions provide access to the many works of art that are a part of the museum’s gallery and traveling shows. These exhibitions are available indefinitely and explore a variety of mediums and artists.

Worcester Art Museum—Early American Paintings and Timeline
Provides a timeline of early American historical events along with paintings of the time. Paintings link to the artist’s page with additional works, if available, and a link to a biography.​​

Asian Art

General Resources

Asian Historical Architecture
This website primarily relies on donors for image contributions, with over 14,000 images of Asian historical architecture from 732 sites in 20 countries.

Huntington Archive
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art contains nearly 300,000 original slides and photographs—photographic documentation of art and architecture throughout Asia ranging from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, as well as pieces found in most major Asian, European, and American museums.

Digital Scrolling Paintings Project—Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago
This website includes works of art from China and Japan by agreements with collaborating institutions. The Scroll Archive is designed with interactive elements to allow accessibility to the complete works of art and can be searched by title, artist, historical period, and museum collection.

Online Museum Resources on Asian Art
This site is a gateway to museum sites, specifically online exhibitions, according to subject area or topic, time period, country/region, and religion.

Asian Art
This website includes: associations, exhibitions, articles, and galleries.

Buddhist Art

佛學數位圖書館暨博物館 Digital Buddhist Library and Museum

International Dunhuang Project
230,000 images of various types related to Dunhuang and the Silk Road.

Buddhist Art WWW Virtual Library

Chinese Art: Museum Websites

故宮博物院 The Palace Museum, Beijing, China (Chinese and English)

國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (Traditional Chinese, English, Japanese, and other languages)

中国国家博物馆 National Museum of China (Simplified Chinese and English)

上海博物館 Shanghai Museum

中国美术馆 National Art Museum of China
The National Art Museum of China is a national museum dedicated to the collection, research, and exhibitions of modern and contemporary artistic works in China

上海当代艺术馆 The Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MOCA Shanghai)
MOCA Shanghai is the first nonprofit, independently operated contemporary art institution in Shanghai.

Chinese Art & Culture

Chinese Painting & Calligraphy: Seattle Art Museum Online Scholarly Catalogue
This online catalogue, featuring Chinese painting and calligraphy from SAM’s collection, is designed to facilitate scholarly dialogue. Readers are encouraged to post comments about the works of art and the accompanying essays, as well as to formulate answers to questions that we put forward under the section “Questions for Thought.”

Rare book image search system (Traditional Chinese and English)

Bronze and stone rubbings (Traditional Chinese)

Peking University Rare Books & Rubbings Database (Simplified Chinese)

Harvard University Library Virtual Collection: Chinese Rubbings Collection

Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy 宋元書畫
Images of 85 artworks (mostly paintings) from the Song and Yuan Dynasties (10th–14th century).

Innovations in Chinese Painting (1850–1950) (Ohio State University, Columbus)

Tse-Tsung Chow collection of Chinese scrolls and fan paintings
This site, from the University of Wisconsin, contains over 120 calligraphic and painted Chinese scrolls and fans from the 18th through the 20th century.

Art Scene China
One of the premier Chinese art galleries in China, Art Scene China specializes in Chinese contemporary art by both emerging and well-established Chinese artists.

中国西南少數民族資料庫 Ethnological Collection of Southwestern China, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (Traditional Chinese)

Tsinghua University, Digital Library on Chinese Architecture (Simplified Chinese)

台灣美術展覽會資料庫 Taiwan Art Exhibition (1927–1943)
This database contains images of 2,144 artworks from 16 art exhibitions during Japanese colonial period.

​​​中国艺术新闻网 Chinese Art News

China Heritage Quarterly
This publication covers recent developments and scholarship in areas related to China's heritage, culture, history, and society; previously published as China Heritage Newsletter.

Japanese Art: Museum Websites

東京国立博物館 Tokyo National Museum

京都国立博物館 Kyoto National Museum

奈良国立博物館 Nara National Museum

九州国立博物館 Kyushu National Museum

国立歴史民俗博物館 National Museum of Japanese History
The museum is digitizing its primary documents and compiling bibliographies and a collection catalogue; mostly accessible without restriction.

東京国立近代美術館 National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

東京都現代美術館 Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

e-Museum is a database containing national treasures and important cultural properties of national museums in Japan.

Japanese Art & Culture

浮世絵リンク集 Ukiyo-e Link
This site provides links to museums and institutions with ukiyo-e collections.

日本映画データベース Japanese Film Database
Over 35,000 titles of films made in Japan since 1899 are searchable by title, cast, directors, and year. Also lists related reference books.

日文研データベース International Research Center for Japanese Studies
This site provides a variety of the center's databases for historical resources; strong in visual information.

幕末明治期日本古写真画像データベース: An Image Database of Old Photographs of Japan
Searchable archive of 5,416 photographs of Nagasaki and other parts of Japan taken during the latter half of the 19th century.

Japan Artists Information Directory
JAIRO (Japanese Institutional Repositories Online) in Japanese and in English. This database allows the user to search across Japanese research institutes such as universities for academic information (including journal articles, theses, dissertations, departmental bulletins, and research papers). As of October 2008, JAIRO included 84 institutional repositories with over 500,000 entries.

JAANUS is an online dictionary of Japanese architecture and art history terminology. The dictionary contains approximately 8,000 terms related to traditional Japanese architecture and gardens, painting, sculpture, and art-historical iconography from approximately the 1st century A.D. to the end of the Edo period (1868). It is searchable in English and Romanized Japanese.

Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
This is an international academic journal in the social sciences and humanities that publishes research and scholarly writing on all issues related to contemporary Japan. Use the keyword search for information on particular subject.

NIPPONIA is a quarterly web magazine that introduces modern Japan (Art and Entertainment section) to people all over the world.

Korean Art: Museum Websites

國立中央博物館 National Museum of Korea

國立慶州博物館 Artworks collection of Silla Dynasty (57 BC-AD 935)

國立扶餘博物館 Artworks collection of Baekje Dynasty (18 BC- AD 660)

國立古宮博物館 Artworks collection of Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and the imperial family of the Korean Empire

湖巖美術館 Ho-Am Art Museum (Korean and English)
A private Korean art collection including Buddhist art, ceramics, painting, and books by Lee Byung-chull, the founder of the Samsung Group.

湖林博物館 Horim Museum (Korean and English)
This site provides access to a private Korean art collection including ceramics, painting, and books.

Korean Art & Culture

Korea National Heritage Online (Korean)

Kim DaljJin Art Research and Consulting (Korean) Korean Art movement and Index

Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (Korean and English)
Through the preservation, organization, and examination of the materials at the Kyujanggak, this institute focuses on the research of Korean history and culture.

The Association of Art History (AAH) (Korean and English)
This is the website of the AAH—a purely academic party contributing to the study of Korean, East Asian and European art history. Includes an introduction, information on members and membership, the journal The Study of Art History and the research data room of art history.

The Korean Art History Connection (Korean and English)
This site is maintained by professors and students in the departments of history, education, and art history at Hong-Ik University, Seoul. For researchers who are interested in Korean art history information, bibliographies, and special services.

KOBIZ is the Internet’s top English resource for all things Korean cinema.

KJ (Korea Journal)
Korea Journal made concerted efforts to disseminate original and outstanding research and book reviews as a premier academic journal.

Southeast Asian Art

Freer/Sackler Southeast Asian Art Collection, The Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art
This site provides access to images, library resources, including research articles and bibliographies, webinars, and resources for schools.

Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asian Arts at NAFA
Physically located in Singapore, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts archives resources dedicated to the study of Southeast Asian art. You can search the library catalogue at this site, but to view digitized documents, you must be a member.

Islamic Heritage Project
This is a digitized collection of manuscripts, maps, and texts from regions including Southeast Asia, spanning the 10th to 20th centuries.

South Central China and Tibet: Hotspot of Diversity
This site provides access to digitized manuscripts and images of expeditions to South Central China and Tibet, documenting the area’s ethnographic and biological diversity.

​​​​Southeast Asian Images & Texts
This site is a great digital collection of primary and secondary resources covering Philippines, Cambodia, and Laos.

Digital Library of Lao Manuscripts
Users can access images of almost 12,000 Laotian texts covering several eras and regimes.

École Française D’Extrême-Orient
This is a great site for digitized Khmer manuscripts.

The Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (JIATS)
JIATS is an online, scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. JIATS is an official publication of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS), which convenes the world’s major conference for Tibetan studies. ​​​

Australian Aboriginal & Oceanic Art

Australian Aboriginal Art at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s Australian Aboriginal art collection.

Oceanic Art at the​ Seattle Art Museum 
Selected images from SAM’s Oceanic art collection.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art
Images of Native arts from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Click on the "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art" link to find lists of works that can be browsed, including bark paintings, works on paper, and photography. Highlights are available for each area of the collection.

Aboriginal Art and Culture: An American Eye
Will Owen’s blog provides an American perspective on Australian Indigenous culture, art, politics, and more. Categories include books, film, and music.

Aboriginal Studies WWW Virtual Library
Maintained in conjunction with the Center for World Indigenous Studies, this site provides a vast collection of resources and links regarding aboriginal studies. Subjects include general resources, government web resources, and Aboriginal art and culture.

Australia Council
Joint effort by the Australian government and the Australia Council for the Arts to provide information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. The website includes current news and information on grants, initiatives, publications, and research.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Indigenous
This online portal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reflects current issues in the Indigenous community. Features include “Local Heroes,” some of whom are artists, and arts and event listings, including visual arts and performance.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
The AIATSIS website provides information about the cultures and lifestyles of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples both past and present. The agency's purpose is to further understanding of Australian Indigenous cultures through research and access to print and audiovisual collections.

National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia's exhibit on the first Australians—the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Includes information and images on family, diversity, identity, and more.

Picture Australia
This National Library of Australia project provides access to a database of pictures. A search on the term "aboriginal" yields over 20,000 pictures.

Classical, Ancient Mediterranean & Islamic Art

Seattle Art Museum Ancient Mediterranean Art
Selected images from SAM’s Mediterranean​ art collection.

Seattle Art Museum Islamic Art 
Selected images from SAM’s Islamic art collection.

ArchNet is an international online community for architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, conservationists, and scholars, with a focus on Muslim cultures and civilizations. This online library provides access to images, publications, project files, reference materials, and much, much more on historical and current sites and areas of study.

Daily Life in Ancient Egypt in the Time of the Pharaohs
One of the Louvre’s thematic trails, created to provide an overview of the museum’s collection based on a period, artistic movement, or theme. This trail reflects the daily life of Egyptians during the pharaohs' rule.

Discover Islamic Art
Virtual collections from Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF). The network includes public and private collections from 19 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Eternal Egypt
The result of collaboration between the Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural and National Heritage (CultNat) and IBM, the Eternal Egypt website provides information on ancient Egypt through technologies such as interactive maps and timelines. Art-related topics include libraries, architecture, paintings, sculptures, and more.

Flowers of Silk and Gold
This 2000 exhibition at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., covered four centuries of Ottoman Empire embroidery. It has been turned into an online exhibition so that virtual visitors can view some of the art that was included.

Greek Art from Prehistoric to Classical: A Resource for Educators
This resource, compiled by educators from the Metropolitan Museum, is available to download as a PDF file or read online. It covers the prehistoric period to the end of the Classical age and gives an excellent overview of Greek art, artists, materials, and the influence of Greek subjects in the art of other eras.

Islamic Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s collection of Islamic art from different time periods and dynasties. Historical information on each period is included.

Islamic Bindings & Bookmaking (PDF)
Islamic Bindings & Bookmaking: A Catalogue of an Exhibition in the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago, May 18–August 18, 1981, by Gulnar Bosch, John Carswell, and Guy Petherbridge is now available from the University of Chicago as a downloadable PDF document. Consisting of 100 bindings, manuscripts, fragments, and pages, this text is considered one of the best resources on the subject.

Islamic Ceramics
Web-based online teaching guide illustrated with images of art in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at Oxford. It's divided into two parts that focus on the creation and history of Islamic ceramics.

Lantern Slides of Classical Antiquity
Maintained by Bryn Mawr College, these slides provide black-and-white architectural images of the period. Each slide can be viewed as a thumbnail or as a medium- or high-resolution image.

Persian Splendors
Exhibition of Persian manuscripts from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The online exhibition is broken up into four parts, mimicking the four-room layout of the original exhibition. It explores techniques, history, artists, and literary genres.​

Decorative Arts

General Resources

Decorative Arts at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s decorative arts collection.

Decorative Arts and Material Culture
Digital library created by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It includes documents, resources, images, and more.

European Tapestry Production and Patronage, 1400–1600 (MET—Heilbrunn Timeline)
Written by Thomas Campbell, now director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this essay provides a concise overview of tapestry art in Europe and provides access to other information through related timelines, thematic essays, maps, and index terms.


Frederick Parker Chair Collection
Images from the London Metropolitan University collection on display at Metropolitan Works. The collection is on a long-term loan to the university. This online catalogue of chairs is the first of many phases intended to make the entire Frederick Parker Collection available to the masses.

Illustrated History of Furniture: From the Earliest to the Present Time (1893)
From Project Gutenberg, this classic work by Frederick Litchfield covers furniture styles from the Classical and early Christian periods through "modern" 19th-century designs.

Victoria and Albert Museum—Furniture
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London possesses collections of Victorian furniture, church furnishings and more. Its furniture collections include over 14,000 pieces from Britain, the rest of Europe, and America that date back as far as the Middle Ages.

Porcelain & Ceramics

The Wyckoff Porcelain Room at the Seattle Art Museum
Brimming with more than 1,000 magnificent European and Asian pieces, the Porcelain Room has been conceived to blend visual excitement with a historical concept. Rather than the standard museum installation arranged by nationality, manufactory, and date, SAM's porcelain is grouped by color and theme.​

Gardiner Museum’s Ceramic Collection
Explore the Toronto museum's collection of over 3,000 ceramic pieces by geography or by searching for a specific item. Includes both contemporary and historical works.

Bowles Collection of 18th-Century British and French Porcelain
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco house the Bowles Collection. Of the 220 pieces in the collection, 202 have been digitized. You can explore these objects with zoom capabilities by using imagebase.

Porcelain: Victoria and Albert Museum
Search this rich site to learn about various porcelain manufactories, styles, and ways to care for a great range of ceramics

Bow Porcelain
This site, created by Ross and Gael Ramsay, provides history and research information of this London manufactory.​

Chelsea Porcelain
This site provides information on the porcelain factory's history, styles, and marks.​​

French Porcelain for English Palaces: Sèvres Porcelain
An eGallery exhibit of Sèvres French porcelain from the Royal Collection. Housed in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, this collection was primarily amassed by George IV between 1783 and 1830. The works are broken into categories including vases, tableware, and furniture.

The History of Capodimonte
From the Arlecchino Antique Shop, this site provides a nice history and a listing of marks from this well-known Italian porcelain maker.

Italian Porcelain in the 18th Century (MET—Heilbrunn Timeline)
Slideshow presentation on 18th-century Italian porcelain, which includes a history and images of works. Other related information is available through related timelines, thematic essays, maps, and index terms.

Italian Renaissance Ceramics at the National Gallery of Art
An online tour of Italian Renaissance ceramics in the collection of the National Gallery of Art. Each object is accompanied by information on the piece, the artist, provenance, and more.

North Staffordshire Pottery Trade Marks
Using the alphabetical list or the search engine provided, you can search for initials, marks, crests, or other symbols that trademarked the pottery created in the North Staffordshire area. The entry for each mark includes a date and description to help in identification.

The Wedgwood Museum
Looks at the themes in Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery and explores his work. The online collection offers 77 pieces for viewing. Also includes a substantial bibliography of works on Wedgwood, his business and his family.​​

European Art

European Painting and Sculpture at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s European art collection.

The Kress Collecti​on Catalogue
The Kress Collection encompasses more than 3,000 works of European art, and is distinguished for its abundance of Italian Renaissance paintings. The Collection was donated to American regional and academic art museums, including the Seattle Art Museum, between 1929 and 1961. Many objects currently on view in SAM's European galleries are part of this collection. The Complete Catalogue of the Samuel H. Kress Collection, published in nine volumes, is now available here in PDF format.

The Kress Foundation: Provenance and More on SAM's Collection
This site, created by the Kress Foundation with help from SAM staff, provides detail on the provenance research of Kress-donated European objects in SAM's collection. Click the "View Gallery Panorama" link to get a virtual tour of the European galleries at SAM.

Art History Resources: The Middle Ages
This vetted directory site, created by art historian Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, provides access to many sites on Byzantine, Romanesque, and medieval art.

Art History 101: The Renaissance
This site, compiled by, gives a nice synopsis and overview of the different phases of Renaissance art. It links to further information for more in-depth study.​

Digital Scriptorium
Image database of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from institutions all over the world. Currently, records for 5,300 manuscripts and for 24,300 images are available for teaching and scholarly research.

Web Gallery of Art
Virtual museum of European paintings and sculptures from different artistic periods. Commentaries, guided tours, period music, artist biographies, and other resources are available.

Modern & Contemporary Art

Modern and Contemporary Ar​t at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s modern and contemporary art collection. ​

The Artists
Access works of art by new and established artists from 1900 to the present. Includes a portrait of each artist and a biography/portfolio with additional links to images of their works. Membership is necessary to make comments or post to the website, but signing up is free.

Online project from the Minneapolis Institute of Art that includes over 250 objects. These works characterize nine Modernist movements spanning from 1880 to 1940.

Museum of Modern Art
MoMA’s online collection offers access to over 1,000 works. Search by artist, work, or keyword, and further filter your search by decade and department.

1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art
The 1913 Armory Show was the first exhibition mounted by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. Held from February 17 to March 15, the exhibition became a legendary watershed date in the history of American art. This project, created by Shelly Staples for the American Studies Program at the University of Virginia, attempts to re-create the show as it was in 1913, with images of some works that were present there.

Tate Papers
Online research journal that includes scholarly articles about the collection and programs of the four Tate museums in England.

Native American Art

Native and Mesoamerican Art at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s Native and Mesoamerican art collection.

Royal BC Museum
Online exhibit that explores the transformation of Thunderbird Park in Victoria, British Columbia, in four phases from prior to 1939 to the present. A map provides information on each object represented, and each phase includes an image gallery and video clips.

National Museum of the American Indian
Collection of over 30 online exhibitions. These explore and address a variety of topics and issues related to the art and history of the Native cultures and peoples that were indigenous to America.

The Enduring Power of Totem Poles
Created by the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, this presentation looks at the history and significance of totem poles in coastal tribal cultures. A collection database with images is included for each coastal region.

The Exploration of Northwest Coast In​dian Art
A University of Washington TV video of a faculty lecture by Professor Emeritus Bill Holm. Using more than 100 photographs of artwork, Holm examines how Northwest Coast Native American art has been perceived over the generations and what is going on today to understand it. Run time is 48 minutes.

Repatriation and NAGPRA page with links on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Links include the websites for the National Park Service National NAGPRA homepage and the Smithsonian Institution’s Repatriation Office.​​

Northwest Art

Northwest Art at the Seattle Art Museum
Selected images from SAM’s Northwest art collection.

Archives of American Art: Northwest Oral History Project
Access to over 100 interviews with Northwest artists. Information on each artist is provided, along with a link to the transcript of the interview.

Northwest Artists Digital Galleries
From the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, this site highlights the work of emerging and established contemporary artists working in the Pacific Northwest region. The site includes video and audio interviews, artwork images, and links to artists’ websites.

Northwest Masters and Contemporaries
Foster/White Gallery website that includes information on the “mystic” painters. Links for the Northwest masters and their contemporaries can be found in the bottom left corner of the page.

Pacific Northwest Collection at the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
The Pacific Northwest Collection, composed of printed and archival materials, documents the people, history, and culture of the region. Many collections focus on artists and arts organizations.

Seattle Public Library Special Collections Online
Online versions of three collections created by the Seattle Public Library: the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Collection, the Northwest Art Collection, and the Seattle Historical Photograph Collection.

Artists in Canada
An index of Canadian artists maintained by the National Gallery of Canada Library. You can browse by name or view the index list. Advanced searches are also available.

Founders of the Northwest School

Guy Anderson—Anderson
Smithsonian—Anderson oral history interview

Kenneth Callahan—Callahan
Smithsonian—Callahan oral history interview

Morris Graves—Graves
Humboldt Arts Council
Works in the Phillips Collection

Mark Tobey
Guggenheim Museum biography—Tobey


History of Photography Timeline
From the PBS website on The Wizard of Photography, a documentary about George Eastman, the timeline starts from the infancy of photographic processes to 1992, when Kodak introduces the first Photo CD.

Founded in 1852 in Florence, Italy, Alinari is the world’s oldest photographic firm with an archive of over 260,000 pictures. To use the archives, you must register. The main site also provides an educational photo library and a teaching aid in Italian.

George Eastman House
Online photography collection of the holdings of the George Eastman House, which provides digital images and browsing resources, including the collection indexed by photographer. This site is being converted to a new online system powered by Cortex 3 and is currently in public beta testing.

Getty Photo Study Collection
Collection of two million photographs useful for research of the fine arts. The collection includes photographic reproductions of pieces from antiquity to the modern period.

New York Public Library
The "Best of the Web" section of the public library's website includes links to a variety of resources about photography. These are broken down by related subjects including museums, organizations, and schools.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
The museum's photograph archives include more than a half-million negatives, slides, and photographs. Many of the collections are available for viewing online. You can also search “photography” under Select Artwork Type on the Search Collections page.​​

Artist Identification

Museum curators and library staff are not able to appraise, authenticate, or positively identify works of art.

This site includes hundreds of artist names, primarily from America and Europe. The list allows you to browse names alphabetically.
Online marketplace where art dealers and buyers can buy, sell, and research fine art. Site includes information on artists and their work. Full access to data is available in library reading rooms; images are not available via library’s version.
Provides biographical and bibliographical information on American artists through a search feature. Full access is available in library reading rooms.

Bert Christensen's Alphabetical List of Artists
Building since 1999, Bert Christensen has compiled a list that includes the very famous to the very obscure.

Getty Union List of Artist Names
Part of the Getty vocabulary databases, the list is composed of approximately 127,000 records. Each record contains biographical and bibliographical information.

Value &​ Authentication Resources

Museum curators and library staff are not able to appraise, authenticate, or positively identify works of art.

The Getty Research Institute's Appraisal Research Guide
This site answers the question: "How do I find information about the value and authenticity of a work of art, book, map, or collectible?" It's a one‐stop ​shop.

Appraisers Association of America
The oldest not-for-profit professional association of personal property appraisers. Its objective is to develop and promote standards of excellence in the profession through education and professional ethics.

Art Dealers Association of America
The ADAA is a nonprofit membership organization of the nation's leading galleries in the fine arts. Founded in 1962, the ADAA seeks to promote the highest standards of connoisseurship, scholarship, and ethical practice within the profession.

Art Experts
Art Experts is a global network of professional researchers and analysts, offering the full gamut of fine art related services. The organization is accredited by the USPAP Appraisal Association and the Appraisers Association of America.​
Makes information on current and past auctions available to the public. Auction items can be browsed by category. Registration on the site is free and necessary to bid in any of the advertised auctions.

Invaluable (formerly Artfact) is the world’s largest online auction marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate sales.

International Society of Appraisers
The ISA is a nonprofit, member-driven association. Its members include many of the country's most respected independent appraisers, consultants, estate liquidators, auctioneers, gallery owners, and dealers.

The National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America
The NAADAA is a nonprofit trade association of America's leading antique and art dealers, pledged to safeguard the interests of those who buy, sell, or collect antiques and works of art.

Sotheby’s is one of the world's preeminent fine art auctioneers, in business since 1744. Auction information, past and present, is available. Visitors to the site can set up their own mySothebys membership account to participate in bidding.

Founded in 1766, the auction house Christie’s conducted auctions and private sales totaling $5.1 billion in 2008. Information is available on past, present, and future auctions. Joining Christie’s allows you to track lots, view condition reports, place bids, and more.

A house of experts in many fields, Bonhams specializes in the appraisal and sale of fine art, antiques and decorative objects in virtually every auction category. Information is available on past, present and future auctions. Bonhams hosts "auction appraisal events" throughout the United States. ​​

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM