General Biographical Dictionaries and Directories

Dictionary of Artists. Benezit, Emmanuel. 14 vols. (for print edition see: FAL Reference) - 300,000 artists from the 5th century B.C. to the present. Includes dates, media, nationality, and biography. Lists awards, sales, locations of art works, signatures.

Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. Bryan, Michael. 5 vols. - Standard biographical dictionary. Longer articles are signed and list artists' works.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. Chilvers, Ian. - 2,500 entries, covers artists from Ancient Greece to those working today.

Oxford Art Online (aka Dictionary of Art) 34 vols. (for print edition see: FAL Refrence) - The most comprehensive art-historical reference available. Covers paint, sculpture, and architecture, as well as photography and the decorative arts. Entries on artists often include a list of works and an extensive bibliography.

Encylopedia of World Art. 17 vols. - Comprehensive encylopedia with entries on artists. Includes bibliographies and illustrations. Vol. 15 is the index, vols. 16 and 17 are supplements covering more recent findings and contemporary art movements.

50 artists you should know: from Giotto to Warhol. - As the title suggest, a review of 50 extremely important artists.

Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon: die bildenden Kunstler aller Zeiten und Volker. Meissner, Gunter, ed. 50 Vols. - When completed, this work will supersede Thieme-Becker and Vollmer (discussed below). 75 of the projected volumes have been published.

Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists. Read, Sir Herbet, ed. - Brief biographies of over 1,000 artists since 1300. Includes bibliographies and illustrations.

Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Thieme, Elrich and Felix Becker. 37 vols. - The most complete biographical source on artists. Signed articles. Vol. 37 lists anonymous artists known by various names or monograms. Families of artists are usually discussed together under one family member. (Supplemented by Vollmer)

Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Kunstler des XX. Jahrhunderts. Vollmer, Hans. 6 vols. - Supplements Thieme-Becker. Provides information on artists born after 1870.

Biographical Indexes

The Artists of the World: bio-bibliographical indx A-Z. Klimt, Andres and Michael Steppes, eds. 10 vols. - Indexes approximately 500,000 artists names from more than 150 countries. Refers to biographical resources such as AKL, Benezit, Thieme-Becker, and Vollmer. Includes birth and death dates and places and specialization of artists.

Artist Biographies Master Index. McNeil, Barbara, ed. - Indexes over 75 biographical dictionaries and includes more than 275,000 citations. International in scope.

Folk Artists Biographical Index. Meyer, George H., ed. - Guide to information about 9,000 American folk artists from the seventeenth century to the present. Includes ethnicity, geographic, media, and type of work indexes and art locator.

Other Sources

Other sources of biographical information can be located using The Library Catalog (search for artists' names as SUBJECT and as AUTHOR), Databases and Indexes to Articles, bibliographies, catalogs of other libraries, as well as the footnotes and bibliographies in the sources. There are many general biographical sources of information on artists according to gender, nationality or geographic area, ethnic background, occupation, etc. And don't forget to look for correspondence, lectures, essays, films, and exhibitions by and about the particular artist you are researching.

Modern and Contemporary Artists

Contemporary Artists. Cerrito, Joann. - Provides biographies, exhibition information, and bibliographies for both living and deceased, internationally known contemporary artists, excluding artists who died before 1960. Signed articles and many artists' statements.

A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art. Chilvers, Ian. - Covers twentieth century art through the 1990s, including biographical articles.

Contemporary photographers. Marix Evans, Martin, ed. - Biographies and bibliographies for prominent photographers worldwide, still living or who have died after 1975. Includes signed articles, exhibition and collection information, and artists' statements.

Contemporary Designers. Pendergast, Sara, ed. - Biographies and bibliographies for internationally known designers still active in their fields. Included are signed articles, designer comments, nationality and design field index.

Twentieth-Century Artists on Art: an index to writings, statements, and interviews by artists, architects, and designers. Robertson, Jack. - References primary source materials of over 14,000 international artists of the twentieth-century.

Prestel Dictionary of Art and Artists in the Twentieth Century. Schmied, Wieland, Frank Whitford, and Frank Zollner, eds. - Includes biographical data, emphasizes primary exhibitions, and characterizes works of artists of the twentieth century.

Artists of North America

Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 years of Artists in America. Falk, Peter H, ed. 3 vols. - Biographies of 65,000 North American artists from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers. Fielding, Mantle. - Updated reissue of Fielding's 1926 publication. Includes over 10,000 artists who worked during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Lists dates, addresses, exhibitions, education, and media.

Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists. Jacobsen, Anita. 4 vols. - Covers artists native to the United States or working in the United States from 1606-2002.

St. James Guide to Native North American Artists. Matuz, Richard, ed. - Covers over 350 Native American artists. Each citation consists of the following information: tribal affiliation, education, birth and death dates and places, awards, jobs, individual and group exhibitions, collections, publications by and about the artist, and a substantial essay on the artist.

Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860. New York Historical Society. - Contains information about 10,000 American painters, draftsmen, sculptors, engravers, lithographers, and allied artists. Includes references.

St. James Guide to Black Artists. Riggs, Thomas, ed. - Biographies including career information and critical essays for approximately 400 prominent African-American artists.

Who's Who in American Art. Biennial publication- Biographical directory of artists from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Indexes by geographical region and latest professional classification and a necrology. Entries provide addresses, dates, publications, professional positions, awards, and memberships.

Women Artists

Dictionary of Women Artists. Gaze, Delia. 2 vols. - A thorough examination of women artists worldwide and throughout history. Includes exhibition information, selected writings, and bibliographies.

North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: a biographical dictionary. Heller, Jules and Nancy G. Heller. - Biographical information for women artists born before 1960 from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Each entry includes a brief bibliography.

Contemporary Women Artists. Hillstrom, Laurie Collier and Kevin Hillstrom, eds. - More than 350 of the world's most prominent and influential contemporary women artists.

A to Z of American Women in the Visual Arts. Kort, Carol and Liz Sonneborn. - Covers women artists from a variety of media, time periods, geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

African Americans in the Visual Arts. Otfinoski, Steven. - Approximately 200 artists listed, historical and contemporary.

Texas and Western Artists

Artists of Texas. 3 vols. - Information about contemporary Texas artists (supplied by the artists) and names of the galleries representing them. Illustrated and indexed.

Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. 3 vols. - Over 4,000 biographical sketches of painters, illustrators, and printmakers born before 1900 who worked in the West.

A History of Texas Artists and Sculptors. Fisk, Frances Battaile. - Reviews contributions of artists born in Texas and those who worked in Texas.

Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800-1945. Grauer, Paula L. and Michael R. Grauer. - Covers early Texas artists before World War II. Included are artists who lived in Texas and whose work had been included in at least one professional exhibition in the state prior to or during 1945.

Contemporary Art in Texas. Johnson, Patricia Corvo. - 48 artists featured. Biographies include education and awards, exhibitions, and public collections and commissions.

Art and Artists of Texas. O'Brien, Esse (Forrester). - Biographical sketches of Texas artists, arranged by media. Also includes artists' work in the capitol and governor's mansion, monuments, and public works projects.

Texas Painters, Sculptors, and Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas before 1942. - Covers early Texas artists before World War II. Included are artists who exhibited formally, trained professionaly, or claimed a serious status by advertising themselves as artists.