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Modern Art - VMS 202: Starting Your Paper

Writing Art History Papers


Munsterberg, Marjorie.  Writing About Art [website]

D’Alleva, Anne.  How to write art history.  London, Laurence King Pub., 2006.  Lilly N380 .D26 2006

Barnet, Sylvan.  A short guide to writing about art. 9th ed.  Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson, 2008.  Lilly N7476 .B37 2008

Pointon, Marcia R.  History of art : a students’ handbook.   4th ed.   New York : Routledge, 1997.  Lilly N380 .P56 1997  

Sayre, Henry M.  Writing about art.  4th ed.  Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall, 2002.  Lilly  N7476 .S29 2002   


Professional art historians very seldom write books about a single work of art, as many art history paper assignments are.  However, the publisher Allen Lane commissioned major art historians to write small books (99 pages) on ever aspect of a single, famous work of art.  The series, Art in Context, is as close as a student can get on how a serious art-history paper might be written. 

Students unsure about how to construct a paper (what questions to ask) would do well to glance at these titles.

Delacroix : The Death of Sardanapalus
by Spector, Jack J. (London : Allen Lane, 1974.)
Lilly ND553.D33 S62 1974

Marcel Duchamp: The Bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even
by Golding, John. ([New York, Viking Press, 1973, c1972])
Lilly N6853.D8 G64 1973

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