How Do I Research My Art?

Want to learn more about the painting you found while clearing out the attic? What about the drawing that has been hanging in grandma’s hallway since you were a kid? Maybe the sculpture you found at the flea market last summer really is a Remington. How can you find out?

For answers, be prepared for a little detective work. We hope these tips and resources will help you begin, but remember that these lists are not exhaustive. Whether you research a family heirloom or a yard-sale find, the process can be rewarding!

Okay, let’s investigate!

  1. First Steps
  2. Know the artist’s name? Go to Biographical Resources.
  3. See a mark or signature you cannot identify? Check out Signatures, Monograms, and Markings.
  4. To learn about the history of a particular artwork, go to Exhibition Guides and Provenance.
  5. If all else fails, try Encyclopedias and Surveys.
  6. How Much Is Your Object Worth?
  7. Want to Research Prints or Find Posters?
  8. Find out How to Care for Your Collections.
  9. Want more? Resources for in-depth art research.
Media - 1967.110 - SAAM-1967.110_1 - 3022

Unidentified artistEye, c. 1900