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ART 462: History of Photography

Types of Art Books

Exhibition catalogs:

Strictly speaking, an exhibition catalog is a work published to document an exhibition, and includes a list of works exhibited. It may or may not contain additional information, such as illustrations, introductory essays, analyses of the works of art, biographical information on the artists, etc.

(Cataloging Exhibition Publications: Best Practices: Title and Statement of Responsibility)

These can come in a couple of different flavors: solo and group. 

Solo exhibition catalogs focus on the work of a single artist, whereas group exhibition catalogs document an exhibition that features more than one, sometimes several artists.  While group exhibition catalogs may contain valuable information about a single artist, it will not likely be very comprehensive.

Example of a solo exhibition catalog:


Artist monograph:

Book publishers use the term "artist monograph" to indicate books dealing with a single artist, as opposed to broader surveys of art subjects.

(Wikipedia "Monograph")

As the name implies, artist monographs are books about a single artist. They usually highlight the major bodies of work by an artist and often include biographical information and critical essays about the artist.  You may have a more difficult time finding artist monographs about younger or emerging photographers.

Example of an artist monograph:


Catalogue raisonné:

This is a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known artworks by an artist either in a particular medium or all media. The works are described in such a way that they may be reliably identified by third parties.

(Wikipedia "Catalogue raisonné"

Catalog raisonnés provide the most comprehensive overview of an artist’s body of work because they seek to document every artwork an artist has ever made, either comprehensively or in a specific medium.  For the most part, you will only find catalog raisonnes for very well established artists.

Example of a catalog raisonné:

Browsing Stacks - Photography

For books related to photography, check out the 4th floor where the call numbers begin with TR.

In particular:

  • TR250-265 for Cameras
  • TR287-500 for Photographic processing, Darkroom technique
  • TR504-508 for Transparencies, Diapositives
  • TR510-545 for Color photography
  • TR550-581 for Studio and laboratory
  • TR590-620 for Lighting
  • TR624-835 for Applied photography
  • TR845-899 for Cinematography, Motion pictures
  • TR925-1050 for Photomechanical processes

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