United States Art History

Art History of Each State within the United States of America

with an emphasis on representational art


About this catalogue


What is United States art history?

For our purposes, art is anything claimed by the maker or viewer to be art. United States art history flows back in time from the present moment and begins in the distant past when indigenous people began making artworks within the present geographic boundaries of the United States. 

Is abstract art covered in these pages?

Since all art is abstracted to some degree by an artist, the level of abstraction we present here stays within the bounds of commonly accepted objective reality. Representational art is that which is rooted in observation of the real and imagined natural world, as opposed to that disconnected from objective reality.

Is this catalog biased?

As is the case for all American art encyclopedias, journals, blogs and magazines, wherein bias is presented in a subtle or overt manner, TFAO seeks to advance its particular bias. we focuse on human traits of love, wonder, kindness, good will, constructive work and charity. Not of interest is art lacking civility towards religious beliefs, racial or ethnic groups, social classes, sexual orientation and nationality.

This catalogue provides viewers articles and essays principally sourced from art museums from each state. Except for international focus of major metropolitan museums in larger states, the regional museums provide a window into the art history of each state.  Viewers may also enjoy America's art history by topic, museum, and date of publication.




Our primary goal is to organize and make available online -- without charge to the public -- articles and essays surveying the representational art history of each state. Texts devoted to individual states may be provided in one or more of the following ways:

URL links are provided by us to articles and essays published online in Resource Library. For texts placed online in other websites, we place links to them. For texts published on paper but not yet placed online, we welcome copyright holders to submit those texts to Resource Library for publication.

A secondary goal is to gather for each state links to related online audio and video from other websites, and also to list related museums, books and magazine articles.




Resource categories for each individual state are presented in the following order:

Articles and essays published online in Resource Library listed by author name in alphabetical order
Articles published online in Resource Library without named authors listed by title of article in alphabetical order
Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays located in the state
Other online sources for text, audio and video files
Books (listed by date of publication - most recently published first - in order to aid in ranking texts for further research)
Articles from paper-printed sources (listed by author name)
Descriptions of DVD and VHS videos
Text of email letters sent to prospective sources of information

For some states categories may be missing because no resources have yet been found for them.




The first edition of United States Art History was completed in 2008. The catalogue is updated every year for content from other websites.


Please see Exclusions to learn about types of information not included in United States Art History and an example of how to find biographical information on individual artists and Methods of research to learn how information is gathered for inclusion.

Art Movements Through Photography  is a comprehensive 1-hour, 49-minutes online video lecture by Eileen Rafferty. Accessed 1/23

Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art is a 2-hour PBS online documentary about 20th Century American art by John Carlin & Jonathan Fineberg. Accessed 1/23

American Visions is an eight-part online video series on American art written and narrated by art critic Robert Hughes. William Hosley says: "American Visions, an eight-part series on American art written and narrated by Time magazine art critic Robert Hughes, is both an account of American life and a tribute to American art that will likely propel thousands of the not-yet-converted into museums and galleries, antiques shows and auction rooms to see (and inevitably shop) for themselves. Filmed in 100 locations around the country, covering everything from Quaker to Shaker, George Washington to Bierstadt, Remington to Warhol, and the skyscrapers of New York City, Hughes has applied his considerable wit and imagination to the problem of revealing how art records and preserves both points of view and ways of life. It is American history told through art, not merely a history of art. It offers a perspective that is refreshingly elevating and inclusive." Accessed 1/23


Permissions from sources


When Resource Library published over time more than one article concerning an institution, there was created as an additional resource for readers a sub-index page containing links to each Resource Library article or essay concerning that institution, plus available information on its location and other descriptive information. .

Unless specifically described in editor's notes or headers within Resource Library or Resource Library Magazine pages containing articles and essays by named authors, such materials were published in 1997 through 2016 by either permission of a named institutional source within the Art Museum, Gallery and Art Center index, an author within the Author Study and Index, or a non-institutional source.  In some cases, both the source and author provided permissions.  

Permissions, in most instances, were provided by institutional sources specifically identified within the article or essay pages. As noted above, when Resource Library or Resource Library Magazine published over time more than one article or essay concerning an institution, it created, as an additional resource for readers, a sub-index page containing links to each Resource Library or Resource Library Magazine article or essay concerning that institution, plus available information on its location and other descriptive information. A typical notation at the end of an article or essay might be "Read more information, articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the (named institution) in Resource Library (or Resource Library Magazine in instances of publication by our predecessor)" or similar wording.


An invitation to museums

We advocate for museums to permanently make available materials about special exhibitions on their websites. Most museum websites have a "past exhibitions" section. Often, when information about an exhibition is first posted, a permanent URL is created that is carried forward in website sections for future, current and past exhibitions. A common format is: https//museumname.org/exhibitions/name of exhibit.

A wide variety of materials are posted by museums for an individual exhibition. Contents on a page for an exhibition may include narrative paragraphs about the exhibition, photos of art objects, plus links to: a press release for the exhibition, newspaper and magazine articles, promotional PSA videos, lecture videos, gallery guides, brochures and checklists.

Once a museum has decided upon a URL format for presenting online exhibition information, it is important that the format be maintained permanently. This is to prevent dead links in articles, research papers and other materials published by outside persons and organizations.

An effect of Covid temporary museum closures in 2020-21was that scores of art museums greatly enhanced the quality and quantity of online exhibit presentations.


Our catalogues


American Representational Art links to dozens of topics in American Representational Art

Audio Online a catalogue of online streaming audio recordings

Collections of Historic American Art notable private collections

Distinguished Artists a national registry of historic artists

Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History a catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.

Illustrated Audio Online streaming online narrated slide shows

Articles and Essays Online substantive texts published outside of Resource Library

Videos Online a comprehensive catalogue of online full motion videos streamed free to viewers

Videos an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

Books general reference books published on paper

Interactive media media in CD-ROM format

Magazines paper-published magazines and journals


How to find content on our site using search engines


Conduct keyword searches within our website and Resource Library, a collection of articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art, using the advanced search feature of these search engines:



Or, before entering keywords in a basic search, enter site:tfaoi.org

Also see Indexes and information retrieval for more information.


Return to Art History of Each State within the United States of America


About Resource Library


Resource Library is a free online publication of nonprofit Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO). Since 1997, Resource Library and its predecessor Resource Library Magazine have cumulatively published online 1,300+ articles and essays written by hundreds of identified authors, thousands of other texts not attributable to named authors, plus 24,000+ images, all providing educational and informational content related to American representational art. Texts and related images are provided almost exclusively by nonprofit art museum, gallery and art center sources.

All published materials provide educational and informational content to students, scholars, teachers and others. Most published materials relate to exhibitions. Materials may include whole exhibition gallery guides, brochures or catalogues or texts from them, perviously published magazine or journal articles, wall panels and object labels, audio tour scripts, play scripts, interviews, blogs, checklists and news releases, plus related images.

What you won't find:

User-tracking cookies are not installed on our website. Privacy of users is very important to us. You won't find annoying banners and pop-ups either. Our pages are loaded blazingly fast. Resource Library contains no advertising and is 100% non-commercial. .

(left: JP Hazeltine, founding editor, Resource Library)

Links to sources of information outside our website are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other websites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. We neither recommend or endorses these referenced organizations. Although we include links to other websites, we take no responsibility for the content or information contained on other sites, nor exert any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see our General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:


Copyright 2023 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.