Topics in American Art

with content focusing on representational art



Topics in American Art, a catalogue published by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) since 2003, covers over 200 topics. Each topic focuses on an aspect of American representational art. Most topics include links to Resource Library articles and essays, often accompanied by museum exhibition materials such as checklists, gallery guide texts, wall panel and extended label texts (see definitions), in-house magazine articles, and more. These materials often are unavailable elsewhere online.

Topics entries may also include links to other online materials from museums and other sources, online video and audio recordings, plus references to videos in DVD format, paper-printed books, articles, and more. For convenience of researchers, topics also include TFAO indexes and catalogues, other directories, projects, reports and studies.

As of 2016, new topics focus on expanding knowledge less thoroughly represented in the catalogue. TFAO is further guided by the selection process presented in What is included in the National Calendar of Art Exhibitions.


Who benefits from Topics in American Art?

Contents are used by educators designing course content, scholars, curators, docents, students, librarians, collectors, potential donors to museums, plus art lovers everywhere seeking greater understanding of American art. Enjoy!


(above: James Wells Champney, Returning from Harvesting, 1874, oil on board, 17 x 13 inches. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


What topics are available?

Here is an alphabetical listing of topics: A - C / D - G / H - L / M - P / Q - Z


(above: Colin Campbell Cooper, Summer, 1918, oil on canvas, 50 x 60.25 inches. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


An invitation to museums

TFAO advocates 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// 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.


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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 22,500+ 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. Also, our pages are loaded faster without cookies. We want you to view Resource Library content as quickly as possible. Resource Library contains no advertising and is 100% non-commercial. .

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



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TFAO catalogues:

Links to sources of information outside of our web site 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 web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:


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